Thursday, December 8, 2022

“We need to look further” – Zinchenko wants more than ‘top four’ mentality

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.

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Dada

I love how Zinny has bought into the club. Sure he might have been a fan but he absolutely loves the club. I look out for him each time we score and he nevr dissapoints.

Bongogooner

Can’t wait for him to score…well to his him celebrate then

Dada

I suspect he will. Go bonkers!

Dave

He pointed out something that is usually overlooked. Although we should expect the team to progress from a top four finish to challenging for the title, it appears that finishing in the top four is used as ultimate goal of success in recent Arsenal’s team. With some additions, this team should set a target of winning the premier league.

Naked Cygan

Some additions that would make us better is amazing but one major issue is keeping our key players. We always have vultures fly around like they did during Wenger’s era. We can’t make the same mistakes again. We have to keep our star players like Saka, Saliba, and Martinelli and lock them in with good contracts. Next time City come to take half our team we should tell them to FK off.

djourou's nutmeg

we spent so many seasons aiming to be champions, even sacked the best manager in our history for failing to do so, only for us to be in the title race on the one season we’d have settled with top four. the beauty of football, the irony of life…

ALBangbang

We’ve needed this injection of winning mentality for a while

Naked Cygan

To be honest some of the games we have won this season has been with below power performances. We have couple of more gears in us to finish teams if and even be better. If we were a bit more clinical with our finishing we would have won the Southampton game and smashed Chelsea 3 or 4-0. We can’t afford to keep missing good chance like the one Jesus and Odegard missed.

Daveo

We lost it as the invincibles slowly drifted away and we never got it back until now. Arteta made some ruthless calls on Ozil and Auba, but he was bang on. Those guys are the wrong mentality for what we’re building. The contrast between Jesus and Auba is night and day. Neither scored yesterday, but only one of them contributed and Auba played so many games like that at Arsenal.

Funsho Patrick

The new ‘mentality monsters’…we brought in winners! I love how he joins Odegaard and T.P in midfield to smother every team…..time to dream!!!!😉

Granit(e) hard!

Please kill and destroy away, we fans certainly won’t be crying over the dead bodies , and THIS, is exactly the next level of mental development for this extremely talented young team,..ruthlessness!

Qwaliteee

Well, it there’s anyone who knows a thing or two about winning the Premiership, it’s this guy – and if he believes this team are ready to challenge, then who are we to argue…?

Loving this belief: they are not just talking a good game, they are doing the business.

Long may it continue.

COYG

DialSquare

God I love this Ukrainian gem

Mayor McCheese

100%

I can’t explain it, but I’ve never felt such an instant connection with a player from the minute they signed.

Boy Bastin

You’ve got to aim high as he says. A top four finish is the minimum we want now – given the great start we’ve had – with the top prize in the PL the obvious goal. There’s a long way to go yet of course and the second half of the season after the break will almost certainly be tougher than the first. The games will mount up (with cup competitions etc.) along with injuries and probably the odd suspension also. The squad will be tested so bringing in quality reinforcements in January will be a factor. That said, the… Read more »

Leftie

That what I like to read. Feeling lucky to have a fellow Ukrainian in our club again. Cheers, Sashko!

BillyKrystal

You must be hoping Mudryk ends up with us too. Even if he doesn’t would be nice to get yellow/blue jerseys again which would be appropriate with our Ukrainian contingent!

Leftie

My priority would always be the strenghtening of the team, nationality is simply a sweet bonus.

😇🚗☀️

Are you Ukrainian yourself, Leftie?

Leftie

Yep. Kyiv, born and raised.

Man Manny

This winning mentality is what was lacking in the Fabregas, Flamini, Nasri era. We had everything else, especially in the ’07-08 season when we were the best team in England.
I have a feeling we’ll win the league sooner rather than later.

Boy Bastin

Yes, I’ve a feeling you’re right as long as we can keep the core of this young team together (key contract renewals are still pending of course) and add to it with similar players with the same mentality and spirit.

