Date:Thursday April 27 2006
Robert Pires thinks Arsenal's progression in the Champions League is bourne out of defensive failiures in previous campaigns.
Arsenal will meet Barcelona in this years Champions League final in a game which will represent Arsenal's first ever final in the competition, and Pires thinks this success had come about due to Arsenal finally changing their tactics.
Arsene Wenger tries to remain faithful to his attacking policies in every game he plays and this is what Pires thinks has cost us, but we have learned from this and are now reaping in the results.
'We missed that defence, courage and discipline during the last few Champions Leagues,' Pires told L'Equipe.
'When we came at Valencia three years ago, we were close to qualification, but we went on attacking and we were eliminated.
'That taught us a lesson. Everyone got experience.
'Against Real Madrid, like in Turin, or at Villarreal, we above all defended well. That is the difference between yesterday's and today's Arsenal.
'That allows us to play in the final. However, we are so exhausted!'
'Usually, when you defend well in the Champions League, you go far away,' added Pires. 'Actually, it is a good mix between youth and experience.
'Our young players are so strong mentally. They never doubt about anything.
'Jens is achieving a great season, his best that is true. The fact of having been named number one with the German team probably released him.
'It is a great help for us on a psychological level.'
Date:Thursday April 27 2006
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