Arsene Wenger has revealed that he discussed the “stresses” of a modern-day footballer, as well as the “strength” required to be one, with David Beckham recently.
Arsenal started the season well, losing their first game but following that with a 14-game unbeaten run in the Premier League.
That launched them into title contention, but they have lost their last two league games to Everton and Manchester City, leaving them fourth.
The Gunners host West Brom at the Emirates Stadium on Boxing Day, desperate to return to winning ways.
Wenger admitted Premier League “stress” can make or break the modern footballer – but insists his squad can bind together to find form.
“I’ve seen many players fail because they did not have resistance to stress,” the Frenchman said.
“It’s not easy to walk out sometimes in a hostile atmosphere and perform at your best. We are usually educated to it slowly.
“Everybody responds individually to that (the mood of a crowd). Some are more affected than others.
“I believe what is important is the strength you find inside and you respond inside the club to be united inside the dressing room.
“The strength you can find. There’s a special thing happening for a football player in the dressing room.
“I spoke with (David) Beckham about that recently. I asked him, ‘Do you miss it?’. He said, ‘Football I can play every day, I’m invited in all the charity games, but I miss the dressing room, that kind of being together for something together’.
“Fighting together, that’s what you miss. That helps them to get over it.
“You do not go in the season and have no disappointment. We have just lost two games. Of course it’s tough but (Manchester) City didn’t win for six, Tottenham for four or five, Manchester United as well; all the teams go through that.
“It’s the teams who respond well together who have the most successful season. It’s part of it.
“In 20 years I had very few seasons where you start on the motorway and you finish on the motorway with no car in front of you.”