PA Sport

Arsene Wenger: Arsenal confidence has helped us overcome psychological struggles

Arsene Wenger: Arsenal confidence has helped us overcome psychological struggles
By PA Sport

19/10/2016 at 23:17

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal's confidence has helped his side overcome the psychological struggles from previous seasons after they thrashed Ludogorets 6-0 in the Champions League.

Mesut Ozil stole the show with a second-half hat-trick after Alexis Sanchez and in-form Theo Walcott put Arsenal 2-0 up.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also got on the scoresheet as the Gunners stretched their unbeaten run to 11 games in all competitions, now with seven straight wins.

As one-sided as the scoreline was, Arsenal were put under pressure during the first half and after edging past Swansea last weekend, Wenger believes his current crop of players are better equipped to deal with tricky spells in the Premier League and Champions League than previous years.

"Yes, in this game a lot is linked with confidence," Wenger said when asked if his side's recent form is a sign of progression.

"I feel that at the moment because we win game after game our confidence is high and maybe we get over these dodgy periods with less psychological damage.

"We have a good balance in the team at the moment. Maybe we make more of our chances because the final ball is better.

"Our finishing is better but it's difficult to analyse at the moment. But what is for sure, we score more goals and that's what our game is about. We have a risky game so it is important we take our chances.

"In the first half, it looked like a difficult game because they were dangerous going forward, they had good technique in short space, they are quick on the counter attack.

"I believe it was not easy but in the second half we took complete control of the game. I think we could have scored more."

Despite getting 19 assists in the Premier League last season, many have questioned the lack of goals to Ozil's name but the German has answered his critics with six goals in all competitions this campaign and Wenger feels the 28-year-old has found the right balance as a provider and scorer for the team.

"It looks like he has a taste to score goals," the Arsenal boss added.

"He's getting in behind now. Before he only liked to come for the ball and provide. You want him to be a provider and a scorer and it looks like he's slowly moving towards that better balance."

Wenger also confirmed that midfielder Santi Cazorla suffered a knock on his Achilles tendon and is likely to miss Saturday's Premier League clash against Middlesbrough.

Ludogorets manager Georgi Dermendzhiev said: "We knew Arsenal were a very good team. We had chances to score. We are playing the second time in the Champions League, it's a pleasure to play against strong teams.

"Arsenal, I think, will be top of the group. We will continue to learn, our team is small but we have strong character."