- Language Tips
Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal's 5-1 demolition of West Ham proves it is mentally strong enough to cope with the pressure of battling to finish in the Premier League's top four.
After error-strewn performances in successive defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea, Arsenal's season appeared to be in danger of imploding and Wenger reportedly held crisis talks with his players earlier this week.
But the Gunners temporarily silenced their critics with an emphatic victory at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, which ended a troubling run of three games without a win and lifted them within four points of fourth-place Tottenham.
"We got a good response, I watched the Chelsea game again and felt in the second half we were good and we continued that here," Wenger said. "In the first half we controlled it, but West Ham were dangerous on set pieces and we got punished. In the second, we played with great pace, had tremendous movement and created a lot of chances.
"I never felt the players didn't know how important these matches were. I was just worried they were a bit inhibited in the big games.
"They have fantastic mentality and ability. That is what we want to show until the end of the season."
Although Arsenal recovered from a 10-point deficit to finish in the top four last season, Wenger had conceded the team's position was beginning to concern him.
"At 1-0 down if you concede the second goal it can go the other way. The Premier League is like that. You are in trouble as soon as you are not at your best," Wenger said. "I thought it was an interesting test at that moment. It was vital to equalize before half-time."
(China Daily 01/25/2013 page22)