Arsène Wenger has denied that Arsenal are a team in turmoil after three significant defeats but he does admit that his squad is quieter than previous ones, containing no player who alone can rouse the team.
After losing the Carling Cup final and being knocked out of the Champions League and FA Cup in recent weeks Arsenal are at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday requiring a win to maintain pressure on Manchester United in the league, whom they trail by three points.
When asked who in the team might lift the squad Wenger said: "There is no one specifically. It is more a unit. They are all young players. So sometimes not to think too much about it, what happened to us [losing those three games] will help as well.
"We want to focus and don't want the disappointments to affect the way that we want to play but you can say what you want, it takes always time to get over the disappointment and the best way to get over this is to win the next game.
"What is at stake is a championship and that means that the team has been the most consistent and, when you want to be consistent, you have to deal with disappointments."
Asked if his current squad is quieter than others he has managed, the Frenchman said: "Maybe. These players have grown up together. They have been educated together. They have gone through different periods together, so I am convinced that Arsenal has a special meaning for them and that will come out."
Wenger and his players have talked of the strong spirit at the club but he admitted that the recent reverses have caused the dressing room to be muted. "Well, that's normal when you lose a game," he said, before pointing to the Invincibles of 2004 who went the whole league season unbeaten. Within three days in April they lost in the FA Cup against Manchester United, were knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea and then found themselves 2-1 down at half-time to Liverpool before rallying to win 4-2.
"At that point in the dressing room I felt that the team was really on their knees. They needed some alert speech to come back and bounce back and, on the day, Thierry Henry made a massive difference in the second half and Liverpool accepted that we were superior. But it was not an easy situation," Wenger said.
As for whether his current side are on their knees, he said: "The team at the moment needs mental toughness. To show the mental toughness we have and to support each otherd. We are not in a disastrous situation and [should] not feel sorry for ourselves: we are in a position where we have to be attracted by what we can achieve. We are not fighting not to go down, we are fighting to win the championship."
Of Arsenal's current squad only Gaël Clichy was at the club when Arsenal last won the championship in 2004 and the left-back was not a regular choice. Is this lack of trophy- winners at the club a problem? "There is always a first time that you have to get over in life," Wenger said. "The best way to get over that is to focus on the football that we want to play, continue to believe in the way that we want to play and focus on supporting each other."
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