By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger says his German stars have enhanced the "professional attitude" of the Arsenal squad.
The Frenchman is preparing his team for Wednesday's Champions League clash with Schalke and has demonstrated his respect for the Bundesliga in the transfer market, bringing Per Mertesacker to Emirates Stadium last year before signing his international team-mate, Lukas Podolski.
With a combined total of 189 caps, the German duo have pedigree as well as experience. And Wenger believes Arsenal could reap the rewards in Europe this season.
"I think so," he said. "First of all, the Germans are usually very professional. They have a very professional attitude. They are always ready to work hard. We had good experiences with the German players we had before and as well, they have a very strong team attitude usually.
"Those are qualities of course that are welcome at the top level. What has changed today in the game, is that you need to bring it all to a team. Your talent is not enough. I worked in Japan and Japanese players have similar attitudes. I’m not surprised that many Japanese players go now to Germany and that they are very well accepted there."
Podolski's lust for life has been evident since he first touched down in London after completing his move from Cologne during the summer. Wenger is delighted with the way the 27-year-old has conducted himself.
"He has a very friendly attitude and works very hard," said the manager. "He’s a team player and I think you can’t lie to the crowd. He’s very happy here. He’s a good voice to have in the dressing room. He has been received well.
"He’s ready for every game. He’s played very well for us until Saturday. On Saturday he was a bit less effective, like the whole team. We are very happy with him. He works very hard for the team. He scores goals and makes goals. Tomorrow there will be a little more pressure on him but he’s used to that. He’s got 100 Germany caps so he can handle it.
"I believe that what is important is that we keep facing our game despite the disappointment [at Norwich]," added Wenger. "This team I think has a very strong ambition, a very strong attitude. On the pitch we can show that we have the quality [that] can justify that ambition. I believe there’s still a lot more to come from this team."
Watch Wenger's press conference on Arsenal PlayerCopyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 23 Oct 2012