Arsenal vs Hull City - Wenger refuses to blame poor form on Sanchez and Ozil

Posted Saturday, February 11, 2017 by PA

Arsene Wenger has refused to lay the blame for Arsenal's recent poor results at the feet of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

The Gunners host Hull on Saturday now 12 points adrift of Premier League leaders Chelsea after last weekend's 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

That followed a surprise home reverse against Watford with the two losses meaning Wenger's side have slipped further off the pace and a first league title since 2004 looks unlikely.

Wenger has come under fresh scrutiny from a minority of Arsenal fans who want to see the Frenchman's 20-year tenure at the club come to an end when his contract expires at the end of the current season.

But in the meantime, the 67-year-old admits his side faces a fight to maintain their run of finishing inside the Premier League top four in every season since 1996.

Having lost just one league game in the opening 15 fixtures of the campaign, Arsenal have now been defeated in four of their previous nine.

Sanchez and Ozil had also started the season in fine form but have drifted in and out of games lately as their futures at the Emirates Stadium remain in the balance as they reportedly demand parity with the league's highest earners.

But Wenger does not believe a perceived drop in form from Sanchez and Ozil can be credited as the reason behind Arsenal's stuttering results.

"The team wins and the team loses," he said when asked about Ozil and Sanchez.

"When you win sometimes some players are singled out as they are treated like exceptional players but when you don't do well sometimes just focus a little bit more on the team aspect and not try to blame each other.

"The blame culture is part of the perception of people, but what is important is that we have a good opportunity to show that we are a united strong unit and that we bounce back.

"When you don't win you cannot as well say that all is well. You have to analyse that something is not right. It is our job to find where and to have a strong united response."

Saturday's trip to the capital completes a daunting sequence of fixtures that has so far seen Hull take on Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool.

Marco Silva's side have taken a creditable four-point haul from those games and go to Arsenal having moved to within one point of safety.

Three games against teams in the bottom half follow: Burnley visit the KCOM next week followed by crunch clashes with relegation rivals Leicester and Swansea.

If Silva already has one eye on those, particularly the last two against teams immediately above them, he was not letting on.

The former Olympiacos coach, who knows how to win at the Emirates after guiding the Greek champions to an unlikely Champions League win there last season, said he was focused only on Arsenal.

"The most important always is the next game and that's against Arsenal," he added.

"This is what's on our minds and what we prepare for this week.

"We don't talk about Burnley and of course about the others, we talk only about our work for the next game and what's on our minds is only Arsenal."

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