Arsenal now better prepared to deal with physicality of Premier League says Arsene Wenger
The Gunners beat Stoke 1-0 at the weekend
Monday 04 February 2013
Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal are now better equipped to deal with the physicality required in the Barclays Premier League.
The Gunners' fluid passing style is well documented but so too is their inability to hold firm when the going gets tough.
However, Wenger believes that soft core is beginning to change, epitomised by Saturday's hard-fought 1-0 victory against Stoke.
"In England you have to cope with all kinds of football without losing the quality you want to play and that is not always easy because if you have 10 Santi Cazorlas, you would have a very good technical team, but against Stoke you would struggle," he said.
"I think it is more mental preparation. You tell your central defenders you have to be ready and they are good on the second ball too, so your midfielders have to be good on the second ball, to fight for it and let you play your game.
"We played Abou Diaby at home and away against Stoke because in front of the defence he can win some headers.
"We are a bit more mature now, but we dealt with it well. In the past, we were a bit younger as well, more inexperienced.
"But defensively, Bacary Sagna, Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker have some experience, some stature, they are not small at the back."
As well as toughening up as a unit, Wenger believes Theo Walcott is now more adept at dealing with the attention he gets.
"He is 23 years old," the Frenchman said. "There is always a change at that age. I am a great believer in that.
"What people forget is that he does everything at 100mph, and when you get hit at 100mph it hurts more than if you're slow.
"That is why we never had a problem when we played. But he plays at high pace.
"But now you learn to escape and when he imposes himself more, you learn to use your body better."
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Follow the latest events from this Champions League fixture
Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind"
Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say
Latest in Sport
Luis Suarez: Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies from spine injury after doing somersault celebration
Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley
Adel Taraabt criticism from QPR boss Harry Redknapp sparked by player walking out of team meeting prior to Liverpool game
West Brom vs Manchester United player ratings: Saido Berahino scores highest, whilst Marcos Rojo scores lowest
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments