After a month dominated by transfer talk, Arsene Wenger can focus on the part of his job he enjoys far more, coaching the team on the pitch. With no more room to maneuver in the transfer market, Arsenal now know that what they have will have to try and guide the club to a first Premier League title in a decade. Kim Kallstrom, on loan from Spartak Moscow, proved to be the only arrival, but will not be involved against Crystal Palace on Sunday. It has emerged that Kallstrom had a back injury when he signed and could not miss up to six matches.
Certainly Arsenal need the experienced Sweden international right now. It was revealed in recent days that Aaron Ramsey has suffered a setback in his recovery from a thigh injury and will now miss up to another six weeks. Meanwhile, Jack Wilshere remains out with an ankle problem and Mathieu Flamini will miss the next four matches through suspension after being sent off in the draw with Southampton.
Those two dropped points mean that Arsenal’s long run at the top of the Premier League came to an end and they now sit a point behind Manchester City. They remain above Chelsea, though, after they dropped points in a goalless draw against West Ham. That result brought criticism from Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho about West Ham’s negative playing style. Arsenal are likely to be faced with a similar task on Sunday when they come up against a Palace side that have been incredibly tight defensively since Tony Pulis took charge and have kept clean sheets in back-to-back Premier League matches. Wenger, though, believes that it is up to his players to maintain the confidence in their ability to break through opposition defenses.
“When Chelsea came to us and played a 0-0, we did not manage to score,” he said, according to Arsenal’s official website. “It is our responsibility to score and you accept that. No matter what problem you face, you have to be strong enough to sort it out. That is how I approach our game.
“I always believe it is the quality of your game that can make the difference. You have to continue to believe in the way you want to play and not give up what you have planned before the game and stick with that. At some stage the quality will help you to make the difference.”
In contrast to Arsenal, it was an incredibly hectic transfer deadline day for Crystal Palace. No less than five players signed on the dotted line, with the squad being strengthened by the arrivals of Wayne Hennessey, Scott Dann, Joe Ledley and Tom Ince while Jason Puncheon turned his loan deal into a permanent one.
Murray is the only one who signed on time to be eligible to be involved on Sunday, however. Defender Jonathan Parr could return to the side, while Kagisho Dikgacoi may also be back in contention.
Where to watch: The Barclays Premier League contest will kick off at 11 a.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by NBCSN, with a live stream available on NBC Sports Live Extra.