Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain feels the players set each other high standards and suggests that it has been one of the factors behind their success this season.
The Gunners booked their place in the FA Cup fifth round on Friday night with a 4-0 win over Coventry, and currently lead the Premier League by a point from Manchester City.
The England international was on the receiving end of a fearful verbal blast from the Gunners’ central defender Per Mertesacker but the youngster says he understands the significance of that.
“We set each other high standards and if you do something that’s not good enough you can bet your bottom dollar that one of your team-mates will tell you when he believes you’re better than that,” he told Arsenal’s official website.
“I gave the ball away and it resulted in them hitting the post. I knew what I did and I knew what I did wrong there and Per just gave me a friendly reminder. That’s what you need, you need to keep each other’s standards high and we’ll be doing it all season.”
“But it’s important that we do it in the right way, whoever it is. If it’s Per he’ll have a shout but then afterwards he will come and explain it to you and that’s what makes you respond to it. He doesn’t do it in a negative way and that’s the way we go about it. We just keep doing things positively.”
“The main group and the spine of the team has been together for two or three years so it’s starting to form that togetherness,” he added. “Knowing each other better on and off the pitch helps our style of play.
“We’ve learnt that everyone has been in and around it for a few years now and we know what the boss expects and how he wants us to go about it. We know what to expect with each other and I think you can see that now when we do play. Even when we’re not playing well we know how to grind out results and that’s a big thing.”
It seems absolutely clear that there is a lot of belief in the team and that has got the Gunners through some really tricky patches. We have bounced back brilliantly after enduring a nightmare opening day and also did not crumble after losing some big games back to back, instead they’ve kept on grinding out wins. Hopefully we can continue this run and really push on in all competitions.
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