Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal players are apparently feeling a lot better about life than they were about two weeks ago, when the Gunners had just thrown away a second leading position in the space of a few days. That loss against Swansea City meant we headed into the international break with confidence low.
It also put us within touching distance of today’s opponents Manchester United, who will leapfrog Arsenal if they win at the Emirates today. So why is Wenger sounding so positive in his pre-match statement to Arsenal Player? Well as he says, the international break was good to all the Gunners that went on it for one thing, with Alexis, Welbeck, Chamberlain and Sanogo scoring. Everyone else played and did well so they have returned in a much better frame of mind.
And despite our recent struggles against Man United, this game is a great opportunity to get one over on them. And as Wenger also points out, our home record is very good, as the Gunners have not lost at the Emirates stadium for 23 games in a row. And the boss is making sure the players remember that and make sure that they remain patient and solid, because that is the way he believes the Gunners will finally get a positive result against our old rivals.
Wenger said, “We know we can score goals. We concede maybe too many at the moment. It’s a little bit contradictory with the observations on numbers, because we are one of the three teams quickest at winning the ball back. We are one of the three teams that allow less penetration into their final third.
“Despite that, I believe the number of goals conceded is higher than expected. That’s basically because we had some weaknesses, especially in the air, that we have paid for.
“But we are strong at home. We have learned to be patient and to wait for our chances without losing our shape. That will be vital against Manchester United.
“We have a good dynamic in our team. We have a lively game and that of course pays off. I’m convinced that this team can do great, and of course the home form is very important for that. We know that we can make results away from home, so let’s keep our home form going and transform the few draws we have had into wins.”
So positivity and patience are the watchwords of the day for Arsenal, but will they lead to all three points?