Oleksandr Zinchenko says Arsenal should have a bigger ambition than finishing in the Premier League’s top four and says it’s a mentality he wants to “kill and destroy”.
While the Ukraine international accepts the Gunners have to take things game by game, he believes a title tussle with his former club Manchester City isn’t out of the question.
Zinchenko won four league titles during his spell at the Etihad and his arrival in N5 alongside fellow ex-Citizen Gabriel Jesus has added further steel to a young Gunners side who have progressed well in the last year.
Both players lined up against Chelsea yesterday as Mikel Arteta’s side secured a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge to return to the top of the table. Afterwards, the result sparked questions about how far Arsenal can go.
“Honestly, I don’t want to look so far because we have a lot of games ahead of us,” said Zinchenko.
“I can feel that this group of people, they are special. Starting from our staff and then all the people on our training ground, our fans, we believe in ourselves, every single game.
“I think I would say that I got used to hearing that Arsenal, it means straight away in your mind, ‘top four, top four’.
“I would say, I really want to kill and destroy this stereotype. We need to look further, and I think this team, this group of people, the fans, they deserve more. That’s what we need to do.
“We need hard work in this and let’s see at the end of season. You ask me if we can challenge Man City and stuff? Of course, they are an amazing team, but you never know what can happen in football. We need to go step by step with every single game.”
Elsewhere, club captain Martin Odegaard says he was pleased with the ‘smartness’ Arsenal showed to control the game against Chelsea.
“I think it was a big win,” he told Arsenal.com. “I think we deserved the win and we controlled the game.
“We were the more dominant team throughout the whole game, and we got the goal in the end. The way we protected the box, and the goal after that, and also the smartness we have on the ball to keep it in difficult situations.
“This is the way we want to play. Also away from home, to be able to control these games and be the more dominant team.”
Arsenal return to action on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup against Brighton and then close out the pre-World Cup schedule with a trip to relegation-threatened Wolves.