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Wenger praises Arsenal star for overcoming Fulham setback

Arsenal's Mikel Arteta celebrates. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Arsenal's Mikel Arteta celebrates. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA

Friday, December 28, 2012
9:37 AM

Arsene Wenger has commended midfielder Mikel Arteta for showing the strength of mind to convert three consecutive penalties after missing a last minute spot kick in the 3-3 draw with Fulham last month,

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The Spaniard scored a brace of penalties against West Brom and hit another against Wigan after Mark Schwarzer saved his last gasp effort at the Emirates against the Cottagers.

But Wenger is delighted that miss has not dented his vice-captain’s confidence.

“It takes character [to score three penalties in a row],” he told Arsenal Player. “I am glad he shows that.

“You heard so many comments when he missed that one against Fulham - ‘why does he take the penalties?’ - but he has everyone on board now.

“That is the only way you can do it: show everyone that you have the character and the quality.

“It is important after [a player misses] that you test the desire to do it again. If they are a little bit on the back foot then you don’t insist at all.

“But if he is really keen and has a history of having taken them before then it is important that he takes the next one.

“It is like when you have a car accident. Do you not drive again your whole life or do you drive again straightaway? It is about getting it out of your system.”

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Arsenal

Nickname: The Gunners.

Ground: Emirates Stadium (capacity 60,361).

Founded: 1886.

Honours: First Division (until 1992) and Premier League: 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2004.

FA Cup: 1930, 1936, 1950, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005.

League Cup: 1987, 1993.

Fairs Cup: 1970.

Cup Winners’ Cup: 1994.

Leading goalscorer: Thierry Henry, 228.

Leading appearances: David O’Leary, 722.