Wenger: Title talk is for dreamers
Arsenal travel to Middlesbrough this weekend with their unbeaten domestic record still intact after surviving a frenzied second half display by Newcastle United on Wednesday night. Emmanuel Adebayor (pictured) scored a stunning fourth-minute
By Jem Maidment
Arsenal travel to Middlesbrough this weekend with their unbeaten domestic record still intact after surviving a frenzied second half display by Newcastle United on Wednesday night.
Emmanuel Adebayor (pictured) scored a stunning fourth-minute volley to give the Gunners the lead at St James' Park, but Newcastle stormed back and levelled on the hour with a turn and shot from England U21 defender Steven Taylor.
Newcastle fought like tigers for a winner, but Arsenal held on to move four points clear of Manchester United at the top of the Barclays Premier League.
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"I feel a point is a fair result. We are a bit frustrated because we were 1-0 up - it's very difficult at Newcastle," said boss Arsene Wenger.
"They fought for every ball and made it very difficult for us - we had a great fight and great resilience but we did not create enough chances and we did not find our fluency. That was mainly down to Newcastle.
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"A point," he added glancing at the league table, "is still a point."
However, Wenger is refusing to get carried away with his side's considerable advantage over its three big rivals and claims the title is not yet in his sights.
"Maybe for dreamers, they think about the title, but we are realistic people and there is still a long way to go," he said.
"The Premier League is fantastic because it's down to consistency and you get that if you are capable of getting your resources together for every single game. That is why we are not dreamers and are realistic people.
"We do, of course, think we are capable and we will grab that chance if we can get the best out of our team."
The Gunners must head straight back to the north-east on Sunday lunchtime to complete a tough run of four successive away matches.
Cesc Fabregas, Alexander Hleb, Mathieu Flamini and Abou Diaby, all unavailable at Newcastle because of injury, will face fitness tests before taking on Gareth Southgate's strugglers at the Riverside. Robin van Persie is also two weeks away, the boss says.
But one man who is fit - and impressing his manager - is France international fullback Bacary Sagna, who has been in superb form since arriving in the summer in a £6million deal from Auxerre.
"For me Sagna, although not a lot of people talk about him, has been tremendous since he has come here," said Wenger.
"He adapted very, very quickly not only to the technical level - but also to the way we want to play the game, and as well to the physical aspect of the game.
"He seems to just pop up naturally like he has played forever in this league and that is great credit to him.