Arsène Wenger denies suggestions that Arsenal weaken in February

• Gunners meet Liverpool again in a crucial period
• 'Bayern Munich will lose eventually, don't worry'

Arsène Wenger has denied that Arsenal traditionally crumble and capitulate in February, claiming his side have never "collapsed" despite regularly falling out of contention in major competitions at this time of the season.

Following their 5-1 Premier League defeat at Anfield last weekend, Arsenal meet Liverpool again on Sunday in the FA Cup in the midst of a crucial period, which includes a last-16 Champions League double-header with Bayern Munich.

In 2008 Arsenal were leading the Premier League but eventually finished third and lost the 2011 League Cup final to Birmingham City. In the last two seasons they have lost in both the FA Cup and Champions League in February.

However, Wenger claims that, despite some "punctures", Arsenal have not collapsed completely. "People say we collapsed and crumbled – we never collapsed," he said. "We had some punctures and disappointments but, if you collapse, you finish 10th in this league. "We never crumbled, we always finished strong and, if you look at the number of points we took at the end of the season, you will see that we never collapsed, despite some big disappointments. We went out twice against Barcelona, once against Bayern on the away goal, we have not been very lucky with the draws in the Champions League."

On the crucial part of the campaign, he added: "It's like the guy who goes to the Olympic Games after four years, he prepares as it's one race that decides his success. That's it. I think we have done quality until now and that we just have to continue to focus on the quality."

Arsenal, second in the Premier League after drawing with Manchester United in midweek, are preparing to face Bayern on Wednesday at the Emirates, having lost to the European champions on goal difference at the same stage of the competition last year.

Bayern, who come into the game on the back of a winter break in Germany, won the treble last season and Wenger hopes Arsenal's busy fixture list will work to their advantage as they will not build the game up too much in their minds.

"Somewhere that helps us not to focus too much on them. It will be time enough to do it on Monday and Tuesday and overall a game of that stature, the players are always thinking about it," he said. "I think for them, having played us last year, they will think about it as well because they were in the end insecure.

"How they are better? I don't know because they won the Champions League, the championship, the cup and the world championship. So I don't know what they can do more. But they will lose [eventually], don't worry."

comments powered by Disqus