Arsenal 1-3 Villa: Vlaar - We are stronger mentally now
Ron Vlaar insists Villa are mentally tough.
Vlaar skippered the team to a famous 3-1 win over Arsenal at The Emirates.
The colossal captain believes the rollercoaster experiences of the previous campaign have had a positive effect on the side as they look ahead to the challenges of the new season.
He thinks the first indications of Villa's resilient core were there for all to see against the Gunners, as Paul Lambert's side charged back from a goal down to win conclusively.
He said: "It was a great result. Overall I think we deserved the win.
"We were very strong after conceding a goal early on.
"We all learnt a lot last season. The team is a lot stronger.
"It's not just 11 players. It's 25 players. We know we need everybody - it's a long season - and that's the spirit that is in this group. You could see that against Arsenal - everyone was really good.
"We all know what happened last year and we learned a lot. We still have to learn a lot more but mentally we have become a stronger team.
"To come back was very good. We were one-down after a few minutes but we didn't panic. We started to play better and came back into the game. That's a big win for us."
Vlaar earned praise for his display but, again, like others interviewed after the match, the skipper was keep to deflect praise away from individuals.
He continued: "We held firm. It wasn't only Ciaran and I. It was Matty and Antonio and everyone else. We played compact and didn't let them play their game.
"We frustrated them. We did very well."
Now it's on to Chelsea on Wednesday and Vlaar thinks the Arsenal win will offer a welcome tonic heading to Stamford Bridge.
He added: "We have to stay focused now. We have to be ready for it.
"We all know what happened there last season. We want to do better.
"With the three points from Arsenal, it will be a nice game for everybody to look forward to."
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