Goodison Park

Next Game

Everton v Arsenal

Saturday, 23 August 2014, 17:30

Barclays Prem

Last Game

Besiktas 0 - 0 Arsenal

Tuesday, 19 August 2014, 19:45

Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round

Wenger: Arsenal much tougher

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal have a squad that is more adept at dealing with the physical nature of English football.

Last Updated: 04/02/13 at 08:58 Post Comment

Arsene Wenger: Hopeful his team can deal with more physical teams

Arsene Wenger: Hopeful his team can deal with more physical teams

The Gunners' fluid passing style is well documented but so too is their inability to hold firm when the going gets tough, as it can against a number of less technically-adept Premier League teams.

But Wenger believes that previous soft core is starting to show signs of changing, as epitomised by Saturday's hard-fought 1-0 victory against Stoke.

Wenger said: "In England you have to cope with all kinds of football without losing the quality you want to play.

"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.

"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," Wenger added. "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."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

F

air play to the lad. I'd like to think I 'd have no fear of heading off to the other side of the world to coach, but in truth, I don't have the cajones. Hopefully he can make a decent living out of it.

mylsey
Brit Coaches Abroad: Jack Brazil

I

was reticent with this signing, bringing our outlay on left backs to £50m + a Nani loan (and still paying his wages). However, if he's better than Pele then who am I to complain...

mufc phil
He's Solved 'The Rojo Problem' Before...

O

K FIFA we're done, you can ban us now

jimmyjazz
Barcelona transfer ban upheld

Footer 365

Transfer news: Stevan Jovetic happy at Manchester City

Stevan Jovetic insists he is happy at Manchester City and wants to make up for a disappointing debut season last term.

Premier League: Willian targets more goals for Chelsea this season

Willian admits he needs to score more goals this season if he is earn a starting place in Chelsea's line-up.

Transfer news: Liverpool in talks to sign AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli

Liverpool have opened talks with AC Milan over a move for striker Mario Balotelli, Sky sources understand.

Mail Box

Rojo Is A Better Signing Than Hummels

There's some big talk in the morning mailbox, which claims that Man United were right to sign Marcos Rojo instead of Mats Hummels. Plus, one Gooner's happy Arteta's out...

So Long And Good Luck To Nani

A Mailbox that offers best wishes to a departing hero, defends Olivier Giroud, tells us to steady on over Calum Chambers and makes some amusing predictions...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property