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'Calmness' Helping Gunners Close Out Matches

Jack Wilshere says a new found calmness has helped the Gunners close out games they might well have dropped points in a season or two ago.

On a number of occasions this season the boys have gone into the last ten minutes of a game with only a solitary goal lead with the opposition applying serious amounts of pressure.

I don`t think I was alone it crapping it in each and every one of those matches. We`d been there so many times before and seen our side buckle. However that hasn`t been the case this season, despite conceding a sloppy goal here and there, the defensive unit has held firm.

Koscielny and Mertesacker have been pivotal to that tough defence of course, but the calmness of the whole team is what has enabled to see these games through according to Wilshere.

Speaking with Arsenal.com he said "When I played a few years ago and we were in that situation you could feel the nerves in the team, but now you can see us dealing with it,"

"We`re getting back, getting bodies around the ball and the centre backs are winning headers and we`re getting on to second balls."

"When we get the ball down in our own half we`re calm, we know if we have the ball the opposition can`t score. We are dealing with that well and we have to keep that going now."




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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday January 14 2014

Time: 1:22PM

Your Comments

Since Spiral of Negativity (March) we've been leading in the league in 9 games by a single goal going into the last 10 minutes and won them all bar Everton (which we didn't really lead until the 80-something minute).

So we are certainly getting very good at seeing out a game!

Galway Gooner
That's a great stat. Koscielny & Mertsacker have become the best CB pairing in the country, they are just so solid. Absolutel beasts the pair of them. I'm sure their beastliness reverberates throughout the team too.
Rocky7
Also has a lot to do with the fact that we have more disciplined anchor men his season such as arteta and flamini who always sit in front of the defence and don't get carried away with attacking
nna
Those are heart warming stats. Makes you wonder what this team needs to do to get the credit they deserve. In any case, the doubts seem to be working out well for us, so let the doubters continue.
Naijagunner
I'm not at all worried about the back line or even the midfield but I'll be honest in that Giroud's performance levels and his general all round ability does worry me a great deal
Galway Gooner
GG, I am not so concerned (not that it matters) as you with regards to Giroud's performance. He contributes enormously to the solidity of the back line and the midfield of which you referenced as not a concern. Is it about goal-scoring or is it about chances missed that Giroud is coming in for such critical examination? On both counts he is certainly not Suarez, for example, but he is not shabby either.
NYArse
I guess I wanted to say we shouldn't make good the enemy of perfect.
NYArse
Hey NY, we are top of the league not because of our performances against the top teams (which have gone as expected) but rather because of our results against the teams we have been expected to beat. We are a dream to bet in as we win all the games we are expected to win and lose the games we are expected to lose. What has kept us top is that both City and Chelsea slipped up in games that they should have won. They seem to have gotten over that now and like us are consistent. In leagues when we all perform to expected levels it's the results against one another that count and in these games, these critical games where chances are tight that a top class one chance one goal striker will make the difference. And I don't think Giroud is that man and I think it will cost us.
Galway Gooner
That remains to be seen. The important point, I think, is that we are playing in a league with two teams around us who can afford to rest more than half of their starting 11 and still not lose a beat. Of course this unfair advantage was attained not because they meticulously built squads over time but because they operate under different economic strictures.
NYArse
The teams below us have to play each other too. It isn't only their results against us that matter. What may prove telling is that Chelsea have played more of their away games against those in the top half of the table than either us or City. It's going to be very tight this season but I'm not even sure that Chelsea have a one chance one goal striker.
Amos.
NY - example was the Chelsea game, very tight with very few chances. Our one good chance feel to Giroud and he put his shot wide, a pretty poor effort. He worked hard (as did the whole team) for the full 90 minutes and that was the only real chance we had and he blew it. It wasn't an easy chance but great strikers score and we'd be two points better off and Chelsea one point less. Those points could well be the difference come May.
Galway Gooner
Agree with GG on giroud, plus he's over 26 so not much chance of improvement. You only need to look back at van persie to see how many games he single handedly won with the only chance he got in the game
nna
 

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