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Wenger: "Much is at stake" (

24 nov 2004 - Source:

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Arsenal coach Arsène Wenger looked remarkably relaxed during the customary pre-match conference in the Eindhoven Philips Stadium. "I’m sure we will do fine", he intimated.Apart from a trivial matter like playing the game in a concentrated way and the many questions relating racist abuse- a hot item in Great Britain, following the trip of the national team to Spain, where the crowd did not stop chanting racial abuse- Wenger also made some jokes and came up with some wisecracks.When asked by a Dutch journalist how close Robin van Persie is to a place in the starting line-up, he replied: "Just take the distance between me and that wall over here; Van Persie is near that wall. Actually I consider fielding him nearly every single game. I am convinced that he is ready to be called up for the Dutch squad. He works hard and is highly motivated", explained the Frenchman. Wenger is quite confident his team will progress to the Champions League next phase. "I have complete confidence in my players; I always expect a lot from them and I'm never disappointed. We will show that we have learned a lot and are good enough to play at the very top level." Wenger feels that Arsenal’s 0-4 win, two years ago will be on the mind of the PSV players. "That game will certainly have an impact ", he said."It’s a big game. I have high expectations of my team. Tomorrow night we’ll be given an opportunity to show how good we are. Much is at stake for both sides and that’s what makes football so interesting. We always do well in away games; that’s what also counts. We must show we are a mature and experienced side. I am really looking forward to showing out skills on the European stage; therefore this is a big game for us."