Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned his players that they are entering a vital time in the Premier League season and cannot afford to keep dropping points, the
The home fixture against West Ham on Wednesday evening is the first of four matches in 11 days for the Gunners, three of which are at the Emirates Stadium – the one away trip, to Brighton and Hove Albion, comes in the FA Cup, while Liverpool and Stoke City visit north London in the league by early February.
Wenger has laid bare his aspirations for the season and urged the players not to fall short, despite Arsenal’s squad being depleted by injuries – Mikel Arteta and Francis Coquelin are definitely unavailable to play the Hammers while Abou Diaby faces a fitness test, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski are both back after missing the defeat to Chelsea through illness.
Wenger said: “We want to challenge for the championship and therefore from now until the end of the season we have to really stand up and show our strength and character. I don’t question the players’ character, but then you look at the consistency of the results in the big games.
“The attitude of the players is fantastic. They want to do well and are focused [but] maybe a bit too respectful in the big games of other teams,”
Wenger continued: “Every time we start to show what we can do, it is when the game is already lost. That is what we have to change.
“This run of games is a massive test. Big test, big test. It’s a very important moment of the season for us.”
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