Emirates Stadium

Next Game

Arsenal v Everton

Sunday, 01 March 2015, 14:05

Barclays Prem

Emirates Stadium

Last Game

Arsenal 1 - 3 Monaco

Wednesday, 25 February 2015, 19:45

Champions League First Knockout Round

Rise to the challenge

Matt Stanger believes the unrest surrounding Arsenal is bringing the best out of the squad.

Last Updated: 25/08/13 at 13:52

Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski seem keen to establish their worth for Arsenal

Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski seem keen to establish their worth for Arsenal

"I believe our season will depend on how we respond to this defeat," said Arsene Wenger following Arsenal's humbling opening-day loss to Aston Villa. One week, two victories and six goals later, the manager should rightly feel that his faith is being repaid.

A brace of near-perfect performances will not solve all of Arsenal's problems, of course, but the past seven days have seen the Gunners career from crisis to conviction. At Craven Cottage on Saturday, the 'Spend, Spend, Spend' signs were nowhere to be seen. During such an impressive, controlled performance, any dissenting voices would have seemed entirely out of place.

The message still stands; fourth place is not a trophy, Wenger and the club have made a complete mess of the transfer window and an opportunity to take advantage of the uncertainty at rival clubs. But there may be quite a significant benefit derived from the current unrest surrounding the Gunners, exhibited in the convincing victories over Fenerbahce and Fulham.

Could the protests against Arsene Wenger be motivation to the Arsenal squad?

It is not only Wenger's inexorable - occasionally inexplicable - faith that has helped the team recover in the wake of the loss to Aston Villa but also the pressure under which the squad immediately find themselves. They thrived in the do-or-die nature of last season's run-in, winning 12 of their last 16 matches, and the past week has seen a revival of that mental toughness.

Player ratings

Have your say on Arsenal's individual performances in their rain-soaked win over Fulham on Saturday. For more, click here.

It often seems that Wenger allows his players an easy ride but many of Arsenal's squad know they must prove a point with their performances this year. Aaron Ramsey's contribution over the past week has been particularly impressive, while Bacary Sagna appears renewed in his commitment and Lukas Podolski responded to rumours that he could be loaned to Schalke with two superb strikes against Fulham.

Olivier Giroud is perhaps the most compelling example of the team's willingness to establish their worth, however, notching three goals in the first three matches. "It's necessary for the club to recruit another striker," said Giroud this week. "It may change the play one day, especially if it's a high-profile signing. I know what I have to do and what I'm capable of."

Aaron Ramsey has produced some excellent recent performances in midfield

This fearless attitude to the prospect of increased competition has no doubt aided the striker's promising start and it is now Wenger's responsibility to capitalise on this desire and evident self-motivation. Rumours abound of big-name signings - with Jack Wilshere revealing that the players talk about new arrivals every day on the training pitch - and the current squad are throwing down the gauntlet to any potential acquisitions.

Cabaye is an Arsenal target

The only way to ensure this belief and purpose persists is to find new recruits that will continue to keep the team on their toes. Ramsey, for example, has excelled in his last two displays but would clearly benefit from Yohan Cabaye's arrival - both in education as he readjusts to a regular central midfield role and in terms of his motivation to maintain his current level of performance.

Whether Wenger decides to build on the upturn in fortunes remains to be seen but in many ways his team's impressive displays over the past week should make the manager even more determined to strengthen. Arsenal have the core of an excellent squad but need to be active between now and 3rd September to maintain this momentum.

A version of this article first appeared on Football365

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

cant help but feel he has his face on inside out. I'm not a violent man but I don't think I would ever tire of punching it.

dryice
Chelsea reject blames fee

E

verytime I go into KFC I boooooooooooo Norman. Judas. It was the lure of the fresh hand wipes apparently.

cheshire-gooner
Cole explains Arsenal 'snub'

Y

ou probably find he was physically ill when he found out they werent paying him to come to the celebrations.

sodoff
Cole explains Arsenal 'snub'

Footer 365

Liverpool lose to Besiktas 5-4 on penalties after Turkish side win round-of-32 second leg 1-0

Liverpool crashed out of the Europa League as Dejan Lovren missed the decisive penalty in a 5-4 shoot-out defeat by Besiktas.

Oldham 'would welcome Scholes'

Stand-in boss Dean Holden insists he would not be surprised if Oldham managed to lure Paul Scholes into management.

Chelsea announce huge shirt sponsorship deal with Yokohama Rubber

Chelsea have announced a new shirt sponsorship with Yokohama Rubber, reportedly worth £40m-a- year.

Mail Box

Greatest Spaniards And Arsenal Laughs

There's more debate on the greatest Spaniards in the afternoon mailbox, plus plenty more reaction to Arsenal's Champions League defeat.

Arsenal Mess It Up, As Inevitable As Ever

Unsurprisingly, there's a great deal of fall out after Arsenal's latest shambles against Monaco. Plus how Football365 went too early with the phrase 'peak Arsenal'...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company