Wenger impressed by mature Gunners
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels his Gunners team are finally showing they are mature enough to end their long wait for a trophy.
Wenger's youthful squad have not picked up any silverware since winning the FA Cup in 2005. But their 3-0 victory at Manchester City on Sunday - their first win in ten matches against title rivals Chelsea, Manchester United and City - could prove to be a watershed moment.
They have long been criticised for their lack of success, with Wenger regularly insisting their potential would eventually be rewarded. But the Frenchman thinks that the manner of the victory at Eastlands shows his players are coming of age.
He said: "I'm very pleased because they looked like they have matured. We've matured in the sense of negotiating the difficulties of the game in an intelligent way. That means not getting a red card, keeping the ball well, being patient when it was needed. Collectively we completely dominated the game.
"I hope this will give us the belief and the confidence to transfer into other games. I can't explain (the run against City, Chelsea and United) but it is true. And in some games we were close to winning in the end and just lost. For example we lost 2-0 at Chelsea and when you watched it again it was difficult to understand how we lost the game but the fact that they took two good chances."
Samir Nasri has been crucial to Arsenal climbing to second in the table, with seven goals in seven matches. At the age of 23, Wenger thinks the French midfielder has taken his game to another level.
He added: "He is becoming more efficient and I think he's become stronger physically and you judge a player on his numbers. He got a goal and an assist and that's what you want from a player with a lot of talent like he has. He's a complete player because he can run with the ball, he's quick and he's a clinical finisher now. At 23 your career starts at the top level."
Wenger is delighted with the form of goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and has hinted the Pole might remain his first choice even when Manuel Almunia returns from an elbow injury. He said: "He shows what we see in training. In our job you have to be steady and fight against opinions but it's easier for you when you know the player has the talent and I believe that he has the talent.
"I will never say definitely whether he will stay number one because you always want the freedom to change when it's needed. At the moment his performances, you can't fault him at all."
Mancini remains optimistic
Despite seeing his side slip to a second defeat of the season, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini maintains he has never been more confident about his team's prospects. He said: "They showed that they are one of the best teams in the Premier League. I'm very proud of my players because they played very well. If it was 11 against 11 we would have won this game."
Mancini will hope that Carlos Tevez can recover from a thigh injury to feature at Wolves on Saturday. After Dedryck Boyata was sent off after four minutes, Nasri opened the scoring and Cesc Fabregas also had a penalty saved by Joe Hart. But goals from Alex Song and Nicklas Bendtner completed the victory for Arsenal.