Wenger lets his players revel in rout

Arsenal manager pleased for team to 'communicate' happiness as new squad begins to show potential

Arsenal's rout of Chelsea has lifted the cloud hanging over the club following their humiliation at Old Trafford earlier this season and proved to the players that they have the quality to overcome any side in the Premier League, according to manager Arsène Wenger.

As well as that 8-2 dismantling at Manchester United, Arsenal had lost to Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool this season as Wenger's side, having lost Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri after a turbulent summer and struggling to incorporate the nine players signed in their stead, ceded ground to their rivals for a Champions League spot.

The Frenchman acknowledges that those failures had caused his players to question whether they had the ability to match the league's other superpowers but feels a huge psychological weight has been lifted by the 5-3 win at Stamford Bridge last Saturday.

"There was an uncertainty in the team's heads about whether they could win a big game," Wenger said. "It was the first big win for the new signings [since they arrived].

"It was a massive test for us, first in terms of quality, to see if we could compete quality-wise with a top team, because nobody knew before the game. I do not want to say I know more than other people, but I knew we had the potential to do well. But I am not the only one with an influence on the team. The environment does, too: if you read every day that you are bad, at the end of the week you will start to believe it.

"It was also important for us to see if we were capable of playing well and winning, and we did. What was at stake for us is how big our ambitions can be. We are a new team, but the game on Saturday has played a positive part [in determining that]. We have shown we can have a good performance against a good team."

The result prompted delirious celebrations from Wenger's players, with Wojciech Szczesny and Theo Walcott performing press-ups in front of the away section – as if to suggest they had abundant energy in reserve despite the challenge presented by one of their most powerful foes – as their team-mates danced delightedly.

Most managers would caution against such scenes, fearing the possibility that their players might fall into the trap of believing they have achieved all they need to achieve, but Wenger insists "communicating" their happiness at a hard-earned victory to the club's fans was crucial after a difficult start to the campaign.

His confidence is helped, though, by the fact that this side – thanks to the arrivals of Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos and Mikel Arteta – boasts more experience than previous incarnations. "There is a need for us to communicate with our fans again and that was a good chance," he said. "We wanted to do that. After that, we have won nothing. We must just use it as a springboard to go further. The players know that. We have more experience than we have had in the last five or six years. The players know."

Key Confrontations

Carl Jenkinson v Andre Ayew

Marseilles' player of the year will hope to trouble rookie Jenkinson more than he did two weeks ago.

 

Andre Santos v Mathieu Valbuena

Valbuena is the creative hub of the Marseilles team and will seek to exploit Santos' defensive weakness.

 

Robin van Persie v Souleymane Diawara

Van Persie has been in irrepressible form and the former Charlton player faces a task keeping him quiet.

News
Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits