Arsenal suffered for a ‘very long time’ after RVP exit, admits Wenger

Arsene Wenger admits that it took a "very long time" for Arsenal to recover from the blow of losing Robin van Persie last summer

robin van persie
Robin van Persie joined Manchester United from Arsenal last summer Photo: Back Page Images

Arsene Wenger admits that it took a “very long time” for Arsenal to recover from the blow of losing Robin van Persie to Manchester United last summer.

The Gunners head into their final game of the season at Newcastle United needing a win to secure Champions League qualification for next term.

Arsenal found themselves seven points behind top-four rivals Tottenham Hotspur after losing at White Hart Lane in the beginning of March but are since unbeaten, winning seven games and drawing two.

And Wenger is full of pride for the way his side have fought their way back into contention for a top-four finish after a turbulent start to the season.

“The resources are there mentally and physically. We have played for a long time under pressure now. Let’s just finish the job,” said Wenger ahead of Sunday’s clash at St James’ Park.

“This team suffered for a very long time from a lack of confidence because you take the talisman away – Robin van Persie – and get the new players in. Then you lose the first big games and suddenly we are faced with scepticism around the team.

“You could see that. That was the problem and balancing the team took a while, to find a formula to have a good balance in the team. Since this has been back we have been very efficient.

“The Bayern Munich away game was very important, you could feel after that we could do it. I never felt this team lacked focus or desire to do well but we lacked confidence for a while.”

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