The media have certainly been unkind to Arsene Wenger and his side after a series of high profile losses including the gobsmacking loss to League Two’s Bradford City. Yet they still are in third place, qualified for the Knockout stages of the Champions League and have the FA Cup to look forward to. But there positive position is no surprise to Jack Wilshere who believes the teams spirit is strong and it shows on the pitch.
The Gunners have managed to string three wins together after condemning West Brom to a 2-0 loss with two Arteta penalties, a rampant attacking display demolished Reading 5-2 and then the Gunners grinded out a 1-0 victory over Wigan at the weekend. But Wilshere is keeping his feet firmly on the ground and has challenged his side to continue their winning streak through into the new year.
WIlshere told Arsenal Player:
We never questioned our character. People questioned it but we never did. We know we’ve got a great squad here. There’s a great team spirit and it shows on the pitch.
At this time of year, with all the games coming up, you just need results. Today was no different. We all know what Wigan are like. They’ve got a great manager and great players, but we got the points.
We know we’ve got tough games coming up. We’ve got a game at the Emirates [against Newcastle] and we expect to win our games at
home. We need to get up for that.
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Then we’ve got Southampton away, who are struggling and they need the points. But we’ve got a week to recover, so we’ll enjoy Christmas Day and go again at the weekend.
The Boxing Day postponement may be a blessing in disguise as it allows the side to rest and recover before the Newcastle fixture who face United away on Wednesday. But like Wilshere said it is incredibly important to continue their winning ways with the League incredibly tight – one loss can essentially slip them down into eighth.
The team has demonstrated a sense of positivity recently, and defensively they have been more solid with two clean sheets in their last three, but Arsenal were very lucky to not concede to Kone – Wigan’s answer to Gevinho, his finishing was just as woeful as our Ivorian’s.
Wenger has to stick with the winning team which includes Walcott up front, he will be eager to rip up Newcastle’s defence, and hopefully the likes of Wilshere and Cazorla can make more of an impression after a frustrating afternoon against Wigan who constantly battered the two little midfield generals and tried their best to prevent the Gunners knocking it around.