Arsene Wenger was impressed with the way the Gunners quickly took control over Crystal Palace, and he was pleased to see the Arsenal team focused on the game, instead of the transfer window, for a change. As he said after the game, once the transfer of Alexis was finished it was easier for the team to concentrate.
He actually said on Arsenal.com: “Look, what is very difficult is that for the first time in January, we were losing one of our big players. It is the first time so it is a bit more destabilising than usual. The period of uncertainty was difficult. Once things are clear, the team responds and focuses on its job. That’s why for us, it’s not only to lose a world class player, it is as well that this period of uncertainty creates a strange feeling in the dressing room. That’s why this transfer period is difficult in the middle of the season.”
But now, hopefully things are clear, but as for the performance in the second half he also admitted that it was normal for the team to relax a little when the game is already dead and buried before half time. “I think we started well, we played well and played the kind of football we want to play and we know we can play when everybody is focused and in a good shape. Overall, we had a very convincing first half. The second half was of good quality and it’s always a bit human that you have not exactly the same drive in the second half. It was a convincing win.
“Crystal Palace responded well in the second half. They gave us less room, they were aggressive and we had a bit less legs, a little bit less movement and we were less creative.”
But, as was obvious, the game was as good as over, so it was only polite to put the handbrake on, conserve your energy and don’t embarrass your opponents. As Wenger said, that is human.
Shouldn’t we all just be happy that we have won and the team is focused again? It would be nice if they were focused every week!