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

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

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."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

Footer 365

Iker Casillas confident he can hold off David De Gea at Real Madrid

Iker Casillas intends to stay at Real Madrid and is confident he can hold off the challenge of David De Gea at the Bernabeu.

Officials arrested in Switzerland ahead of FIFA meeting

Seven serving FIFA officials have been arrested in Switzerland on corruption charges, Swiss authorities have confirmed.

Danny Ings subject of £12m Tottenham bid - Sky sources

Tottenham are ready to bid £12m for Burnley striker Danny Ings, according to Sky sources.

Mail Box

Vidic Is Part Of United's 'Budget XI'

We have post-2000 budget XIs on behalf of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs. Plus gaelic football, FIFA, more awards and the majesty of Il Fenomeno...

Europa League: Hardly The AIA Cup

A Spurs fan definitely isn't bothered his side aren't in the Europa League final tonight. Also, a warning about Michael Laudrup, and how to build a team with less than £20m.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company