Arsenal head into Tuesday night’s must-win Champions League game with Olympiacos on the back of a good week.
The win in a north London derby followed by the emphatic dismantling of a previously unbeaten Leicester City should boost the confidence, and it seems to have done exactly that.
Now a huge game against the Greek champions is the focus, and midfielder Alex Oxlade Chamberlain has said playing in a different competition doesn’t change Arsenal’s approach in the slightest.
Speaking in the press conference on Monday, the England international said, “Every time I go into a game for Arsenal I want to win and that does not change if it is the league or the cup. In that respect it is not different.
“We analyse every team we play against so we have a pretty good idea what we are up against. At Arsenal we try to focus on our game and we try to bring out all the traits we want to bring out and as long as we do that we hope we can win the game.”
It’s interesting to hear that Arsenal analyse every team we face.
The players are, clearly, always encouraged to play their own game and express themselves. That’s what Arsène Wenger wants from his teams, but the Frenchman is often labelled as naive not to look at the opposition and adjust accordingly.
Such a slight on the boss is not only harsh but inaccurate, Arsenal have adopted a number of approaches over the years and Oxlade-Chamberlain’s confirmation that the players analyse every opponent shouldn’t come as a surprise.
“I don’t feel the approach is any different going into the games,” said the midfielder. “Obviously the further you progress in a competition like the Champions League you feel the pressure might increase and you feel different in that respect, but I don’t feel different.”
Though Tuesday’s game isn’t quite the big stage of the competition that sees pressure piled onto the side, there is no escaping the spotlight and scrutiny.
After losing 2-1 in Zagreb, Arsenal can’t afford to slip up again. Make no mistake, the pressure is on.