Living stone

We’ll do it this season.Just say it already.

A Different George

I have been among the skeptics about a title challenge, mainly because of the math. 90+ points will no longer win the league at a stroll, as it almost always did. Ask Liverpool. Can we get 95 points? We are currently on pace for 99, but I don’t think anyone believes we can continue at an 11-1-1 rate. BUT–we are very close. Our first 14 (yesterday’s starters plus Smith Rowe, Tomiyasu, and Tierney) are better than all but City, and competitive with them. So, this is where Edu and Arteta may be able to convince the owners to go for… Read more »

Boy Bastin

Yes, hopefully you’re right. City are, and will remain, the really big threat though. They have the experience (like no other team in recent seasons) of winning the PL and they now have Haaland – so goal difference will probably not be a factor in our (or anyone else’s) favour in the foreseeable future. Obviously, that’s not to say we can’t or won’t do it, but we’ll need more quality reinforcements in January, I think.

Qwaliteee

Well said, great post.

It’s imperative that we have a good transfer window – Josh needs to realise (and more so his old man) that opportunities like the one we currently have do not grow on trees. In other words, now is the time to speculate to accumulate and being a couple of high quality players and the odd bargain or two to make this squad capable of topping City.

We are already painfully close. Just a few more pieces and the dream jigsaw will be complete.

Qwaliteee

* bring in

Qwaliteee

I am reminded of our first League and FA Cup Double squad of 1970/71. At one point, Leeds Utd had an eight point lead over Arsenal (two points for a win in those days, although Arsenal had games in hand). Skipper Frank McLintock often stated that the players had already conceived quite early on in thar season that the title was ‘ours and we weren’t going to let anyone else have it.’ I’m sensing that, behind closed doors, there may well be a similar mantra brewing within our squad. No matter how many goals Haarland scores, we will, by nook… Read more »

Teryima Adi

🙏🏾

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Love that story and attitude. I could be wrong but this team feels special, like there is a smell of destiny within the group. You can feel they sense it too. Arteta has them playing beautifully. They are putting in the hard miles every game, just like champions need to do to end up with the silverware. As long as everyone stays reasonably healthy, we are going to have a real go at the title.

Modha

Any Arsenal side from the last 15 years and I would be nervous about the Wolves match. That they would believe their own hype and thus get beaten. I don’t believe for one moment that Arteta and this squad of players sees that match as anything other than a cup final (cliche’d as it is). They are fighting this year, and they have the talent.

Jimbo1

This Arsenal side are more than capable of beating most of the teams in the Premier League. It will come down to the matches against City and now it seems Newcastle. Win or avoid defeat in these games and the title is definitely on.

Boy Bastin

True – but it will be very difficult particularly against City, I think. I’m not sure how we (or anyone) can stop Haaland if he’s on form, but you never know so we’ll see.

Teryima Adi

He shall be shackled by our defence.

Optimist

We outmatched City at home last season (in our first game of 2022). We were very unlucky to lose that game. We easily could have been a couple of goals up at HT and how Odegaard did not get that penalty when Ederson brought him down I will never know. Our form is such that if City do not play at their best, we can more than give them a run for their money. I am quietly confident we can come away with 4 points from those two games this season. That could be enough if we can reinforce appropriately… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Well said.

A lot of people – especially the media, of course – forget that on New Year’s Day we absolutely ripped City a new one at the Emirates and would have won comfortably if VAR and the idiots masquerading as match day officials had been doing their jobs properly.

Yes, they will be difficult but then so will we.

We need fear no one – including Manchester City.

Arsepedant

Haaland’s only experience from playing us will be to learn what the inside of Saliba’s back pocket looks like.

Teryima Adi

I couldn’t agree more with you, Zinchenko- that’s the spirit we need in the camp.

Mesut Ö’Neill

Based on where we are right now, finishing outside the top 2 would be disappointing.

With Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd & even Spuds floundering it would be disappointing to not be top 2.

If Newcastle were to finish above us that would of kibosh the whole it takes time blah, blah, blah mentality.

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