Monday 12 December 2016

Arsenal Are Mentally Strong

The character Arsenal showed in battling back from a goal down to beat Stoke City 3-1 on Saturday was proof of a growing mental strength in the team, says boss Arsene Wenger. Wenger's sides have often been accused of wilting under pressure in the past but Arsenal have shown more resilience this season, fighting back to earn points against Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Southampton and Ludogorets.

He said “It's the sixth time that we are down in the game and come back to win since the start of the season. That's not a coincidence. It doesn't happen just because you say 'come on, you have to keep fighting'. That means there is something in the team that is quite strong, but after that we have to keep the spirit because that can be quite fragile.”

The club have been utilising the services of psychologist and former Oxford United centre-back Ceri Evans, who has also worked with rugby union world champions New Zealand. Winger Theo Walcott admitted that Arsenal used to have a tendency to let setbacks throw them off their game but cited their reaction to the questionable penalty awarded against them on Saturday as proof of the change in attitude.

Arsenal, who are second in the table, travel to face ninth-placed Everton on Tuesday and could go on top of the table, at least until Chelsea face Sunderland a day later.

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