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Walcott buoyed by Arsenal´s ´strongest ever´ mentality

Theo Walcott believes Arsenal are mentally stronger than at any time during his 10 years with the club.

England international Walcott joined Arsenal from Southampton as a 16-year-old in January 2006, two seasons on from Arsene Wenger’s side lifting the Premier League title in 2003-04.

The top prize in English football has since proved elusive for the Emirates Stadium outfit but a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Stoke City on Sunday again lifted them to top spot amid a tightly contested title race.

The Britannia Stadium has traditionally been an unhappy hunting ground for Arsenal, with their record now standing at one win from eight trips in all competitions, but Walcott was happy to leave with a share of the spoils having seen Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United all come unstuck on the road against Mark Hughes’ men this season.

“All the big teams that have come here have struggled, with Stoke getting positive results,” he told Arsenal’s official website. “There were mixed emotions in the dressing room, but it is probably a fair result.

“We felt from the start we were up for the fight, physically. It’s a shame that we couldn’t get the result we desperately wanted but it is an improvement from previous performances here and we have got to be proud of that point.

“The mental strength in our dressing room is the strongest it has ever been. When you have the likes of Petr Cech coming in as well, he only enhances that.”

Four-time Premier League winner Cech joined Arsenal from Chelsea during the close season and made a string of vital second-half saves at Stoke – his latest fine display since making the switch across London.

“He has lifted everybody’s heads up, saying this is a very good point and that nobody tends to win here,” Walcott added, discussing the 33-year-old’s quickly established influence in the Arsenal dressing room.

“We just have to look at him because he has been at the top level and won many things so if we have the belief that he has got, we can push on.”

Mon 18 Jan, 2016
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