Wenger (rightly) uses the word ‘mental’ a lot

Date published: Monday 15th February 2016 9:14

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger has admitted that his Arsenal players were shell-shocked at half-time against Leicester when they thought their title challenge was in doubt.

A Jamie Vardy penalty had given the Foxes the lead and the Gunners were – at that time – eight points behind the Premier League leaders.

Goals from Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck forced a six-point swing in the second half and the Gunners are now title favourites, just two points behind Claudio Ranieri’s side.

For Daniel Storey’s 16 Conclusions from the game, click here.

“For a while, I thought eight points would be too much,” said Wenger. “When we came back to five [points], I thought ‘OK, it will not be completely over’.”

“A loss today would have been massive. After that you get all the negative vibes, the belief goes down, it would have been much more difficult.

“We would not have given up, but eight points is three games to come back. We would need to win three, they would need to lose three.

“It was a big mental hurdle for the team, we were under shock at half-time. We did not see that coming, and we were eight points behind Leicester at half-time.

“It was a mental test for us, because to find yourself down 1-0 at half-time to a team who defends so well, you need to keep going in your head.

“We came back in the second half with relentless energy. And we took as well all the risks to win it. We knew a draw was not good enough.

“In the end it paid off, down to the mental desire of the team to give absolutely everything to win it.”

 

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