Wenger untroubled by slow start to season

August 28, 2006

Arsene Wenger has every confidence Arsenal can play their way into contention for the Premiership title this season.

The Gunners have picked up just one point from their opening two matches following Saturday's surprise 1-0 defeat at Manchester City.

That may represent the club's worst start to a top-flight campaign since 1992, but Wenger is not unduly concerned.

Although they do have a game in hand, Arsenal are already eight points adrift of early pace-setters Manchester United.

While the Gunners manager accepted his team have been lacking sharpness, particularly in front of goal, he rejected suggestions a more direct approach is necessary to get results on the board.

Wenger maintained: 'We play the football that suits us.

'When you make the first mistake and you go 1-0 down, it is difficult to be clinical.

'It is the type of game that we would win if we were ready - but (Manchester City) fought very well and you cannot criticise their style.

'They were direct, but it is not a reproach, (because) they won.

'We play the game we do because it is the most efficient one to play.

'The trouble is that when we lose a game everybody says `why do you not want to kick the ball forward?'

'We believe in our kind of game.

'In (Alexander) Hleb, (Tomas) Rosicky, (Thierry) Henry and (Robin) van Persie, we have the type of players who need the ball to be played on the ground.

Wenger declared: 'If you look at the last nine years we have played in the Champions League each time.

'You cannot suddenly say that we should follow the route of the football that Manchester City play, we would not be able to do that.'

Wenger has plenty to occupy him during the international break, with the futures of Ashley Cole and Jose Antonio Reyes still to be sorted out before the transfer window closes on Thursday night.

England defender Cole is hoping for a swift resolution to his protracted move to Chelsea, while Reyes has made it clear he does not expect to play for the Gunners again.

Wenger has continually reiterated the Spaniard will be going nowhere unless the right offer is tabled - blasting Atletico Madrid's reported £8million interest as an 'insult'.

Reyes, however, seems determined to secure a move back to his homeland.

'I have heard lots of rumours, but the one thing that is clear is that I want to leave London,' the 22-year-old winger said.

'I want to come back to Spain. I will not play again in England.

'I am thankful to Arsenal for the way that they have treated me.'

Former Sevilla player Reyes stressed: 'I just want to return. I would say yes to Atletico, yes to Real Madrid and yes to Sevilla.'