What a difference a day makes, or so the song goes, although for Arsenal that day should be changed to a few days. However, things do feel quite a bit different for those concerned with the Gunners right now, as the team followed up their battling draw against Man City on Sunday with a much needed win over West Ham at home.
The boss alluded in his comments on the Arsenal website after the 3-0 victory to the importance that point against Pep Guardiola’s City and not because the point gave us the chance to move back above Man United last night, but because it was the first step on the road to recovery.
He said, “Yes, you could see even if the result was not what we wanted against City, it had a positive impact on the morale of the team. In the first half we needed to be patient, not to make a mistake, and in the second half our technical superiority made the difference. At the end of the day it was a convincing win with good individual performances from everybody from the goalkeeper to the striker. So it’s a good result tonight and a relief as well because we have gone through a bad period. Overall you can say the mentality in the team is healthy and that is a good basis.
“I don’t know, they play first for the club and for themselves, and of course I am part of the club as well. I have never questioned the mentality of the team, it’s just when you go through a difficult period the confidence and happiness goes quickly and comes back slowly. Even for it to come back, you need to work and that’s what have to continue to do now – to keep the same attitude and same focus. We are on a difficult run, but let’s show what we are made of and continue to play with the same focus.
“[Top 4 is] possible of course. We have a game in hand on City, we have players back from injury, we had a strong bench tonight. We have done it before, in more difficult conditions, and we have to try to do it again, yes.”
It does now feel as though Arsenal could continue the remarkable Champions League qualifying record under Wenger now, although there is still a lot to do. It also felt like the team were back to at least a decent level and that there is now some momentum building. Also the fact that we were a lot better in the second half after the boss gave his halftime talk is positive for him, so are the club and our manager on the road to redemption?