ARSENE Wenger has claimed "half the dressing room wanted to leave" Arsenal this summer and the hangover could be behind their poor start to the season.
Sunday's 2-1 win over Sunderland lifted Arsenal back into the top half of the table, but the Gunners are 12 points off the pace at the top of the table already.
Their early season struggles were highlighted by the shocking 8-2 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, coming on the back of a summer that saw key midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri sold despite Wenger's insistence he wanted them to stay.
"It was a very difficult summer because half the dressing room wanted to leave," Wenger said on French radio.
"You're preparing for a season where you don't know who's going to come in, the players who are staying are asking themselves what's going on at the club, you've got a pre-season tour of Asia.
"It was extraordinarily difficult. What saved us is that we're a club that are extremely solid and united. Other clubs would surely have gone to pieces in those circumstances.
"What people forget is that we lost three key players because we've also lost Jack Wilshere."