(Reuters) – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has brushed off suggestions that the north London club are in the midst of a crisis three games into the season and called for perspective after their 4-0 defeat by Liverpool in their last Premier League game.
The defeat was Arsenal’s second in a row, but the manager backed his team to respond when they host Bournemouth in the league on Saturday.
“I could never understand what a crisis is,” Wenger told a news conference on Thursday. “It is important to focus on what is in front of you. Every single defeat is a crisis, yes?
“I love and believe in my players and we need our fans behind the team… We will win back the points we have dropped away from home. It is vital to take some perspective.”
Wenger also backed striker Alexis Sanchez to get back to his best after his proposed move to Manchester City failed to materialize on transfer deadline day.
Sanchez stayed after Arsenal was unable to sign a replacement in time and the manager said he was confident the Chile international was fully committed to the team’s cause.
“I have no doubt about Alexis’ mind and mentality,” Wenger added. “He needs to come back to full fitness which he was not at Liverpool… he’s strong mentally and hopefully he will back to his best.” Wenger reiterated his calls for the transfer window to be shut before the season begins across Europe, saying allowing uncertainty over the futures of key players to spill over into the start of the season was hurting the game.
“Players have no clarity,” he said. “They could be tapped up in the afternoon of the game. It is uncomfortable and not the way to work,” he said.
“Every manager would agree that it should be kicked out before the first game. Then you wouldn’t have a player half in the dressing room and half out.”
Midfielder Santi Cazorla has returned to light running for the first time since having surgery on his right ankle. The Spain international has not played since October and is not expected to feature for the first team before Christmas.