Arsene Wenger: Arsenal players are affected by all the negativity
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says his players are being affected by "all the negativity" surrounding the north London side
Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal are being affected by all the negativity surrounding the club ahead of their clash against Stoke City at The Emirates on Saturday.
The Gunners are currently in sixth position, a staggering 21 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United, while Tottenham, who occupy the final Champions League spot, are four points clear of their north London rivals.
After a difficult autumn, Arsenal went on a five-game unbeaten run during the festive period before losing to Manchester City at The Emirates in early January.
Arsenal have become renowned as slow starters this season – if the table was based on second-half results, the Gunners would be second in the table – and Wenger believes nerves are affecting his players in the opening periods of games.
“That can only be psychological because you do not become a good football player in the second half and bad in the first half,” Wenger told Arsenal’s website.
“The team has certainly been deeply affected by all the negativity and also by the fact they are highly focused to do well.
“They have fantastic focus and they want to do well, but sometimes that can be a bit inhibitive. I think it’s mainly down to that.
“I believe it’s important that you just purely focus on the technical side of your game and forget about who you play. Just enjoy playing.”