I am not sure if Arsene Wenger was speaking about any individual players when he made the comments about the role of the senior and more experienced stars in his squad and what they needed to do to get the team back on track after a tough period, or whether he meant any of them who had been around the block a bit.
I do feel that the oldest player in our squad took the comments on board though, and perhaps felt that he more than most was in the mind of the Arsenal manager when he said them, because Petr Cech spoke about the same thing himself after the Gunners had cruised past Lincoln City into the FA cup semi-final.
In a report on the Arsenal website the veteran keeper put forward a bit of positivity by suggesting that with a Wembley semi-final and some key weeks in the Premier League ahead the season could soon be looking better from an Arsenal point of view. He also accepted that he and the other senior players, along with the coaching staff, have an important job to do to keep the side on track from now until the end of the campaign.
The 34-year old said, “The senior players and everyone on the coaching staff needs to make sure that we are ready to finish the last games in the Premier League as well as possible.
“Obviously we are now in the FA Cup semi-final which is very important, and obviously the season might look completely different in a few weeks.”
He also said in another report, “The players obviously have to share the responsibility, everybody has to share the responsibility for the position we are in and everybody has to work to get ourselves out [of it].
“This is the way it is. This week after Bayern especially was a difficult three days, we had to make sure we got ready for Lincoln and this was the reaction you need.
“We booked our place at Wembley and we are looking forward to the semi-final, which is always great. But obviously we need to improve the form in the league – this is what’s going to be crucial now.
“We have an away game at West Brom then the international break so we need to make sure we go into Saturday’s game ready to get three points.”
Cech was brought to the club to add experience and leadership as well as his ability between the posts so it is good to see him stepping up. I also like the way that he has moved to deflect any possible anger about the photo said to show Alexis Sanchez laughing as we lost to Bayern Munich last week and to stop the rumours of a split between the Chilean and the rest of the Arsenal players, Metro reports.
He said, ‘It is sad and he [Sanchez] was as sad as I have seen him.
‘And unfortunately when you say the sentence, “had we scored the second goal everything could look different” and then you know.
‘But obviously you can take the picture and you can interpret it the way you want unfortunately.
‘But we the players know exactly what he said and we know how he was hurting and he was as disappointed as anybody else. It is unfortunate and disappointing.’
Nice one Petr! Is this what the boss wants to see more of from his senior stars?