Arsene Wenger Keen To Ensure Arsenal’s 125th Anniversary Celebrations Do Not Get In The Way Of Everton Victory

The Gunners boss has seen his side embark on a stunning revival since the start of the season, and is keen to ensure his side focus on the football at the Emirates on Saturday

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is eager to maintain the side’s excellent form by beating Everton this weekend to celebrate the club’s 125th anniversary.

The Gunners lost 3-1 in the Champions League to Olympiakos on Tuesday, but the side fielded was significantly weakened to the one likely to be deployed at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Whilst the Frenchman is keen to acknowledge the club’s long and rich history, he does not want to allow it to get in the way of a win over David Moyes’ men.

Wenger told reporters: “History is one thing, performance on the day is another, and that is what is important for us at the moment.

“We are in a position where we just want to collect points because the pace dictated by the teams in front of us is tremendous.

“To keep in touch with them it is important we win our games.”

Wenger has successfully orchestrated a complete turnaround in form of late, after their season looked destined to fail in September.

A humiliating 8-2 loss to Manchester United was the low point for the north London club, but thanks to in-form striker Robin van Persie, they are currently on a fine run heading towards Christmas.

“We know we fight for our lives in the Premier League,” the Frenchman admitted. “We have come back to a decent position and want to climb high up.

“Our job is to focus to reach our targets, to make history but to leave it to other responsible people at the club to honour those who have already made history.

“We are there to perform, and that is what we want to do tomorrow.”

Wenger also revealed Andre Santos will be out for longer than originally thought, with the Gunners making contingency plans in his defensive absence.

“We have lost Santos for a while because the ankle injury is more severe than expected,” the manager added.

“How long he will be out we do not know, but it will be more than three weeks so he is definitely out for the Christmas period, that is for sure.

“With [Kieran] Gibbs not being available yet, we have a problem on both flanks with two right full-backs and two left full-backs out.”

Thomas Vermaelen is likely to step in at left-back for the meantime, with Wenger aware that playing the Belgian out of position is 'not ideal'.

“Let's hope we get away with it,” Wenger continued. “It’s not ideal at the moment, but that's part of the team as well, to adapt to problems and get over them.

“We are where we want to be – we are a team who has improved the levels of performances and the level of confidence, but there is still room for improvement.”

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