Arsene Wenger Urges Arsenal to Rediscover Attacking Flair Against Schalke 04
Swagger in forward areas is something Arsenal have been defined by under Wenger. They will certainly need it in Germany Tuesday night.
After limping to a 2-0 defeat against Schalke in North London, Arsenal need a positive result. The fate of their UEFA Champions League campaign probably depends on it.
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Wenger believes that more verve in attack will be the key, according to his pre-match press conference (reported by Arsenal.com):
I think what is most important right now is that we find our game back. Our game is about creating chances, about going forward, about having an offensive drive.
Wenger does not believe that concerns about defensive frailties should influence Arsenal's intent and performance:
What is most important is that we play again with our enthusiasm, desire to create chances and enjoy our game, more than thinking about if we concede a goal or not.
Wenger's point is well taken (despite some recent cracks appearing in Arsenal's defensive wall). The Gunners have still yet to concede more than two goals in an EPL or UCL game. They are keeping more clean sheets and remain the EPL's stingiest defense.
Getting their groove back in attack will largely depend on the performance of Santi Cazorla. The pint-sized playmaker has struggled to carry the burden of creativity during recent games.
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Cazorla will need help in advanced areas from Jack Wilshere. The two need to work together to improve the quality of Arsenal's combination play.
Despite Arsenal's stumbling form, Cazorla's class and technique still provides hope that the Gunners can turn things around in Germany. Without true pace along the forward line, Cazorla must exploit gaps in the Schalke defense with precise, intelligent passing.
That's the kind of intricate buildup play the current Arsenal squad favours. Wenger knows only a return of those qualities can lead to a vital win:
In the past we have been criticised for giving chances away but we are not used to being criticised for not creating because we have a team based on that. That’s why I think it's important we come back to what our game is all about.
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