Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla has called for his teammates to produce more solid defensive performances, following Arsenal’s recent run of form (via Arsenal.com). The Gunners, who edged out Everton 2-1 on Saturday, had registered three clean sheets in a row before that game and might have kept the Toffees quiet as well if not for an error from the Ox and an unlucky deflection.
Nevertheless, with the three points from yesterday’s win, Arsenal are directly challenging Manchester City for the top spot only ten games into the season. This is far from what most people had expected, and Santi admitted that it was all due to a run of consistent performances by the entire side. Speaking to Arsenal Player, he said, “When the team is playing well it’s always easier to find your level and you enjoy it more on the pitch. We hope to keep the level of our performances as high as possible because that’s what’s going to allow us to fight for silverware.
“We need to be more consistent – I think that’s the key for this team. We’ve had good seasons but we’ve also had phases during the season when we’ve not being playing well and we’ve dropped points and that’s prevented us from competing with the big teams for the Premier League or the Champions League.
“In recent years that’s what we’ve been lacking. That’s what we need – to be more consistent and focus on each game in turn. We always say that if we keep a clean sheet, or if we defend well and concede as few goals as possible, we’re going to win lots of matches because we have players up front that score a lot of goals.
“We create lots of chances in every match we play. We’re confident in our attacking play, but we need to [continue to] defend better to ensure we’re more solid and make sure we pick up more points.”
With the form that our attackers are in, it is true that we are extremely likely to score in every game. Walcott and Giroud are both among the goals; while Sanchez and Ozil seem to have turned into goal and assist machines respectively. Our tendency to dominate the ball, especially against most Premier League teams, ensures that we will get a breakthrough sooner rather than later.
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Provided that we simultaneously keep the opposition checked, results should easily fall our way. In previous seasons, this was a tough task since our midfield used to be wide open; however with the introduction of Coquelin we have gained a steel spine in the centre of the field, and combined with the form of Kos, Bellerin and Monreal, we are a tighter defensive unit than we have been in a long while. All this without counting Petr Cech, who has proven time and again this season that he remains one of the world’s best keepers.
Overall, it looks like a very promising season for Arsenal, provided that they maintain consistency as Cazorla stressed.