Arsene Wenger hails Arsenal toughness

Wenger hails Arsenal toughness
© PA Photos
Arsene Wenger says that Arsenal are learning how to deal with the Premier League's more physical sides and becoming tougher in the process.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has praised his side's ability to deal with the Premier League's more physical teams after their win over Stoke City at the weekend.

Having dominated the majority of the match, Lukas Podolski struck a deflected free kick in the 76th minute to earn the Gunners a 1-0 win over the Potters at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

The North Londoner's inability to deal with the physicality of some teams in the past has been well-documented, but Wenger believes that his side are beginning to change that view.

"In England you have to cope with all kinds of football without losing the quality you want to play," Wenger told Sky Sports News. "That is not always easy because if you have 10 Santi Cazorlas, you would have a very good technical team, but against Stoke you would struggle.

"I think it is more mental preparation. You tell your central defenders you have to be ready and they are good on the second ball too, so your midfielders have to be good on the second ball, to fight for it and let you play your game. We played Abou Diaby at home and away against Stoke because in front of the defence he can win some headers.

"We are a bit more mature now, but we dealt with it well. In the past, we were a bit younger as well, more inexperienced. But defensively, Bacary Sagna, Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker have some experience, some stature, they are not small at the back."

Arsenal endured a goalless draw against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium earlier in the season.

Arsenal's Theo Walcott smashes in an equaliser against Liverpool on January 30, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool23138254282647
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton24410102435-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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