Arsene Wenger: Pure Genius
a big dent in the Reds’ title hopes. The Gunners boss told the media: ‘It was a game at a frenetic pace of top quality technically and you could see both teams created many chances. We are half happy because we scored four goals and half unhappy because we conceded four. [Arshavin] scored four goals but he was at the end of some good combination play. He has a lot of tricks and a short back-lift and that makes him very dangerous.’ A 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough kept Arsenal’s spirits up ahead
Ricardo Fuller scored twice in a 3-1 victory and another piece of silverware passed Wenger by. Given the trophy drought, it was a puzzling decision but the Arsenal boss explained himself post-game, telling the press: ‘I don’t regret the side I put out. We had ten injuries and a very difficult programme coming up. We have four very important games now in a short space of time, that is what we are focusing on.’ The message seemed clear – the Premier League and Champions League were the targets.
situation and Arsenal found themselves eight points behind Premiership leaders Leeds. David O’Leary’s young Leeds side had impressed many with their strong run of results but Wenger hoped that their inexperience would offer other teams a chance to capitalise. After all, there was still a very long way to go in the title race. Arsène did not have long to wait to make inroads into Leeds’ lead. O’Leary’s team travelled to Highbury for a key contest on 28 December but, with Wenger’s players fired
quickly sensed that their team was on a mission to make amends and regain the title. A 2-1 win over Everton on the opening day was earned despite Campbell’s red card and this was followed by three more victories. Amongst them was a 4-0 scoreline away to Middlesbrough that showcased the attacking class of Wenger’s side. When they played in that manner, they were unstoppable. Henry and company made football look such an easy game when they waltzed past defenders and seemingly passed the ball into
Ranieri, Abramovich made plenty of transfer funds available to Mourinho. The new Blues boss brought Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira with him from Porto and his other signings included strikers Didier Drogba and Mateja Kezman, winger Arjen Robben and goalkeeper Petr Cech. As Chelsea continued to pile up debts, Wenger was far from impressed that there had been no sanctions to stop the Blues’ spending. Meanwhile, Manchester United had signalled their intent by signing teenage sensation Wayne