Arsene Wenger compared the current Arsenal team to a jigsaw ahead of our match against West Ham on Saturday.
The boss has previously spoken about not wanting to change the starting line-up too much, considering how successful it’s been against Everton and Watford. Now, he’s reiterated this point, describing the team as a jigsaw; you need all the pieces to fit together to see the bigger picture.
“What you try to find is always the right pieces of the jigsaw that work,” Wenger said to Arsenal Player.
“Sometimes you are forced to make changes and sometimes players move up in training and they make steps and statements that push you to give them a chance. When it clicks, it is even more positive.
“There is an emergence of players that come up and come back from injury. Sometimes, the balance of the whole team clicks and all these players fighting together helps you to find the right blend.
“The continuity of our games against Barcelona and Everton was collectively [very good]. We respected those games and we had good possession, great movement and we wanted to score goals. Ideally, we combined offensive efficiency with defensive efficiency in that game. We looked quite solid.
“I think our game is convincing. What we need to show is consistency with the team, and in the last three games I feel our quality was a high level that raises the confidence.”
He added, “On top of that, we have players who have just come back like Mathieu Flamini, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, so the competition is there. Petr Cech is back too. In every position, you have competition, and that is very positive.”
Wenger is nothing if not poetic. He does have a point though – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Whether it’s the emergence of Alex Iwobi, Danny Welbeck returning to fitness or Mohamed Elneny’s inclusion in the starting XI, something has slotted into place and we’re playing well for the first time in months.
If we can maintain this balance and perform how we did against Watford and Everton, we should have enough to get the three points against West Ham. The Hammers are far from a weak team, however, and it won’t be easy.