By Chris Harris

Turning Arsenal's obvious potential into points is the challenge facing Arsène Wenger as he digests a third successive game without victory at the start of the Premiership season.

Aston Villa, Manchester City and now Middlesbrough have all drawn first blood in their games against the Gunners. The Arsenal manager wants his side to stamp out this worrying trend, particularly against opponents who arrive at Emirates Stadium with little intention to attack.

"We are putting ourselves in a very difficult situation every time because we are always 1-0 down," said Wenger. "Eighty per cent of the time the team who scores first wins the game, especially when teams comes here because they don't play, they sit back and wait to hit you on the break.

"If you give them an advantage they believe even more in that approach and at the end of the day they look like the winners.

"What is a concern for me is that at the moment we only really get into the game when we are behind. If you look at the number of shots on goal Middlesbrough had - one - and the number of shots Aston Villa had - three - the ingredients are there for us to do much better.

"The potential is huge in this side but at the moment we make life a little bit difficult for ourselves because every time we play these kind of teams, who have one shot on goal, we will not always draw you know.

"I feel it is terrible for us because we could not win against a team who had one shot on goal but it is like that and we have to redress that problem by using the width of the pitch, by being more penetrative from deeper positions and by being sharper in front of goal."

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Chris Harris 11 Sep 2006