Arsene Wenger did admit after his Arsenal team put in a much stronger and more resolute performance away to Chelsea this weekend than the last one at Anfield when we got drubbed by Liverpool, that he had been able to spend more time on the shape, organisation and all round defensive approach of his team.
It was noticeable to say the least, but the Frenchman played down the idea that he did not prepare properly for the Liverpool game, but claimed that his team, and especially some individual players, did not have the right focus for the Liverpool clash because there was an international break about to start and, more importantly, there was all sorts of speculation about who might stay or go in the final few days of the summer transfer window.
The boss told Sky Sports, “The difference is that we are not in the transfer period.
“And on the day we were not before an important international game with players going away.
“As well, we realised what we delivered was not good enough overall, but I must say we are all human beings and when you play 50 or 55 games it can happen that there’s a bad performance, unfortunately.
“I believe we were focused [against Chelsea]. If we are not focused today we do not get away with a point. We were focused, determined, showed character and when we had the ball we tried to play every time.
“I think we were close to winning this game. It is a good basis to start from and go from strength to strength.
“You could still feel sometimes, because of what happened [against Liverpool], there was a little inhibition. With a bit more freedom, I believe we would have won the game.”
As we know, the move of Alexis Sanchez to Man City broke down on deadline day while our England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain did get his wish and signed for Liverpool. There were rumours about others like Mustafi as well and none of these players covered themselves in glory at Anfield.
On the other hand, we have seen some awful games from the Gunners before which have not been at the end of a transfer window, so do you accept Wenger’s explanation or is it just a convenient excuse?