Wojciech Szczesny has praised Arsenal’s backline, especially the centre-back pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker who have helped sure up a previously leaky Gunners defence.
Arsene Wenger’s side looked to be out of the Champions League qualification reckoning until a solid run of form has seen the North London side go unbeaten for eight matches since the loss to rivals Spurs in March. They conceded only four goals in those matches which coincided with the defensive shakeup where the Frenchman got tough and dropped captain Thomas Vermaelen as well as the Polish goalkeeper.
Luckily for Szczesny he managed to regain his starting spot between the sticks since his compatriot Lukasz Fabianski suffered a rib injury, and hasn’t looked back after some encouraging performances.
The 23-year-old has praised the form of Koscielny and Mertesacker, and feels the Gunners will finish in the top four thanks to their fighting spirit.
Szczesny told Arsenal Player:
I think they’ve been terrific – not only defending very well but also creating goals for us at the other end like they did last week against Fulham.
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They’re getting the credit they deserve because they work very hard and they’re very honest lads. I’m very happy for them and it’s much easier to play behind them when they are in that kind of form.
I’m confident that we will be [in the top four]. We’ve got three games. I believe if we get nine points, we should be in a good position to finish in the top four, hopefully in third position.
At this point of the season, it doesn’t really matter who we play because I don’t think the game against Wigan will be any easier than the game against Manchester United.
Wigan are fighting relegation, QPR will play for their pride and Newcastle on the last day of the season is not exactly an easy game as well.
I don’t think it matters who we play but we’ve sent a message by not losing [to Man United] which makes our unbeaten run a little bit longer. We’ve sent a message to the teams around us that we are up for a fight.
Szczesny is spot on with his praise of Koscielny and Mertesacker, the duo have been fantastic together and have developed a successful understanding which must be frustrating for Vermaelen. But what is important is the Gunners finish in the top four. If the French and German international’s continue to boss and Sagna bucks up his game then Arsenal’s backline will continue to be very difficult to break down.
The Gunners fate is in their hands with both Chelsea and Spurs set to face each other soon, meaning if Wenger’s men can gain all nine points then qualification will be secured and hopefully third if Van Persie can do us a favour this weekend against the Chavs.