The two enemies are all set to meet in a feisty Premier League clash on Saturday, but the Chelsea goalkeeper has added more fuel to this fiery rivalry, by stating that Arsenal are mentally weaker as compared to the Blues.
The Belgium international initially talked about the mental impact their new boss Antonio Conte has made upon his arrival at the Stamford Bridge, before going on to compare their mental strength with that of Arsene Wenger’s men.
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Speaking to The Times, the 24-year-old stated: “People talk about our improvement this season, but you could also ask why we went from being champions by eight points to finishing tenth last season.
“It’s not just a case of last year we were so sh*t, this year we’re so good. We were always a good team, but after winning the championship our mentality dropped. We maybe thought that everything was easy, but in the Premier League there are no easy games. We lacked intensity at the start and it was hard to pull out of it.
“This year we’ve had a new mentality, particularly with the new coach coming in. He’s brought the winning mentality and hunger to win again. He’s very hungry and we can feel that in training, he’s very close on us every single day. There’s no let-up. He’s on to us that we have to win, win, win.”
“After we lost at Arsenal in September the players got together and said, ‘We cannot have a season like last year, we have to change something and work harder.’ Our mentality changed.”
And when asked about the upcoming game against Arsenal, he said: “Arsenal are good, but their performances are a bit irregular. I think we have a stronger mentality.
“This game won’t decide the Premier League, but if we win and go 12 points ahead of Arsenal a lot of things have to happen for us not to be champions. Victory would send a signal to other teams that we won’t drop many more points.”