Nacho Monreal says Arsenal must not 'waste energy' listening to criticism

Spanish defender confident Arsenal can qualify for Champions League

Defender Nacho Monreal has urged Arsenal not to waste energy by taking notice of any critics and instead channel all their attention into finishing in the top four of the Barclays Premier League.

The Gunners will resume domestic action with a home match against relegation-battlers Reading, an encounter they must win to keep pressure on both Chelsea and Tottenham in the race for Champions League qualification.

With just one defeat in the last seven league games, coming at White Hart Lane, Arsene Wenger's men find themselves four points behind arch-rivals Spurs, but crucially with a match in hand.

Arsenal have endured one of the most testing campaigns under Wenger's tenure, with the 2-0 win in Bayern Munich earlier this month one of the few highlights.

Monreal, however, insists it is now down to the players to focus on delivering a positive end to what others have labelled a season of turmoil at the Emirates Stadium.

In an interview with the April edition of the official Arsenal magazine, Monreal said: "We still have matches left to fix the situation and to try to meet our objectives.

"It is logical that people talk because the situation has not been as it should be, but the players and club in general have to ensure that doesn't affect us.

"We have to use our energy for the matches. If you are thinking of what people are saying, you are wasting that energy. You have to concentrate on the next match.

"Every fixture now is a final we have to win. That has to be our mentality. I am sure we will put it right."

Monreal, 27, has settled quickly since his January deadline day signing from Malaga, scoring his first Arsenal goal in the 2-0 win at Swansea before the international break and then impressing in last night's World Cup qualifying win for Spain over France in Paris when deputising at full-back for the injured Jordi Alba.

Gunners midfielder Santi Cazorla praised the speed at which his former Malaga team-mate has taken to the hustle-and-bustle of the English top flight.

"Nacho is a footballer I really enjoy watching and playing with. He has adapted to the Premier League very well. What's more, our style of play suits him because he is someone with a lot of movement," Spain international Cazorla told Arsenal Player.

"He is a very good signing, and is proving it.

"I think Arsenal have really got it right with the transfer. I am very happy because he is a great mate."

Like most Premier League clubs, the majority of the Arsenal squad were away on international duty this week.

However, England duo Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott were not involved in the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

Walcott returned early after picking up what was described as a "minor hip/groin injury" in training ahead of the San Marino game, during which Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored in the 8-0 route.

Midfielder Wilshere, meanwhile, has not played since the defeat at Tottenham on March 3 after he was rested because of an ankle problem. His rehabilitation schedule - which included a trip to Dubai - was set to see Wilshere feature again this weekend.

Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, meanwhile, will be hoping for a recall having been dropped against Bayern and then benched at Swansea - which prompted an outburst from his father and a subsequent clarification from the Poland international, reaffirming his commitment to the club and support for Wenger.

PA

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn