Arsenal must recover from 'very bad moment' against Norwich, says Arsene Wenger
Tuesday 23 October 2012
Arsene Wenger has called on Arsenal to get the disappointment of a “very bad moment” at Norwich out of their system by taking a big step towards qualifying for the Champions League knockout phase by beating Schalke tomorrow night.
The Gunners slipped 10 points behind Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea when they went down 1-0 at Carrow Road following a lacklustre display on their return from the international break.
Wenger, though, feels the visit of the Germans, who are second in Group B, offers the perfect opportunity for swift redemption.
"We have got over it and we will focus on our next game, that is the only way to deal with it, to put the disappointment behind us and focus on Schalke," the Arsenal manager said.
"As a team, we were not as efficient as we are used to. It can happen in the season. It is just of course at a very bad moment for us.
"I expect us to respond in a strong way because this team is very ambitious and wants to do very well."
Wenger added: "We have a good opportunity, we play at home against Schalke and since we know that we won in Montpellier, our qualifying will depend on how well we do at home."
Midfielder Aaron Ramsey accepts the team must sharpen up again as soon as possible.
"When you have an upset like that you want to get back out there as quickly as possible and put it right. That is what we hope to do on Wednesday, and put ourselves in a really strong position in this group," the Wales international said.
"Maybe there were certain things, but overall we know we weren't good enough on the day to win the [Norwich] game, that is what we were disappointed with.
"We have been doing really well so far this season and each game we felt like we are growing with confidence, so that was one we are disappointed with."
Ramsey added: "In any job if you do something wrong, you want to make up for it as quickly as possible - we are no different, we want to get back out there and hopefully win on Wednesday night."
Despite having a won both their opening two group games and defending an unbeaten run of 16 home games in the Champions League, Wenger warned their can be no complacency tomorrow against a team which beat Dortmund away on Saturday.
"They are a solid side with good organisation. Up front of course they have [Klaas-Jan] Huntelaar, [Jefferson] Farfan, that we know are well, [Ibrahim] Afellay and [Julian] Draxler. They are dangerous and play a lot on counter-attacks," he said.
Arsenal will have a German presence in their own side now, with internationals Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski, who has settled quickly after his summer move from Cologne.
Wenger said: "They have a very professional attitude, are always ready to work hard.
"Podolski is a good voice to have in the dressing room and has been received well.
"He works very hard for the team. He scores goals and makes goals.
"Tomorrow there will be a little more pressure on him, but he is used to that - he has 100 caps for Germany, so he can handle it."
Winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss tomorrow's game because of a hip injury picked up after a brief substitute appearance at Norwich.
Forward Theo Walcott is still sidelined by the chest injury suffered while on international duty against San Marino.
The 23-year-old has yet to agree terms on a contract extension, with Juventus said to be one of the teams monitoring the situation.
Wenger said: "They [talks] are going on, but there is no news about that.
"My determination has always been the same, to extend his contract. That other clubs are interested or not, the determination is the same."
Like Oxlade-Chamberlain and defender Kieran Gibbs, who pulled out of the England squad with a thigh injury, Walcott could come be in contention for the visit of bottom club QPR on Saturday.
"The good news is that Theo had his first run today and is looking quite well, so he should be back shortly," Wenger said.
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