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The next game is my drug: Arsene Wenger

Even as he completes 1000 games at the helm of Arsenal today against Chelsea, Gunners boss insists his focus is not on milestones

London: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claims to care only about the “drug” of victory despite preparing to celebrate his 1,000th game in charge against Premier League leaders Chelsea today.


Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger during a training session at London Colney. Pic/AFP.

Wenger was appointed Arsenal manager in 1996 and his milestone achievement will dominate the build-up to the meeting between the London rivals at Stamford Bridge. But the Frenchman would be the first to point out that the outcome of the game involving sides currently lying first and third in the table is more significant than his anniversary.

Should Wenger engineer Arsenal’s first victory over Chelsea in six attempts, his team will move to within one point of Jose Mourinho’s men with a game in hand. A Chelsea victory, on the other hand, would allow them to repair some of the damage inflicted by their unexpected defeat at Aston Villa last weekend.

“It looks to me like I started yesterday. I can’t believe it is such a long time,” Wenger told the Arsenal website. “Why? Because you’re always focused on looking forward to the next game and when you look back you think, ‘I made quite a distance there.’

“Despite that, your only interest is the next game. Our drug is the next game, the hope for the next game, the desire to win the next one.”

Wenger has endured an uncomfortable trophy drought since Arsenal last lifted silverware after beating Man United in the 2005 FA Cup final.

Blues Gunning for win
Meanwhile, Mourinho and his side will be equally keen to strengthen their own position after the costly visit to Villa Park. Willian and Ramires will both be missing today.

Eden Hazard said: “The Champions League and the Premier League are both magnificent competitions. The Champions League is rare because you play less often, but the EPL is so important to us and we know how important it is for the fans, too.”

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