Arsene Wenger has revealed the quality his side showed in their Community Shield victory over Manchester City has left him feeling optimistic for the season ahead.
Following nine barren years, new Gunners captain Mikel Arteta lifted a second piece of silverware in just 85 days at Wembley yesterday. Last season Wenger’s side shipped six goals at both City and Chelsea, while being hit for five at Liverpool and those statistics made it vital that they didn’t slip up yesterday, according to the Frenchman.
“That’s why it was important for us not to lose the game,” he said. “On that front we know that last year we were not very consistent against top six teams. The year before it was reversed so I hope this year it will be right on both sides.”
Wenger added: “You want to win the game and you want to look at the quality of the performance as well, and I think it was important for our confidence to win the game.
“But it was even more important to have a big part of the game with quality and that is a comfort for me to see that we can produce the kind of quality we have produced for some long patches in the game.”
New signings Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers hinted at their potential importance in the coming season.
And Wenger admitted that with World Cup winners Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski still to come back he possesses more attacking threat than he has done for as long as he can remember. However it was Chambers, playing out of position at centre-back, that received most praise.
“For me, for a 19-year-old, he had an outstanding performance,” Wenger said. “It’s impressive because he does not have a long history in this position.”
Meanwhile, City coach, Manuel Pellegrini, said defeat would have no bearing on his side’s campaign, insisting he treated it as a friendly.
However, he cast doubt over Joe Hart’s future as the club’s No1, despite new signing Willy Caballero conceding three goals.
“All the 22 players that we have in our squad must demonstrate who is number one in all the positions,” said Pellegrini, who also revealed a deal for Porto’s France defender Eliaquim Mangala could be completed this week.
“The goalkeeper and the other positions of the team are exactly the same. Joe finished last season playing very well.
“We’ll see next Sunday which 11 starts against Newcastle (in their Premier League opener).”
The City boss added: “It is not the day today to make pressure for different players. It was one game more for pre-season.”
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