Arsenal boss worried by break

Arsene Wenger is demanding Arsenal hit the ground running again at Norwich City this weekend after the international break halted the club's red hot streak.

The Gunners had won nine of their last 11 fixtures in all competitions to recover from a horrendous start to the season that included a humiliating 8-2 reverse at Manchester United.

Arsenal put five past Chelsea in their previous Premier League away day, but Wenger admits the fortnight's shutdown is a cause for concern.

The Frenchman lost 16 of his senior stars for international duty over that period – in sharp contrast to the Canaries, who were without Welsh duo Steve Morison and Andrew Crofts plus Canadian striker Simeon Jackson.

'It is certainly not a joy for me but hopefully it is not a pain because I hope the players will come back in good spirits,' said Wenger.

'You always worry it could be a pain if we lose some players through injury. I don't believe it will upset our rhythm. It's always a challenge to get the focus back quickly when players come from international games, but let's hope we can sort that out.'

Arsenal head to Carrow Road led by the league's 11-goal top scorer Robin van Persie – but Wenger believes a new found defensive resolve is the key to their renaissance.

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'I would say we are a bit more controlled and less cavalier,' he told the Gunners' official site. 'We are less adventurous when the job is done, I must say. You can feel that there is some reserve there if needed. Overall I would say it is a more mature attitude.

'At the moment I feel we are more focused. Saying, 'look I am right' is less important for me than trying to continue the quality of our team and our results. There is still room for improvement so we are focused on that. I am convinced we have been right but what you want is that people who love Arsenal are happy and I think at the moment to do that we still have a job to do.'

Wenger is delighted the focus will return to the club game this weekend after what he believes is an international product now struggling to capture the public's imagination.

'The lack of quality in some games has been wiped out by the national pride of people supporting their countries,' he said. 'But in the longer term, that doesn't work. People want quality, and we saw some games in the last round of internationals – Bulgaria versus Wales for example – there were just 1,000 people there.

'That makes a mockery of international football. So we have to look at that quickly, because it creates a new problem.

'I think it will get worse and worse because we are facing an economic crisis too. That will have direct consequences for the attendances.

'It's more and more difficult to sell out games – even in a big country like France. Not one home game there was a sell out – not one. That shows you that there's something happening that is a deeper problem.'