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Wenger: No concerns over Arsenal’s mental strength

Arsene Wenger - cropped Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (source: (Getty Images))

Arsene Wenger says he has no concerns over Arsenal’s mentality going into the second half of their Premier League title challenge.

Wenger’s men sit top of the table at the midway stage – leading Leicester City on goal difference while enjoying a three-point gap to Manchester City in third amid an unpredictable top-flight campaign.

Arsenal have been top four times going into the new year but managed to close out their title challenge on just one of those occasions.

Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’ overhauled Manchester United on their way to the title in 2004 and the Frenchman told reporters: “You question our mentality but I don’t.

“We have to rise above that and show that we can deal with all that and I believe we have to be guided by playing better football and being a real team in every game and show that we can be competitive.

“I will remind you that only one team won the league without losing a game. That is Arsenal Football Club. It is not the date [New Year’s Day] that is decided you win the league.

“It shows you that we have a good chance as the statistics show you that eight of the past 11 years the team who was top on New Year’s Day won it.”

This season’s Premier League is one of the most open in years, with defending champions Chelsea languishing in 14th while surprise packages Leicester and Crystal Palace sit above the likes of United and Liverpool.

“Maybe when we were top these three times because the other teams did not play at full power and we did,” Wenger added.

“But Man United had huge potential over the years and we played Liverpool at a time when they had Xabi Alonso, Steven Gerrard and Javier Mascherano in the middle of the park.

“Look at what all these players have won since. They had fantastic teams.

“Manchester United had [Cristiano] Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs over the period and you see what these players have done. Fantastic teams and potential.”

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