Chamakh: Gunners must move on

The Gunners threw away a 2-0 half-time lead during Saturday’s north

London derby at Emirates Stadium, where victory would have sent

them top of the Premier League. Manager Arsene Wenger lamented the

inability of his young side to deliver a big performance when it

mattered most as they suffered a second successive home defeat.

Chamakh – who took his tally to nine goals with a close-range

effort – feels having facing Braga so quickly is the perfect

opportunity to put that disappointment behind them. “It will help

us to forget the Tottenham game and we must focus on Braga and get

a victory,” the Moroccan said. Arsenal remain top of Group H,

despite losing their last European fixture away to Shakhtar Donetsk

– another match in which they were well in control. Braga were

thrashed 6-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Matchday 1 during

September, but could put themselves right back in contention for

qualification to the last 16 with victory over the Gunners. Chamakh

knows there can be no complacency against the Champions League

new-boys. “The group is tight,” he said. “There are three teams

going for top spot so we know we need to get a win over there.”

Wenger had lambasted his side for being complacent when leading

against Shakhtar through Theo Walcott’s early breakaway goal, and

it was a trait which appeared to have resurfaced against Spurs. The

Arsenal manager will leave his squad fully aware of the need to

maintain 100% focus in Portugal. “It is very important that we do

not repeat the performance in Donetsk,” he said. “We need to

produce a performance that allows us to get the points to qualify,

but I also want to win the game as that gives us the possibility to

finish the group stages very strongly, that is our target – we are

ambitious to win the group.” Midfielder Jack Wilshere should be

involved having been left on the bench against Spurs following the

back problem which kept him out of England duty. Denmark striker

Nicklas Bendtner was again conspicuous by his absence from the

match-day squad, having publicly questioned Wenger’s selection

policy, but is likely to be in the group which heads off from Luton

later this afternoon. Veteran goalkeeper Manuel Almunia may also be

ready for a recall, having been sidelined since the end of

September with an elbow injury.