By Giuseppe Muro

Arsène Wenger says it is imperative that his players are “settled psychologically” when the new season kicks off in August.

Arsenal face a demanding start to their Premier League campaign that sees them travel to Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham in the opening months, as well as hosting Liverpool and facing a two-legged Champions League play-off.

With speculation surrounding player movement likely to remain while the transfer window is open, Wenger has called for his squad to focus on the challenge in front of them and nothing else.

“For us it is important that the team settles, psychologically, as quickly as possible because we have a tough start,” he said. “We play all the big clubs away in the first half of the season.

“It is important that the players focus on the season and not the transfer market. The players who are here as well will ask ‘will he go? will he go?’ - that is not the way to prepare for the season.

“We have an advantage, usually, because we [have] played together for a few years - we do not need too much to work on our technical co-ordination because the players know each other well. I have a basic team in my head that can start the season.”

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11 Jul 2011