Until we played Crystal Palace this weekend, Arsenal had gone on a five-game run without a win that had seen us drop away from the Top Four contention, so now it is imperative that we start winning again and start putting pressure on the teams above us in the table.
The Palace game came just as Alexis Sanchez was finalizing his transfer to Man United, and Arsene Wenger believes that the uncertainty over the Chilean’s status was a cause of our miserable form since the end of December. When Wenger was asked if the situation had a negative effect on the players, Le Prof said: ‘Not the other players, just the team,’
‘You work in a newspaper and there are periods when the atmosphere is less enjoyable than others.
‘It is the lack of clarity. It is not losing players – teams are used to losing players.
‘But it is fact that you have uncertainty in the group – that they don’t know if he will be here or not.
‘Once it is clear, the team gets used to it.’
And they got used to it very quickly, flying into a 4-0 lead after just half an hour against Palace, and Wenger is confident that we will be just as effective without Alexis in the squad. ‘We have a strong squad that does not only depend on one player, that is for sure,’ he said.
‘Let’s not forget that if Alexis Sánchez goes, somebody else will come in who has quality as well.
‘It is not that we are only losing a player, we are gaining a player as well. And we are still active in the transfer market and trying to bring players in.”
I for one think that bringing in Mkhi and Auba will make us even stronger after the transfer window, and certainly will be a lot less unsettling that keeping Sanchez would have been.
After Chelsea, we have Swansea away and Everton at home, so if we can get three wins in a row we will be given a boost in confidence before the next big showdown against Tottenham on the 10th of February. Hopefully our new players will have been settled in by then and we can face our rivals with increased confidence…