Wenger: Senior players helped us ride out the storm


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The Independent Football

Arsène Wenger believes Arsenal's experienced players have helped them through their rollercoaster season. The Gunners have endured a tumultuous campaign full of highs and lows, although they now look set for a top-four finish against the odds. However, defeats earlier in the campaign against the likes of Milan and Sunderland led to questions over the side.

Wenger, though, insists he has had no qualms over his side's quality and believes their attitude has helped them through the bad times. "Of course you question yourself, and you question what you can do about it, even more than you do when all is going well," Wenger said.

"When things are going well, the players, the press and the fans all have more certainty, and so it's easier. But it's these moments when experience helps, because it's important not to question and change the wrong things.

"How do you know what is right and what is wrong? Well, you just try to analyse the situation as well as you can. We do that as a group in the coaching team, of course, and as well I go home and think about things by myself. Part of the job is to make decisions, and in the end somebody has to do that. You have to be decisive – it's better to make a bad decision than no decision at all."

He added: "Personally, I never question the attitude of this team, which I may have done in some previous years. But this season, never. I've always returned home thinking this team will never give up, they are always ready for a fight.

"I must say Robin van Persie has done an outstanding job of leading the team, as have many players – people like [Thomas] Vermaelen, [Mikel] Arteta, [Alex] Song, [Bacary] Sagna.I don't want to leave people out but the senior players have played a big part in setting the tone in the squad."

Wenger concedes it has been an "eventful season" and one that has tested the mental strength of the club. The Frenchman believes Arsenal have benefited from those experiences and highlighted the 5-2 comeback victory over north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur as the game that bolstered their resolve.

"We have shown an exceptional response, togetherness and belief," Wenger said. "I'm very proud of that because the way we came back against Tottenham strengthened that belief and also created optimism around the team with our fans. That result also helped us to come back against Liverpool and Newcastle."