By Richard Clarke
The pain and frustration of last season's title race will spur Arsenal to success this term, according to Arsène Wenger.
The Frenchman was speaking at the Amsterdam Hilton ahead of tonight's high quality tournament in the Dutch capital. Famously, room 702 was the venue for John Lennon and Yoko Ono's first bed-in of 1969. However, at his press conference on the ground floor on Thursday evening, the Arsenal manager was hardly hoping to give peace a chance this season. Instead he was looking forward to renewing hostilities with the other title contenders - and beating them this time.
"I am convinced the frustration we got by not winning it last season will come out for good," he said. "It will strengthen our resolve to do it this time.
"We have kept the basis of the team this season. OK we have lost Gilberto who was very experienced and very important in the dressing room. Also we lost [Mathieu Flamini] and Alex Hleb. But we brought in Nasri and also we have many young players who are one year older and have learned a lot.
"We have made a big improvement from two years ago to last year and now we want to continue. We were a short way from winning the League and the Champions League. That is why we want to continue with the way we play and keep the belief."
However Nasri (knee/thigh) and Abou Diaby (thigh) have both not travelled for the tournament. The former has a minor problem and should be fit for the Champions League qualifier on Wednesday. However Diaby is likely to be sidelined for that game.Copyright 2017 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