Wenger wants more belief
Mon, 05 Nov 2012 18:56:00
Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal's recent slump is due to the fact his players have forgotten how good they are.
The north Londoners have stuttered and stumbled over the past few weeks, even failing to impress in the two matches they won against QPR and Reading.
Those victories have not disguised what has been a serious drop in form that was epitomised at Manchester United on Saturday.
The Gunners were lucky to come away from Old Trafford with just a 2-1 defeat in a match that they were dominated, outclassed and bullied.
Wenger, though, believes it is confidence rather than his side's defence that has resulted in the downturn and is hoping for a change in fortunes at Schalke in the Champions League on Tuesday.
"I believe that overall if you look at our overall performance we are indeed good, we are still the best defence in the league," the Arsenal boss said.
"If you look at the goals conceded, I believe at the moment we don't have to focus too much on that.
"I think what is most important is that we find our game back. Our game is about creating chances, about going forward, about having an offensive drive.
"That at the moment is a bit missing so the most important thing.
"I believe I have a team of great players and at the moment they have forgotten it a little bit how good they are.
"What is most important is that we play again with our enthusiasm, desire to create chances and enjoy our game, more than about do we concede a goal or not. That is the most important thing."
Arsenal face a tough ask if they are to get back to winning ways in Germany tomorrow night.
Just a fortnight ago, Schalke shocked the Gunners with a 2-0 win that condemned the north Londoners to a first home Champions League defeat at the Emirates Stadium since 2009.
The result leaves the Bundesliga side top of Group B and Wenger looking for a response in Gelsenkirchen.
"Firstly Schalke 04 is a very good team - you can see that in their league position," Wenger said.
"They are a very tight team but we have learned from that.
"We did not have a lot of chances against them and we have got to switch better from defence to attack.
"Obviously it is disappointing for us when we don't have a lot of chances. Lately maybe we have been a little bit flat.
"We didn't have that many chances against Manchester United too."
Wenger will be without a number of important players tomorrow evening, with Aaron Ramsey the latest to join long Arsenal's injury list.
The Wales international sustained a groin injury in Saturday's defeat at Manchester United, while Theo Walcott is a doubt due to illness.
However, one player that is almost certainly set to start tomorrow evening is Schalke's Lewis Holtby.
The 22-year-old Germany international, whose father is from Liverpool, has been linked with a move away from the Royal Blues, with Arsenal mentioned as a potential destination.
Holtby dismissed such speculation earlier today and Wenger would not be drawn on the midfielder this evening.
"I am not going to be talking about transfers here and who I am interested in and who I am not interested in," the Frenchman said.
"We won't talk about that because we're focusing on this game here tomorrow and we're not looking at any transfers."