Wenger: Arsenal mentally tougher

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his side are mentally stronger now than when they played Bayern Munich in last season’s Champions League, ESPN has reported.

Bayern knocked the Gunners out of the competition last season on the way to winning the whole thing, beating Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium before losing at the Allianz Arena but progressing on away goals.

Wenger added that after their experience 12 months ago, Arsenal have learned from their mistakes. “I think we are in a better mental shape than last year,” he said.

“We are determined to win this game Last year we went out on the away goal, that shows it’s important not to concede at home.

“We have a strong team spirit that is for sure, we have a united team and we have a stronger belief now. All the players have recovered well from Sunday. here are no new injuries, [Tomas] Rosicky will come back in.”

Wenger agreed with the suggestion that it has been Arsenal’s mentality holding them back but insisted the London club are ready to fight for trophies again, having gone almost a decade since their last silverware.

“We always had quality [in our team], but not always the belief. The belief is built by results and on that front we are stronger, of course. I am sure we will do well.

“We face the favourite of the competition and what we have is big belief. We have only had big games in the Champions League and FA Cup and from the start of the season, we have known in every single game we have absolutely to be 100%.”

Arsenal reached the Champions League final in 2006 but lost to Barcelona, while this season they are a point short of Premier League leaders Chelsea, and through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, where they play Everton.

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