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Saturday 10 December 2016

Wenger: We are tuned in

Arsenal boss says team are mentally equipped for 'dodgy periods'

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal's confidence has helped his side overcome the psychological struggles from previous seasons.

The Gunners face Middlesbrough in Premier League action at the Emirates tomorrow afternoon after they thrashed Ludogorets 6-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Mesut Ozil stole the show with a second-half hat-trick after Alexis Sanchez and in-form Theo Walcott put Arsenal 2-0 up. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also got on the scoresheet as the Gunners stretched their unbeaten run to 11 games in all competitions, now with seven straight wins.

Wenger believes his current crop of players are better equipped to deal with tricky spells in the Premier League and Champions League than previous years.

"Yes, in this game a lot is linked with confidence," Wenger said when asked if his side's recent form is a sign of progression.

"I feel that at the moment because we win game after game our confidence is high and maybe we get over these dodgy periods with less psychological damage.

"We have a good balance in the team at the moment. Maybe we make more of our chances because the final ball is better.

"Our finishing is better but it's difficult to analyse at the moment. But what is for sure, we score more goals and that's what our game is about. We have a risky game so it is important we take our chances."

Meanwhile, Shkodran Mustafi believes Arsenal are developing the adaptability required to chase major honours this season.

Constant

The Germany defender hailed the Gunners' tactical nous during the 11-match unbeaten stretch.

The former Valencia star believes Arsenal now have the tools to switch their approach if their preferred method stalls.

"It's about having identity, and we are doing very well reading the game," said Mustafi.

"Sometimes it's important to go and win the ball in the final third but sometimes it's about staying back, being compact and trying to win the ball in the middle of the pitch.

"That's what makes big teams win titles."

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