Arsene Wenger: 'First-half slips are psychological'

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on the touchline during the FA Cup third round replay against Swansea on January 16, 2013
© PA Photos
Arsene Wenger feels that Arsenal's first-half performances have held them back this season.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes that his team's first-half performances have been hindering their progress this season.

The Gunners would be second in the Premier League, two points behind Manchester City, if just second-half scores were taken into account.

Wenger, whose side clawed their way back from two goals down against Liverpool on Wednesday, said that Arsenal's failure to perform in the first half could be a psychological issue.

"Maybe the psychological factor, the fear not to do well, lies in our first halves," Wenger told reporters. "But when we are in a position where we really have to go for it we show extreme quality.

"I think we did that again against Liverpool on Wednesday. We can be very proud of our performance in that game because the players had huge mental strength and great quality in our game."

The French coach was full of praise for today's opponents Stoke City, who he believes have added more technically gifted players to their squad.

"Stoke are a team that are usually well-organised and difficult to beat," he added. "You expect always a fierce resistance from Stoke and most of the time you are never disappointed.

"They have gone for more technical quality these days, they have brought Charlie Adam and Steven Nzonzi who are technically good players in midfield.

"That means they have more variety in their game and they have shown that many times this season. And, of course, you know they can compete with anybody."

Arsenal and Stoke drew 0-0 at the Britannia Stadium in August.

Related Video
League Two Playoffs
Scottish Premiership
3pm
Hamilton
vs
St Mirren
3pm
Kilmarnock
vs
Ross County
3pm
Motherwell
vs
Partick Thistle
Scottish Premiership Playoffs
La Liga
3.30pm
Levante
vs
Elche
5.30pm
Almeria
vs
Valencia
5.30pm
Athletic Bilbao
vs
Villarreal
5.30pm
Barcelona
vs
Deportivo
5.30pm
Celta Vigo
vs
Espanyol
5.30pm
Eibar
vs
Cordoba
5.30pm
Granada
vs
Atletico
5.30pm
Malaga
vs
Sevilla
5.30pm
Rayo Vallecano
vs
Real Sociedad
7.30pm
Real Madrid
vs
Getafe
Serie A
Bundesliga
2.30pm
FC Koln
vs
Wolfsburg
2.30pm
Dortmund
vs
Werder Bremen
2.30pm
Borussia M'bach
vs
Augsburg
2.30pm
Frankfurt
vs
B. Leverkusen
2.30pm
Bayern Munich
vs
Mainz 05
2.30pm
Hamburger SV
vs
Schalke
2.30pm
Hannover
vs
Freiburg
2.30pm
SC Paderborn
vs
Stuttgart
2.30pm
Hoffenheim
vs
Hertha Berlin
Ligue 1
8pm
Bordeaux
vs
Montpellier
8pm
Caen
vs
Evian
8pm
Lens
vs
Nantes
8pm
Lorient
vs
Monaco
8pm
Marseille
vs
Bastia
8pm
Metz
vs
Lille
8pm
PSG
vs
Reims
8pm
Rennes
vs
Lyon
8pm
St Etienne
vs
Guingamp
8pm
Toulouse
vs
Nice
Major League Soccer
Segunda Division
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CChelsea37259370313984
2Manchester CityMan City37237781384376
3Arsenal37219767353272
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd37209862372569
5Liverpool37188115142962
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs37187125753461
7Southampton371861354312360
8Swansea CitySwansea37168134648-256
9Stoke CityStoke37149144244-251
10Everton371211144849-147
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham371211144445-147
12Crystal Palace37129164651-545
13West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom371111153747-1044
14Leicester CityLeicester37108194154-1338
15Sunderland37717133050-2038
16Aston Villa37108193156-2538
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3799193863-2536
18Hull City37810193351-1834
RBurnley37612192753-2630
RQueens Park RangersQPR3786234168-2730
LIVE SCORES VIDEPRINTER
expand