Arsenal Club Focus – Wenger takes his resurgent Gunners down to Norwich City

Arsene Wenger’s focus is on reducing the gap between his side and league leaders Manchester City before Christmas. Following such a disastrous opening month to the season, Wenger would have probably given his arm to be just 12 points away from City. The Frenchman is pleased with the way his side have got back on track and is looking to the next game away at Norwich, where he faces a buoyant bunch of players and a quality young manager in Paul Lambert.

The Gunners are riding a run of nine wins in their last 11 matches, and will look to extend that run first at Norwich, but then against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. Wenger’s side have picked up momentum following the astute business made in the summer transfer window and they are looking as if they can still push towards the Champions League places.

Wenger himself sees the top spot in the league as a realistic ambition and is striving to reach the Premier League pinnacle, and fans will be contented with getting back into the Champions League places, but the French boss sees his squad wanting much more.

‘We are too far away from the top of the moment. My complete focus is to reduce that gap before Christmas and hopefully we can do that. Then, in the second half of the season, we play all of these teams at home, so if we can manage to do that, we still have a chance of coming back’, Wenger said.

Defensive problems are affecting Wenger’s options for the game against the Canaries with young defenders Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson sidelined. Gibbs is out for five weeks after undergoing surgery on a hernia and Jenkinson has suffered a stress fracture in his back. First choice right back Bacary Sagna is also injured, so Johann Djourou may have to fill in at the right side of the defence.

Gunners striker Robin Van Persie will be the focal point of Arsene Wenger’s plans against Norwich and he only needs one more goal for 30 in a calendar year. The Dutchman’s form has been absolutely scintillating so far and praise has been rightly bestowed on Van Persie.

Wenger has praised the performances of his captain, but has ruled out a move for former captain Thierry Henry. Henry is training at London Colney with the Gunners squad and a winter loan deal was reportedly on the cards whilst the MLS season is finished. Wenger has ruled out a move for his former star and stated that Henry’s future belongs in the States.

The last time Arsenal travelled to Carrow Road, in August 2004, the Gunners came out 4-1 winners thanks to goals from Jose Antonio Reyes, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp. Wenger will be hoping for another result like that one and progressing to their home tie with the reigning German champions on Wednesday night.

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