Arsenal may not have looked too impressive last night against Middlesbrough, but the only important thing right now is to get three points out of every single game, so this win will go some way to boosting our confidence ahead of our daunting run-in. Arsene Wenger has been taking a lot of stick in the last few weeks, but he finally tried some new tactics and they surprisingly worked! It is a start, even if it was against a team that hasn’t won since December, and Wenger clearly still hopes we can reach the Champions League next season, but he also knows that it will only be possible if we win every match.
Wenger said last night when asked about whether the Top Four was still on, and he replied: “I don’t know. For us the clarity is there. We have to win every game to have a chance to get into the top four and, starting tonight, I think we give a bit more, made it seem a bit more serene, you could see that in some occasions we were a bit overcautious tonight and played with a situation we are not used to, and hopefully that will give us a bit more confidence.”
Other than a brand new formation, another big change Wenger did last night was to restore Aaron Ramsey to the central midfield, ahead of Coquelin, Elneny and the Ox (who was used as a wing-back instead) and the Welshman believes that the team can still go on a winning run. Ramsey said: “Of course it’s going to be a difficult run but we’re up for the challenge. We had to start by getting the three points. I think we have seven games left now, so it’s important for us to take it a game at a time. I think we’re going to have to win them all – we’re capable of doing that but it’s going to take an enormous amount of concentration in every game.”
We now have the small matter of our FA Cup semi-final next weekend, and another good performance could set us up well for our glut of Premier League games that follow, all of which are now must-wins for the Gunners. Wenger has a week to prepare the team for the big game. “Let’s focus on that.” he said. “You have a little break from the Premier League now and after the end of the season will come very quickly. Sunday, let’s prepare well for the game. We played City two weeks ago, we play them again on Sunday so it will be completely different because we are at Wembley and it will be interesting.”
Interesting times indeed. Every game from now is like a Cup Final. Can Wenger get the team ready to surprise us all?