Arsenal have always had talent in their squad, but they haven’t always had the mentality required to win major honours. Laurent Koscielny is one of the key players for the team and he has stressed the importance of winning ugly, especially if the team is going to enjoy success. The following comments from the defender were reported by the Evening Standard:
“So the most important thing is to keep this for the other games, to stay focused together. It’s not just with talent that we will win games, it’s to all be together, to fight together to get the best results. We can do it but now we need to show that every game.”
Koscielny is correct to point out this flaw in Arsenal’s game as it is the main thing holding them back from achieving success. They showed encouraging signs against Chelsea last weekend and it is important that they show that level of fight on a regular basis.
Hector Bellerin has managed to establish himself in the first team again at the Emirates Stadium and he will be keen to press on during the coming months. He has told Sky Sports that Arsenal need to build on their recent momentum with a victory over West Brom tonight:
“It is all about keeping the momentum going. Yesterday [Wednesday] in the League Cup [ a 1-0 win against Doncaster Rovers], even though the team completely changed, I think the mood in the whole squad was the same. Everyone came out on the pitch to get the win and we have to keep building on this momentum right now and make it another win for us hopefully.”
The Premier League is a physically and mentally demanding league, which is why momentum is crucial. The best example is Crystal Palace, as they continue to lose every week and have still failed to score a goal. It looks like it is going to be a long season for them, due to the negative momentum that they have built. Arsenal have a good chance of going on a run during the next few weeks and they have to take it if they want to challenge.
Arsene Wenger has been discussing former player Kieran Gibbs ahead of his return to North London and has agreed that the left-back is likely to improve at West Brom. The Mirror report the following quotes from the Frenchman suggesting the reason for that:
“He will have more to defend maybe. They are a team who focus more on defending. We are a team that goes forward. He was a good forward it’s not his defence aspect [that is in question]. He is an intelligent player who knows how to defend well.”
It isn’t necessarily the level of the club that dictates the rate of development and Gibbs will learn a lot at West Brom. Wenger is correct in his assessment that West Brom are a side that defends often and they are good at doing it. The England international will become a lot better at the back under the guidance of Tony Pulis.