Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal have become a “different” team since the conclusion of the summer transfer window.
They performed poorly in a 4-0 defeat at Liverpool on August 27, just four days before the transfer window closed, by when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs had been sold and Alexis Sanchez retained until at least January.
The manager believes they have since become a “united group”, which has been reflected in their run of five wins and a draw at Chelsea, to contrast their one win in four before then when they also conceded nine times.
Summer signing Alexandre Lacazette this week spoke of his belief there has been a greater emphasis on defence since that loss at Anfield, which has been followed by the concession of only three goals in six.
Sunday’s fixture at home to Brighton presents Arsenal with the opportunity to begin the next international break far more positively than that which followed the Liverpool defeat, and Wenger said: “It feels like a different team. You see the way we play football.
“You need to have a united group to do that. The weight of the transfer market was much heavier than internationals.
“I put (our improvement) down to the fact that we realised what we produced was not good enough. But that was a special day for us: it was just before the transfer window closed and just before an international break. Overall we stayed united and responded on the pitch.”
Premier League clubs have since voted to close the summer transfer window before the start of the 2018/19 season.
Wenger, who against Brighton is expected to recall Aaron Ramsey, Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech, Hector Bellerin, Lacazette, Sanchez and others who were rested from Thursday’s 4-2 Europa League victory at BATE Borisov, said: “It was a very busy (summer).
“It was a very difficult one as well because you have two weeks to think about everything that happened.
“We worked very hard until the 31st at night and there were not easy decisions to make. But my case is not so important.
“Mentallly I am very fresh. I focus on the next game. I love football and the way we want to play football so I am always motivated by that. I believe in human beings as well: it is not that we are bad for one day.
“We are all human beings and are not fantastic every day. Maybe you, but I am not.”