'The margin between teams has shrunk'

Saturday’s victory against Stoke City was the sixth time this season that we have come from behind to claim all three points.

Arsene Wenger was asked about the importance of mentality and how the festive schedule can shape things in his press conference ahead of the Everton game.

This is what he had to say:

on the importance of the festive fixtures…
When you look at the teams around us, you can see that the margin of difference between the teams has shrunk a lot. So the way you respond in every single game is absolutely vital. It’s a very important period where everyone has to be absolutely focused on our results and on the way we want to play.

on how using a psychologist has helped form…
It’s down to the quality of the players - it’s as simple as that. It’s nothing to do with psychology, it’s down to how well the players play on the football pitch. We have not to go overboard with that, it’s nothing to do with that.

on the side’s strong mentality…
The strong mentality of the players is first down to the fact that we have more maturity in the squad and that the players are more experienced. We played for many years with a very young squad, so under pressure they are a bit more vulnerable. Also, it is linked to the recent history of the team - we have not lost for a long time and that creates as well strength in the squad and belief, and trust, and that is of course much more linked with that.

on how many teams can win the league…
I don’t know. We go to Everton, let’s focus on Everton and try to win the game. That’s all you can do - win your next game. In football that’s all you can do. What is for sure is at the moment every game is like a cup final for everybody. We just came out of a game where we were 1-0 down and for the sixth time in the season, we come back after having been down. So let’s continue to focus on that, on our resilience and on our motivation and after let’s see how far we can go.

on Chelsea winning nine games in a row…
They are one of the teams who are doing extremely well at the moment. They will have to maintain that, like everybody else at the top. I believe they will be one of the title candidates, of course. There’s no super favourite at the moment.

on Arsenal not being favourites…
No, nobody is. When you look at the league, it’s down to consistency. Every time, when a team is favourite to win, they struggle or they don’t win. It’s very open, very interesting, but it’s also a massive challenge of consistency.


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