Arsenal certainly have the points to say they’re in the title race this season, but mentality is something far more difficult to measure.

Can players perform under pressure or come out of a difficult spell? Can they do it in the very biggest games or when the squad is thin?

Right now Arsenal are doing all of these things, and have convinced Arsène Wenger that they have the mental ability to cope with the pressure on them.

“You want everybody to want to play and we have shown again recently Olympiacos and Villa that we have a fantastic mentality in the team,” the Arsenal manager said on Thursday.

“I hope in the longer term that will come out.”

500419316 arsene wenger manager of arsenal attends an gettyimages
Wenger has unbelievable belief, but do his players share it? (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Wenger’s belief in his side has never wavered, and he was proven right last season against Monday’s opponents. After years of struggling in big matches, particularly away from home, the Gunners went to the City of Manchester Stadium and won 2-0.

The win was a huge one, and the team went on to win at Old Trafford in the FA Cup within two months. Since then we have won games against Chelsea (neutral venue), Liverpool and Bayern Munich (both at home). There can be no doubting that Arsenal are capable of winning the biggest games.

Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger (C) watches as Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil (R) celebrates scoring his team's second goal with teamamte Arsenal's Spanish defender Nacho Monreal during the UEFA Champions League football match between Arsenal and Bayern Munich at the Emirates Stadium in London, on October 20, 2015. Arsenal won the match 2-0. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Arsenal Wenger looks on after Mesut Özil sealed the 2-0 win against Bayern Munich in October. (BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

“It was a needed step for our team,” Wenger admitted. “It was not enough but it was the first step that was certainly vital to strengthen the belief of our team. When you have never done it people can tell you you’re good enough, but when you have done it you know you can do it and that strengthens you.”

That strength can be taken into Monday night’s game, which is certainly the biggest of the season so far. The Arsenal players go into the game knowing they can beat Manchester City, hopefully they deliver.

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Usually found watching or talking about English or German football. Interested in tactics (but often despairing a lack of them). Favourite players: Bergkamp, Arteta, Özil