Arsene Wenger is preparing his Arsenal side to face Stoke City this weekend and is hoping that the Gunners can start playing just as well in the first half of the game as they usually do in the second half! In too many matches this term Arsenal have given away soft goals early on in the games and have had to fight back valiantly to get a result.
Wenger believes that this is due to a psychological problem with the team at the beginning of games. He said: “Somebody told me that we are second in the league on our second half of games, but 13th in the first half,”
“That can only be psychological because you do not become a good football player in the second half and bad in the first half.
“The team has certainly been deeply affected by all the negativity and also by the fact they are highly focused to do well.
“They have fantastic focus and they want to do well, but sometimes that can be a bit inhibitive. I think it’s mainly down to that.
“I believe it’s important that you just purely focus on the technical side of your game and forget about who you play. Just enjoy playing.”
I doubt very much that playing Stoke could ever be considered as fun! But it is definitely about time that the team (especially the defence) relaxed a bit more at the beginning of the game and took control earlier. The best solution is for the attack to go straight on the offence so the defenders have nothing to do for the first 45 minutes!