Arsène Wenger accepts that his Arsenal team have had to endure an intense run of fixtures – but he insists self-doubt is not creeping in.
Everton pegged back the Gunners at Emirates Stadium a fortnight ago before Napoli and Manchester City inflicted defeats in the Champions League and Premier League respectively.
Despite mustering one draw from their past three games, Arsenal are safely through to the last 16 in Europe and will return to the top of their domestic league if they beat Chelsea on Monday night. And Wenger is confident that his rested squad can respond.
We have been in much more difficult situations
“We had three disappointing results – Everton, Naples, and Man City,” said the Frenchman. “That’s why it’s enough.
“I don’t feel the doubts have crept in. We have been in much more difficult situations. Playing Everton on Sunday, Naples on Wednesday night, at City on Saturday at 12.45… I knew that somewhere, at City, we were in trouble. We played three games in each of the two previous weeks too.
“The players haven’t changed, they are focused. We were caught back against Everton, but we played three big games in six days really and it was difficult.”
Mesut Ozil has collected a goal and an assist in the past three games but Arsenal’s record signing is about to embark upon his first festive period without a break from football.
“At some stage I will have to [give him a rest],” said Wenger. “But not on Monday night [against Chelsea].
“We had that problem with Jens Lehmann when he came from Germany, in the first season, you could feel [he had to adapt]. Ozil has played a lot, but now we have had a little break, a little breather, and hopefully he has recovered.”
Source- Arsenal FC