Wenger looks for home comforts
LONDON - Manager Arsene Wenger has challenged his Arsenal players to translate their brilliant away form into making the Emirates Stadium a fortress - starting with Sunday's visit of Stoke.
The Gunners secured a club-record 10th successive away victory when they beat Marseille 2-1 in the first Champions League group match on Wednesday night.
Although the Emirates Stadium was rocking as Arsenal defeated north London rivals Tottenham 1-0 before the international break, the bitter disappointment of an opening-day 3-1 reverse to Aston Villa still remains fresh in the memory.
As the Gunners prepare for a first home match since the B43million club-record signing of Mesut Ozil, Wenger feels his side can start to consolidate a position of strength at Ashburton Grove.
"If you look at the numbers, away from home, we have been remarkably consistent. At home we want of course to create the same consistency," he said.
"I believe we have a chance (to challenge for the title) and what is most important is that my full energy is to make sure we grab that chance.
"It is too early to say who will be in the fight, who will not be in the fight. You are a bit cautious because these days you are very quickly in a crisis - one bad result and everyone questions your potential to be in there, so let's be consistent."
Stoke were also beaten on the opening day of the new Barclays Premier League campaign, losing 1-0 at Liverpool.
However, Mark Hughes' new-look Potters have responded well, securing two wins and a goalless draw at home with Manchester City last weekend as well as progressing in the Capital One Cup.
Wenger was never a big fan of the tactics Stoke often deployed to great success by former boss Tony Pulis.