Wednesday 16 November 2011
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes their astonishing 5-3 victory at Chelsea on Saturday proves the Gunners are back to their best.
Wenger's side endured a torrid start to the Barclays Premier League season, selling captain Cesc Fabregas and forward Samir Nasri and losing four of their first seven matches, including a humiliating 8-2 reverse at Old Trafford at the hands of Manchester United.
But Arsenal have improved in recent weeks, winning their last three league fixtures to move up to seventh in the table, culminating in Saturday's sensational eight-goal thriller at Stamford Bridge in which captain Robin van Persie scored a brilliant hat-trick.
The players celebrated wildly at the final whistle, hugging each other and dancing in front of the Arsenal fans in the away enclosure at Chelsea.
Wenger feels summer signings Gervinho, Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker have had time to settle in at the Emirates and people are now seeing the true Arsenal in their performances.
"If you have gone through what we have gone through since the start of the season, it's reassuring for me," said Wenger.
"The players have suffered, but that shows the belief and spirit is back. The spirit is great and all this together explains why the players reacted like that after the final whistle.
"The spirit is strong and you feel that in the dressing-room. The players are determined together and they want to play like we did against Chelsea. That encourages us to believe that we have the quality."
Arsenal face Marseille in the Uefa Champions League on Tuesday before a Barclays Premier League encounter at home against West Brom on Saturday.