• Victory at Fulham puts Arsenal 'back on track', says manager
• Wenger still plans to sign up to three players before deadline
One week and two fine away victories on from that mutinous atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium and Arsène Wenger clearly felt he could reflect on the rancour from a position of relative strength. The dissenters, he said, had been "brainwashed" and his team are now "back on track" as Arsenal prepare for what must prove a profitable final week of the transfer window.
The Frenchman still aspires to sign up to three players before next Monday's deadline, with the unsettled Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye the likeliest arrival in a deal worth up to £17m. While Karim Benzema's agent, Karim Djaziri, has ruled out the Real Madrid forward leaving the Bernabéu, there is interest in his team-mate Angel Di María, who may be more receptive to a move. Strengthening attacking midfield still does not feel like a priority but a new face or two will lift the mood further.
Wenger does not expect to complete any additions before the second leg of his team's Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce, a tie they lead comfortably 3-0, but insisted he would not be re-evaluating his targets now his current players have found their feet.
That win in Istanbul was followed by Saturday's impressive victory at Fulham, a result that served to exorcise some of the nightmarish memories of the opening weekend loss to Aston Villa, a defeat that had prompted loud calls for the hierarchy to spend, with the ire aimed at the manager on the touchline. Wenger has since called for a sense of perspective.
"Look, we lost one game since the beginning of March," Wenger said. "That's why it was a shock. But we won in the Champions League at Bayern Munich. We won at Fenerbahce. It is just like that at the moment. The media in general has brainwashed a little bit the Emirates [stadium]. Maybe rightly so, I don't know, because we haven't won trophies for years [so] everything is negative. But we have to live with that and focus on playing well.
"But being responsible in life means doing things in life you think are right, and not to react to things people say. If you listen always to what people say you go in five minutes one way and then, 10 minutes later, you go the other way. When you have responsibility you have to just focus on making the right decisions and if they are not right you say: 'Sorry, I'm wrong.' When we lose a game, I'm wrong. This is not a personal trip. This is about doing things well for the club I love and I am happy we are back on track."
The Frenchman has benefited from key players recovering their poise. Santi Cazorla, restored to the lineup after international exertions, was irrepressible at Craven Cottage, wounding the home side with every dart into space or cleverly weighted pass. Lukas Podolski's bludgeon of a left foot battered the hosts into submission and Wenger was insistent the Germany international would not be leaving, despite Schalke's mooted interest and the player's own limited opportunities before the trip across the capital. Add to that Olivier Giroud's third goal in three games and the first-choice lineup boasts class when confident.
Giroud still drifts out of contests, a player who enrages himself at times with the sloppiness of his distribution. Yet he is capable of mustering a touch as sublime as that in the buildup to Arsenal's third – a ball over the shoulder collected on his instep and brought instantly under control – and his crisp, instinctive finish for the contest's opening goal was a mark of quality.
The former Montpellier forward could lose his starting place if an elite forward is secured this week. "If there is a new striker coming, it's a good thing for the squad and I'll try to give it up for the team," he said. "We all wanted a response to last week. When it does not work, the fans want new signings. We really wanted to show that the squad is together."
Wenger stressed: "There is no guarantee the new guy who comes in will start every game. We might buy a big player and he will not play. What is good about football is that it is just about quality. Most of the time quality is linked with price, but not always. These players enjoy playing together and this is the first year when we have not been traumatised by losing players. If we can gain one, two or even three more, we will do it, but we did not play well because they are worried about their future."
Neither should Fulham be overly concerned at an untimely home defeat with their new owner, Shahid Khan, watching from the stands. Martin Jol's side lacked fizz in their approach early on but rallied late and will be heartened by Darren Bent's debut reward, even if finding a way to accommodate the loanee alongside Dimitar Berbatov remains a work in progress. Scott Parker was busy enough and will improve, while Adel Taarabt offered invention and unpredictability.
Defeat was frustrating rather than demoralising and this team will find its bite. "The challenge is to get all these players together in the same team," Jol said. Arsenal hope they are confronting similar problems in the week ahead.
Man of the match Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)