Wenger eyes positive start

Arsene Wenger is hoping his Arsenal side can kick-start the new campaign with a victory over Manchester City in The FA Community Shield supported by McDonald’s. 

Wenger takes the Gunners back to Wembley Stadium on Sunday for the season curtain-raiser just over two months after lifting The FA Cup under the Arch. 

And with Premier League champions Manchester City in their way the Frenchman believes a victory would provide Arsenal with momentum going into their opening League encounter with Crystal Palace a week later. 

Arsenal v Manchester City

The FA Community Shield supported by McDonald’s
3pm, Sunday 10 August 2014
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Live on BT Sport

“This is a game that you want to be a part of because it shows that you have had success the season before,” said Wenger, whose team ended a nine-year trophy drought with their FA Cup success in May. 

“It also provides a good opportunity for us to get our season off to a positive start against a very good Manchester City side. 

“There is a good feeling around the Club after a strong finish to last season and a productive pre-season, and of course we want to build on that momentum.” 

Wenger continued: “We have the ambition, we have the desire, we should have the confidence from last season so we have a good basis. 

Arsene Wenger celebration

Arsene Wenger celebrates The FA Cup victory in May

“It’s now time to make sure we have the right attitude and the right hunger to go for more. 

“What we can be sure about and what we can make certain is that we are ready for a fight and we are better than last season – that’s our target.” 

With the arrival of a number of key signings this summer, Wenger is hopeful of another good season ahead. 

Chile’s World Cup star Alexis Sanchez, French defender Mathieu Debuchy, Colombian keeper David Ospina and England youngster Calum Chambers have all arrived at the Emirates to strengthen the ranks. 

But Wenger says his team needs to be mentally ready for the tough challenge ahead. 

Chile forward Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring against England

Alexis Sanchez scored a brace at Wembley versus England in November

“We have put ourselves in a good position for the new campaign, after a good summer,” he said. “We are very pleased with the business we have been able to do. 

“Alexis Sanchez is a very exciting player for us. He’s efficient, he’s good off the ball as well as on it. 

“In Mathieu Debuchy we have found an ideal replacement for Bacary Sagna. He was the obvious replacement and we are very pleased he has joined us. 

“Both Mathieu and Calum will be in competition, you have nobody today who can play 60 games at the top level. That’s why you always need two players.” 

He added: “[The Community Shield] will be the best way to prepare for the start of the League season next week. 

“Crystal Palace will be a difficult first game, they finished last season in a very strong way and will be looking for a good start to the season too. 

“We have to and make sure that we are mentally ready to go into tough games from the start.” 

Arsene Wenger and Aaron Ramsey press conference

You can read the full interview with Arsene Wenger in the official FA Community Shield matchday programme, which is available to buy at Wembley on Sunday.