LONDON: Arsene Wenger has warned his new-look Arsenal team that the real tests are still to come after their 6-1 demolition of Southampton at the Emirates Stadium.
With Tuesday’s Champions League clash against French champions Montpellier swiftly followed by showdowns against Manchester City and Chelsea, Wenger is not getting carried away.
“We have two interesting weeks coming up now with Montpellier in the Champions League and then the matches against City and Chelsea,” said Wenger. “We should know much more about the team after them. But there is a positive energy in this team and a desire to play well together so it’s very exciting for us. We showed a good combination of pace and speed in our passing.”
Gerrard urges faith in Rodgers
Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard has pleaded for patience after Liverpool’s worst start to a league season for over a century after a late Luis Suarez equaliser earned a 1-1 draw at Sunderland.
Gerrard feels the club is heading in the right direction under their new young manager and the Liverpool skipper has asked for time for the Northern Irishman to put his principles into practice.
“It depends how quickly we get the message the manager is trying to give,” said Gerrard. “We know it won’t happen overnight, but you saw today that it won’t be long before it does.”
Liverpool warmed-up in training shirts honouring the 96 who lost their lives at the ill-fated FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham forest 23 years ago.
“It’s been a difficult week as you can imagine for the club and the city and it’s been emotional, but when you sign for Liverpool that’s part of the contract,” explained manager Brendan Rodgers. “It’s all part of the journey with Liverpool and I have to say the supporters were excellent for the way they drove the team on.”
Ferguson salutes milestone man Scholes
Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson saluted Paul Scholes after the veteran Manchester United midfielder marked his 700th appearance for the club with a goal in the 4-0 rout of Wigan at Old Trafford.
“That is what we always remember about Paul, the way he ghosts into the penalty box,” said Ferguson. “Obviously as he has got older, he has not been able to do that. He doesn’t need to do that now because we prefer him to play central midfield. But now he has scored on his 100th, 300th, 400th, 500th and 700th appearance. It is fantastic.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2012.
More in SportsCricket: Naeem helps ZTBL to draw