New year welcomes Arsenal as league leaders, but the Gunners need to stay consistent in order to retain their position in one of the most open title race in the Premier League. They face Newcastle United as their opening fixture for 2016, and Arsene Wenger has nothing but a positive outlook on the rest of the season.
‘I would say we are a team who had a little bit of a difficult start,’ Wenger spoke to Arsenal Player. ‘When you lose the first game at home, it’s always a big blow. But we have had fantastic spirit and have always shown that when we are in trouble we can fight back.
‘Overall, when you look at our continuity, 2015 was a positive year because we won the FA Cup, improved our results in the Premier League at the start of the year, continued with that and today we are in a strong position. We are hungry – our hunger and desire is very strong. We have survived despite the fact that we have been hit by very bad injuries and have made some fantastic results.’
Arsenal achieved 81 points and 25 victories in the Premier League which is more than any team has produced in the calendar year of 2015. Apart from that they also won their record 12th FA Cup and Community Shield.
‘I’m happy that we could win silverware again – the FA Cup and the Community Shield,’ Wenger added. ‘And that we are today competing at the top of the Premier League. That’s what I work every day for. To make our fans and everyone who loves the club proud is what pleases me the most.’
‘Yes, for 2016 [the target] is now to be the best team,’ said Wenger. ‘One thing that is very positive is that if we are the best team from January to May, we will be very happy.
‘That’s our target, and knowing that the Premier League is an extremely competitive league, and looking at the results around you, of course you know that you need to put in the effort to be competitive in every game.’
Arsenal is level on points with Leicester and leads only because of goal difference. While Gunners host Newcastle United at the Emirates, Leicester will play Bournemouth at home.