It remains to be seen whether Tomas Rosicky will play again for Arsenal but in his absence the Czech midfielder believes his teammates have the quality to win the title.
The 35-year-old midfielder has been ruled out for up to three months with a thigh injury sustained on his comeback after six months out. It’s a cruel blow for the veteran but despite his shock and frustration he’s hoping the Gunners can secure their first championship of his decade at the club.
Speaking to Arsenal Player ahead of Sunday’s clash with Bournemouth, just days after a 0-0 draw with Southampton saw Arsenal drop to 4th in the table, Rosicky urged calm.
“In the game against Southampton we had plenty of chances and the performance was alright, but we have to show more killer instinct.
“We cannot expect that we will have so many chances in every game. What’s important though is that we don’t panic. There are plenty of games in front of us. All the big teams are playing against each other so it will be very interesting and I believe we have what it takes to win the league this year.
“It’s one of the best [Arsenal sides I have played in] because we have some world-class players here. I feel we have what it takes to win the league but we are not allowed to have any more slip-ups.
“The spirit in our dressing room was always right. Whichever new player came into the dressing room always felt welcomed because the spirit was always good.
“It’s very important that, even when you have a rough spell which you will definitely have in a season, you stay positive, don’t panic, analyse everything in the right way and believe you have what it takes to win the league. I do.”
If Arsenal are going to get their title challenge back on track they’ll need to be wary of former player Benik Afobe who has been banging in the goals for Bournemouth since his January move from Wolves.
The 22-year-old was a hot prospect when he graduated from the Arsenal Academy only for a series of serious injuries to stunt his development.
Unsurprisingly, the in-form attacker is looking forward to facing his old club; for whom he still has a great deal of affection even though first team opportunities were few and far between.
Speaking to the Guardian, Afobe reflected: “I love them, love everyone at Arsenal, but it would have been nice to have got my chance because, to be honest, I don’t think I got a fair chance in the first team. I never made an appearance while there have been players who haven’t had great Arsenal careers who played five or 10 games, but that’s a story for another day.
“Maybe it was better to leave Arsenal without playing a game because everyone knows I didn’t get a chance. If I had played four or five games and was terrible, you start thinking you are an Arsenal reject. For me it was just that the chance didn’t come.”
The full interview with Afobe is available here, it’s well worth a read.