Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla believes that the Gunners new found defensive stability will be the key to their season, after keeping seven clean sheets in their last eight games in all competitions at the Emirates Stadium, conceding just one goal in the other match during this run.
The Gunners have the joint best defensive record in the Premier League this season and currently lead the English top flight by a point from Manchester City.
The Spain international believes the whole team are prepared to do their bit defensively as they look to bring the top flight trophy back to north London, and is happy to play out on the wing to help the Gunners even if it’s not his most preferred position
Speaking to the Arsenal official website, he said:
I believe that defence is the fundamental basis of any successful side. If this team must base itself on something, it’s keeping clean sheets because when we do I think it means we guarantee the win in every game.
The team is strong going forward and creates a lot of opportunities in every game. If you concede, you’ve got more ground to make up so it’s important that we keep as many clean sheets as possible.
Sometimes you have to pull your sleeves up on the pitch and put in the hard work, particularly the players who play further forward.
I remember the game against Newcastle at their place when [Tomas] Rosicky and I were practically playing out on the wings because that’s what was needed.
Sometimes you have to make sacrifices that you’re not used to, but that’s what you have to do if you want to get results. I’ve become used to it now as it’s the best way to help the team – and that is what counts.
Arsenal have arguably had the best defence in the Premier League so far this season and the current first choice back four of Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs have formed fantastic partnerships – one which we have been waiting to see for a number of seasons.
For the past few years the Gunners have tended to focus more on the creative and attacking side of football, with something not quite clicking in defence. However time and experience together has helped them to gel, not to mention the entire teams hard work to track back and put the effort into the defensive side of their game.
We have kept four clean sheets and just a single goal conceded in our last five games, and we need to keep this sort of form going to be in with a chance of winning the title. Steve Bould and Arsene Wenger deserve immense credit for this improved focus, especially Bould as you can see the organisation which he has brought to the defence. If the entire back line can stay fit for the remaining matches in the season then the Gunners have a great chance of ending their trophy drought.
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