Ian Wright says Arsenal must change mentality, cites Chelsea as example

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Arsenal lost their opening game of the campaign 2-0 at home to West Ham United on Sunday.

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has said that his former club must change their mentality and play more intelligently, citing Premier League champions Chelsea as the model to follow, The Sun reports.

The Gunners headed into the campaign with huge optimism following their impressive pre-season, the signing of Petr Cech and the Community Shield win over Jose Mourinho’s men.

However, the wave of optimism and buzz soon turned into despair on Sunday as the Gunners crashed to a 2-0 defeat home to West Ham United, prompting Wright to blast question the club’s mentality.

“What worried me was the same old problem – the apparent lack of a winning mentality. At times it seems more important to play great football than grind out a point,” he explained in The Sun.

“Just look at Chelsea. Keeper sent off, two fortunate goals, star men way below their best...but at least they lived up to the age-old saying that if you can’t win, at least make sure you don’t lose.”

A change in mentality

Over the years, Arsene Wenger’s sides have always played a similar way, with passing across the ground and creativity aplenty in the final third and that was no different at the Emirates on Sunday.

However, in times gone by they have also been vulnerable to set-pieces, easy to roughen up and frustrate them by deploying a compact midfield fuelled with aggression and high pressure.

Arsenal’s mentality is no different from Chelsea’s in that they want to win. However, they struggle to adapt to tough situations and they’ve often shown nativity, such as the Champions League loss to Monaco.

Would a new striking addition give them another angle? Could they adapt their style and go more direct? It’s not in Wenger’s nature to do so, therefore it’s about improving what they are and what they have.

Sunday’s defeat may have been a set-back, but it shouldn’t prompt drastic changes as with better defensive communication and more prolificacy in-front of goal it could have been a far different story.

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