Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told his team that the bust holiday fixtures is the perfect time to show everyone that Arsenal is a much better team than people think they are.
The Gunners take on QPR at the Emirates Stadium on Boxing Day before traveling to West Ham and Southampton, the two clubs that are directly above Arsenal in the Premier League standings.
“We have to make sure that over Christmas we take advantage of the schedule we have and put the performances in,” Wenger said while speaking to Sky Sports.
“We have a good opportunity over Christmas to show that we are much better than people think we are. Every team has difficult games, so it is the consistency in that period that will matter.”
QPR has as of yet not managed a point all season away from home, yet Wenger is taking nothing for granted.
“We expect a QPR with nothing to lose. They will come and have a go at us,” he said. “You focus on your own performance and don’t expect any weakness from your opponent. In the Premier League every game is difficult and you just want to turn up.
“We played QPR two years ago and they were very difficult games. West Ham at the moment are in very good shape. We go away to Southampton, which is a very difficult as well. Again, it’s down to our performances.”
And while Arsenal’s erratic start to the season has some fans disgruntled QPR boss Harry Redknapp says he does not understand the criticism.
“I can’t believe why Arsene Wenger would get any stick really,” said Redknapp. “Arsenal are a good side. I still think they will finish in the top four. They do it every year and I don’t see why they won’t finish in the top four this season.
“They have some excellent players, although they have had lots of injuries. The pace they play with, the movement, the passing – they are a good team to watch.”