Arsene Wenger has called out to his charges to be fully turned in to the challenges of the coming couple of weeks as a sign of the club’s ambition to finish this season with some measure of success.
The Frenchman watched as his side’s five-match run of wins was brought to an unceremonial end at the hand of their fierce rivals on Saturday. Goals from Harry Kane condemned Arsenal to a first failure to win a game since New Year’s Day but the boss is positive that his team can revert to their good form of late with an immediate response.
“What you focus on is how you can put your team in a position to respond well and quickly, and get on with your job” said Wenger.
The fixture calendar for Arsenal in February has been viewed as a good opportunity for the Gunners to gain some momentum going into the last three months of the run-ins and it always looked as though Tottenham would pose the greatest threat. With that test not passed, Wenger knows his team will have no excuses now if there be any other significant falter in the next four games to come.
“We have a very important period in front of us, with the Champions League, the Premier League and the FA Cup. It is important that the team responds very well and very quickly”
“We are going into a period where we play many games and where all our squad will be highly important it is important that] every player is focused, determined and ambitious”
After the visit of Leicester, Championship side Middlesborough will attempt to cause another FA Cup upset in the fifth round tie at the Emirates on the 15th, before a trip to Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace will follow on the 21st. The month could not end with a more significant fixture – the first leg of the Round-of-16 Champions League clash with Monaco.
A full strength, fully focused squad will be what the manager would want at the moment as the schedule of fixture would require a good number of players who are always switched on to be involved. From Chuba Akpom, to Calum Chambers, Gabriel and Giroud, every single player will have to be at his very best as the work of the past seven months could very well collapse in just two weeks if taken to without the requisite top level attitude.
The return of certain players from injury will surely help this cause. Debuchy, Arteta and Diaby may be the only ones who may not be back for these four vital fixtures, as the English duo of Jack Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain look set to be back fully into the team within a few more weeks.
Follow oohtobeagooner on Facebook
for more latest Arsenal transfer news, injury news, team news and rumours.