Arsene Wenger says home form vital if Arsenal to challenge for Premier League title
Arsene Wenger says Arsenal need to translate their brilliant away form into making the Emirates Stadium a fortress.
Last Updated: 21/09/13 2:04pm
Arsenal chalked up a club-record 10th successive away victory in all competitions when they beat Marseille in France in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night.
The Gunners' home form is patchy and the memory of the 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa in their first game of the season remains fresh in the memory of supporters and players alike.
Wenger's men take on Stoke on Sunday and he says their home form must improve if Arsenal are to challenge for the title.
"If you look at the numbers, away from home, we have been remarkably consistent. At home we want of course to create the same consistency," he said.
"I believe we have a chance (to challenge for the title) and what is most important is that my full energy is to make sure we grab that chance.
"It is too early to say who will be in the fight, who will not be in the fight. You are a bit cautious because these days you are very quickly in a crisis - one bad result and everyone questions your potential to be in there, so let's be consistent."
Stoke were also beaten on the opening day of the new season but since then they have been a model of consistency, securing two wins and a goalless draw at home with Manchester City last weekend as well as progressing in the Capital One Cup.
Wenger was never a big fan of the tactics Stoke often deployed to great success by former boss Tony Pulis.
The Arsenal boss, however, feels Hughes - back in the Premier League after being sacked by QPR in November 2012 - has overseen a smooth transition.
"It is always difficult to change the style of a team because you are judged immediately on the results. They look to have adapted remarkably quickly," Wenger said.
"For me it shows as well that Stoke have good players. When they are capable to adapt, it is always a sign of quality."