Arsene Wenger has dismissed talk that the Gunners now rely heavily on playmaker, Santi Cazorla, to win them games. The Arsenal manager insisted that Cazorla is “very tough to play against”, only if the rest of the squad step up to former Malaga player’s level.
“It is not as simple as just stopping Cazorla and stopping Arsenal,” Wenger said. “Santi was a little flat at the weekend, and that was the same for many of the team, but I believe if the team play well then he is very difficult to stop playing.
“Saturday’s result was a big setback for us, but I can still justify the ambition I have in this team. There is still so much more to come from us and we have to get over the Norwich defeat and focus on the next game.
“That is the only way to deal with it. What we said about Saturday will stay in the dressing room, and there is no point in talking about that now. We are determined to bounce back [at home to Schalke] in the Champions League.
“We know that, since winning away in Montpellier in our first group game, we have a big chance to progress by winning our home games.”
Wenger will watch from the stands again, as he completes his three-match ban, imposed on him by UEFA. But he has warned his side against the German side.
“Defensive focus will be extremely important for us, because Schalke will be dangerous on the on the counter-attack.
“Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Jefferson Farfan and Ibrahim Affelay will be dangerous on the break, and we have to make sure we retain our discipline.
“German sides always have a great professional attitude. They usually have a great team attitude and that is important at the top level.
“Talent is not enough. When I worked in Japan, I could see the good attitude of the players there and this is why I am not surprised to see many Japanese players doing well in Germany. They appreciate a strong work ethic.”