Wenger tells Arsenal youngsters to gun for history
Arsene Wenger believes his youthful side are now ready to write their own chapter in Arsenal's history and give the Emirates Stadium faithful a season to remember.
The Gunners maintained an impressive opening to the new campaign with a 4-1 demolition of struggling Portsmouth in front of a 60,000-strong crowd.
Arsenal issued free red and white scarves for fans as part of moves to create a unique atmosphere of its own at the £350m stadium, which has been the club's home since August 2006.
Wenger hopes 2010 will prove a vintage year for the young Gunners.
“Highbury had a natural soul because of all the history,” said Wenger.
“We have to create history here first by winning titles, but also by making the place warm and where you feel the history of the club.
“The fans have to feel a connection between the values a club wants, and that has always been right here.
“You want to transfer the history of the club in the walls here, and create a new history with the results.
“We have maybe at the moment not achieved that, not outside nor on the pitch.
“My job and that of the team is to create it on the pitch.
“We have the ambition to win the title, and have a good opportunity to show we can do it.”
Despite four changes to his starting XI with one eye on the midweek Champions League play-off against Celtic, Arsenal were at times sublime as they stretched the Portsmouth defence with wave after wave of quick, passing football.
A brace from Abou Diaby put them 2-0 up inside 21 minutes, before Younes Kaboul pulled a goal back. William Gallas bundle home his third goal of the season before sub Aaron Ramsey — on for injured captain Cesc Fabregas who could miss the next couple of matches with a hamstring problem — wrapped things up with a fourth on 68 minutes.
Wenger said: “We have a morale booster and now go to United. There was only scepticism around us, now there is a bit less. Now people say, ‘let's see what will happen when they go to Man United’.”