Arsene Wenger, coach of unbeaten Arsenal, has called upon his players to maintain their concentration as they close in on what he describes as football ‘immortality’.
A 1-0 win at Fulham on Sunday means the Premier League champions need to avoid defeat in their final match of the season against relegated Leicester to become the first side to go through an entire league campaign unbeaten since Preston North End achieved the feat in a 12-team top flight in 1888-89.
“Football-wise it means immortality,” he said. “Because I don’t think it will ever be done again.”
“I don’t think the players realise what is at stake historically,” the Frenchman added.
“There is no trophy for not losing in the Premiership but for me it is something massive.
“We are 90 minutes away from it. We will prepare well and we will give everything at Highbury in front of our own fans. We have a very good chance.”
Although lacking their early-season fluency, Arsenal have continued to grind out the results, with Fulham the latest team to test them.
“Their (Fulham) trophy was to beat us and they made it difficult for us,” Wenger admitted.
“On a difficult pitch we had problems keeping the ball well and to be dangerous.
“But I feel that the players at the moment refuse to lose without really being at their top. We are just doing what is needed and not more and of course some heads are directed towards the European championships.”