Arsene Wenger believes it is “absolutely remarkable” that Arsenal are fighting for top spot in the Premier League after losing on the opening day.
Arsenal began the season with a 2-0 home defeat to West Ham, immediately sparking criticism of Wenger’s failure to add a new outfield player to his squad.
The Gunners have lost only once since then to raise hopes of a concerted title challenge, but Wenger is not encouraging such talk just yet.
“It’s too early to talk about the title,” he said. “I want to be in the fight. Christmas you start to see, but it’s now down to consistency and you must go into every game with top level focus.”
Wenger is not feeling the pressure of maintaining his side’s good form so early in the season and says confidence will continue to grow if they can keep pace at the top.
He said: “It’s too early for pressure. I like that kind of pressure, but only 11 games have been played.
“If there were just five or six to play then there would be pressure. But I believe we can challenge (for the title).
“You want to be up there at the top and we are at the moment. After the first game against West Ham (2-0 home defeat) it is absolutely remarkable what we have done and we want to stay there.
“I believe it is an advantage to be top because it strengthens your belief that you can go all the way.”
Wenger also reserved praise for Petr Cech, the one player he did add to his squad over the summer, and backed the 33-year-old to continue playing for several years.
“I believe there is no coincidence,” Wenger said of the goalkeeper’s good form. “It’s just class, consistency and quality. And knowing him well after a few months I am not surprised. He analyses everything.
“He is gifted, super-talented and he is one of the greatest goalkeepers ever seen in this country.
“He plays in a position where age is less of a restriction than in any other job. I think 37 or 38. Some go longer but once you start to have a ‘four’ the intensity is more difficult. Van der Sar was close to 40 and still doing well.”
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