In his recent post-match comments on players, it’s started to seem like Arsène Wenger has become a little more firm with his players.

Wenger often used to shift the focus away from specific players by talking about the team performance, and generally he wouldn’t be drawn into making comments about individuals.

However, that appears to have changed more recently.

For example, Wenger spoke last week about the fact Iwobi needs to get more goals and assists, a very specific critique of an individual. He even gave Alex a target to hit, saying (via Standard): “A player like him must score 10 goals [this season] and he must as well give between six and 10 assists. That’s what I want of him.”

Then, when talking about Alexandre Lacazette, Wenger was happy to praise the club signing and his goals at the Emirates, but again gave the player specific things to work on. Arsène said (via Metro and Daily Star): “He still needs to adapt to the physical aspects of the Premier League and that will take maybe a little bit of time.

“Overall it’s a good sign that he keeps scoring at home. Now he has to score away from home.”

The Arsenal boss also didn’t deny that Alexis had lost some fitness over the break, saying (via Sky Sports): “This year he (Alexis) had a real rest. He came back not really fit and then he got injured.”

It’s not that Wenger has never done this sort of thing before, but it does seem like he’s being more specific more often in public about why individuals haven’t been as good as they could be, or what he expects from them.

My guess would be this is because the squad is so large at the moment.

If Wenger is clear with what he wants from players, both to them and to the media, then if they don’t reach those targets everyone knows why they get dropped.

If Iwobi doesn’t score or assist a goal every couple of games, or Lacazette continues to draw blanks away, or Alexis’ fitness dips, Arsène can drop them for the many players waiting for a chance, and we’ll all understand why he’s done it.

It’s also good for the players to know what they’re expected to work on, as long as it doesn’t put them under too much pressure.

Hopefully it works out.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.