Arsene Wenger in London Colney: “I don’t dream about Chelsea”

Arsène Wenger talks to Mesut Ozil

Arsène Wenger talks to Mesut Ozil - Credit: Archant

With Arsenal currently second in the Premier League table, an adamant Arsene Wenger said at today’s (Thursday) press conference in London Colney that his team was determined to continue chasing the title.

But a question from one reporter at the Gunners’ training grounds, about whether his dreams at night echoed his goals during the day were one and the same raised a smile.

Wenger was asked: “When you go to bed at night - you are seven points behind Chelsea - do you sometimes have dreams that they might just fold up and you might get in there?”

As journalists at the press conference laughed, a grinning Wenger replied: “Look I have enough experience to know that I have to live with reality.

“The reality is points and the next game. We all have dreams every night, but when I wake up in the morning I have to come here and make sure we give everything to win the next game.”

There were many questions fielded - and deflected - about Harpenden based midfielder Jack Wilshere.

Wenger avoided commenting at length on Wilshere’s return over the closing weeks of the season. When asked about the likely impact he would make on the Gunners, Wenger said that “everybody could make a big impact, Jack included”.

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A question about whether Wilshere was the sort of player who could slot back in quickly and reach the level that he needed to, Wenger responded: “That depends on the game, fitness, availability and the need of the team.

“I don’t want to speak about individual selection. All deserve to play, but we are all here to serve Arsenal Football Club, and that is it.”

He confirmed that midfield trio Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, and Abou Diaby, who played an Under-21s game on Tuesday “came thorough well, are at quite a good level physically and they should be available from now on till the end of the season”.

In regard to a further question about the possible sale of Wilshere, on the back of media reports of interest from Manchester City, Wenger remarked: “Look you can imagine my answer, and send it to Sky Sport News – you have enough experience. And we are not in a position anymore where we have to sell our best players.”

When asked whether, after winning the last seven League games in a row, there was any element of frustration that it has happened too late in terms of the title, Wenger said: “We will see, unfortunately we don’t decide when it happens … we look behind us and people are chasing us, and in front of us is a good distance.

“We work very hard to reduce that [gap].”

And how far away is this team from winning the Premier League?

Wenger said: “At the moment, seven points, plus one game in hand.”

He praised Olivier Giroud as being in outstanding form, adding: “We have plenty of strikers, we have Walcott, Welbeck, Sanchez, plus the players out on loan.

“You want me to play everybody, and on top of that you tell me to buy some more players, [but] those two together don’t work.”

Ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Burnley, Wenger said that Laurent Koscielny, who suffered a thigh injury, suffering a small muscular problem in the match that Arsenal won against Liverpool 4-1 last Saturday, would undergo fitness tests in London Colney today.

But Koscielny had a scan yesterday, which “looks quite good”.

Mathieu Debuchy is “alright, he is physically fit and ready, lacks a bit of match competitive edge but overall he has no medical problem”.

Wenger said that the team expected a tough test against Burnley.

• Arsenal star Santi Cazorla is attending a charity fundraising dinner along with Guillem Balague tonight (9) for Football Beyond Borders, to help disadvantaged young people broaden their horizons through the sport. Cazorla is a patron of the organisation, along with Balague.

• Arsenal V Burnley, Turf Moor, Saturday April 11 5.30pm