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Wenger still aiming high at Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger still has high hopes for the north London club.

“The vision is to make this club the best club in the world,” Wenger said.

“It is as simple as that and I think to carry through the values we think are important in the game. I am very proud of the values that are different in our game and I will continue to do that.”

“It’s very difficult to put an order on memories, maybe the first victory of the Championship, but I never look back and testify on the satisfaction side.”

“I look always to what I could achieve in front of me.”

But Wenger will have to aim for the goals he has set this season without Belgian international Thomas Vermaelen, at least for the next few weeks.

The Belgian will miss Sunday’s clash with arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur and will still not have recovered from his Achilles injury until after the international break.

His absence will be a blow for Wenger, who indicated it was a straight shoot-out between Sebastien Squillaci or Alex Song, who played there against Olympiakos on Wednesday, for a spot in central defence.”

“It will be a fraction longer than expected (before Vermaelen returns). He will not be straight back after the international break. It will be one or two weeks later,” Wenger said.

“(Yossi) Benayoun and Squillaci are completely fit. Squillaci lacks match fitness, Benayoun does not.

“Squillaci will not be fit enough to start the game. If I am tempted (about playing Song in central defence) I can answer honestly ‘yes’. Will I do it? Honestly, I don’t know yet.”

“Koscielny looks to be definitely out for Sunday, it looks short for him. He couldn’t absorb any test today.”

Arsenal also have a number of absentees up front, with Theo Walcott and Gervinho both racing against time to be fit for Sunday’s clash.

But should they be unavailable, it could force Wenger to start Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain once again after the youngster found the back of the net in his last two outings for the Gunners.

“For Walcott and Gervinho a decision will be made on Saturday or Sunday. The most likely to be fit of the two looks to be Walcott,” Wenger said.

And on Oxlade-Chamberlain he said: “He is a possibility to be in the squad, I haven’t picked the team yet.

“When you are ready for the Champions League you are ready for the Premier League.”

“People want to make stars overnight in modern football but it is not like that.”

“What is very positive for me is that he has shown he has the talent to be a very good future player but that he also still has things to work on.”

“I have big hopes for him as well but I do not want to be impatient.”

Fri 30 September, 2011
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