Arsene Wenger 'worried' that his Arsenal players cannot 'absorb the blows' of defeat

Arsenal travel to Germany next week to take on Bayern Munich, who they trail 3-1 after the first leg

Humiliated by Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup, outclassed by Bayern Munich in the Champions League and trailing their greatest rivals by seven points in the Premier League.

The all-too familiar 'business end' capitulation that has taken place at Arsenal this season and the affect it may have on the players is a source of concern for Arsene Wenger.

Technically the Gunners could still win the Champions League, but trailing their German opponents 3-1 after the first leg, few are backing them to advance - meaning another season with no silverware.

But Arsenal still have all to fight for, with a top-four finish in the Premier League, and the Champions League qualification that comes with it, still in sight.

It will be a tall order to haul in Chelsea, who are five points ahead, and rivals Tottenham, who are seven ahead after their victory in the north London derby.

Wenger says he is ready for the fight but has admitted his concern about the mental state of his players and the impact it could have.

Wenger said: “I am not worried about us potentially coming back against Bayern, I am more worried about consequences that could manifest in the heads of our players.

“You will never know how they can absorb those blows and how the team respond to disappointment. This is the most worrying aspect for me.

“But from the experience of how to handle the end of the season, we know how to deal with that. We have had lots of experience.

“Of course, you are not feeling great if you can’t win, but we can stay solid or crack under the pressure.

“If you want to know, I am still solid but I can’t tell you that I feel great right now because my job is about winning games and when you lose you will not find a single coach in this world who feels very good.”

Arsenal have arguably the easiest run-in of their rivals in the fight to secure Champions League football for a 16th consecutive season. Of the League’s top six, the Gunners only have to play Manchester United and Everton — both at home — but their final 10 matches begin with a difficult trip to Capital One Cup winners Swansea.

Wenger’s side have not won on either of their visits to the Liberty Stadium since Swansea were promoted back to the Premier League.

“We are in a situation right now where our objective is just to qualify for the Champions League — so we can’t drop points any more,” said the 63-year-old.

“Contrary to our two cup defeats we are on a good run in the Premier League actually — with the two big blows in just three days in the cups. We need to recover, and that will define the rest of our season.”

Arsenal are hopeful Kieran Gibbs will be available against Bayern report The Evening Standard after the left-back returned to full training following a thigh injury. His progress will be closely monitored but, at this stage, it is expected he will only be fit enough for a place among the substitutes.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement