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Arsenal are ‘mentally stronger’ under Arteta but must be consistent against big teams starting with Liverpool

NIGEL WINTERBURN claims his old club Arsenal are “mentally stronger” under Mikel Arteta - but they must do better against the top sides.

The Gunners are unbeaten so far this campaign following their FA Cup success in August.

Spaniard Arteta takes his team to Anfield on Monday to face Premier League champions Liverpool for their toughest test yet.

However, Arsenal legend Winterburn believes his former side need to be more consistent against the big boys.

And he says that must start against the Reds.

Speaking to FreeSuperTips, the ex-left back said: “Arsenal are certainly getting mentally stronger under Mikel Arteta which has been shown in a few cases last season.

“The mental side of the game is so important, which a lot of people forget about.

“When people are watching football from the outside, they tend to focus on a player's ability.

“For me, ability is a given. If you're playing in the Premier League you have ability, but you need that mental strength when things are not going for you.

“You need to be able to keep pushing yourself and pushing your team-mates to dig out the results.”

Winterburn, who played over 400 top-flight matches for the North London side, continued: “Last season Arsenal would’ve been in danger of losing a game like that to West Ham.

“I wouldn't have seen them going on to win that type of game last season.

“Mikel Arteta is already doing a fantastic job with the club, he’s a no-nonsense manager that knows what he wants.

“He's not afraid to leave players out if he doesn't think their work rate or attitude is right.

“He’s set ground rules, and when you start to do that, you can develop the way you train and the way you play.

“It's not all perfect, there's a long way for Arsenal to go and I'm certainly not getting carried away.

“However, it's nice to feel that there is some progression.”

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The three-time title winner added: “For me, it’s going to be about the consistency.

“Arsenal have shown they can win the odd game against the big teams, which was proved by the FA Cup and Community Shield victories.

“We now want to see that consistency through the league, that will give us the opportunity to challenge for the top four.

“After 10 Premier League games, we’ll have a better idea of how the league will pan out for us this season.”

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