Santi Cazorla says there is a noticeable “change of mentality” in the Arsenal squad after their FA Cup success last season.
The Spanish midfielder scored against Hull City in the final, and was on target again as the Gunners beat Manchester City at Wembley to win the Community Shield.
Cazorla believes the team’s performance in that game was a direct result of their previous success, and says it bodes well for the future.
"That switch of spirit [after winning at Wembley] was shown in the Community Shield - the team played with a more relaxed feeling"
“Winning a title always makes things easier,” he told Arsenal.com. “I could feel a change of mentality in the team after winning the FA Cup. After nine years without winning a trophy, there was heavy pressure on the team and on the club’s shoulders.
“That switch of spirit [after winning at Wembley] was shown in the Community Shield - the team played with a more relaxed feeling as our victory in the FA Cup released the pressure.
“We only needed to believe in ourselves. If there was something we were lacking during the nine years, it was self-belief. Once you manage to lift a title, then you feel you can do it again.
“We all wanted to win titles but for some reason we couldn't. Luckily now we have managed to do it and that changed our mentality.”
Cazorla is confident about Arsenal's chances ahead of the new season - but says the competition at the top of the table has never been fiercer.
“Man United will be a strong opponent as they do not have European duties, so it'll be a case similar to Liverpool last year,” he said.
“Also you always have to count on Chelsea because they have Mourinho in charge and also because of the players they've signed. They'll be a dangerous rival.
“Man City have won two titles in the last three years and that makes them favourites, while Liverpool keep improving.
“That's the attractiveness of this league - it's so competitive and there are many teams with title ambitions. The important thing is that we are among them all.”
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