Arsene Wenger put the ‘Arsenal way’ above winning matches and trophies in his final years, says Petr Cech

The 36-year-old is seeing signs of improvement since Unai Emery's arrival last summer

Liam Twomey
Monday 24 September 2018 12:46
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Arsene Wenger put the ‘Arsenal way’ of playing above winning matches and trophies in his final years at the Emirates Stadium, according to goalkeeper Petr Cech.

Wenger stepped down as Arsenal manager in May after 22 years in charge, having endured years of criticism from those who argued that the Frenchman’s reluctance to change his approach towards training and tactics had taken the club backwards.

Unai Emery was chosen as Wenger’s successor on a three-year contract and after a difficult start, the Spaniard has presided over four consecutive Arsenal victories as he attempts to deliver on his pledge to transform them into “the best team in the Premier League and also the world”.

And speaking after Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Everton on Sunday, Cech said he believes Emery is already bringing back qualities absent under Wenger that are required to win major silverware.

“What we lacked in the past – I would say the ‘Arsenal way’ was more important than getting the points sometimes and this is not how you win the league,” Cech said. “Sometimes you need to make sure you win an ugly game, when you are not playing completely well but you just dig deep, close the back door and win 1-0 no matter how.

“I think this is what we lacked over the last three years, since I arrived [in 2015]. Against Everton, we went through difficult moments in the game but we managed to get the win and with the clean sheet so this is very positive.”

Cech kept his first clean sheet of the season against Everton

Cech’s own form has been scrutinised as he attempts to adapt his game to Emery’s wish for a passing style in defence, but he is adamant that he is enjoying himself under the new regime and recent results have fuelled his confidence that the Spaniard will push Arsenal to greater heights.

“It comes from the preparation, the everyday work and from the manager’s way of playing the game, as well,” he added. “We work very hard every day to give ourselves the chance to compete with everybody and hopefully it will be working even better than it has been for the last four games. He is very demanding and this is how you improve.

“I think the place has become much more demanding in every way so this is great to see because this is what initially drives everybody forward and gives you the kind of kick that: ‘I’m not doing enough to start the game’ or ‘I’m not doing enough to keep my spot in the game,’ because the manager asked for precision and hard work every day.

“This is how it should be. We have very healthy competition and we are actually taking the benefit of it.

“This club hasn’t won the league for over 10 years so obviously you need to get back to knowing how to do it. We started with the new manager from scratch, basically, and we try to get this mentality of winning every game, progressing every game, working every day and, hopefully, we can build this up and win the title sooner rather than later.

“It was a great win against Everton because, having lost our first two games of the season, we needed to bounce back and now we have four wins in a row – two away, two at home – and we are in a much better place.”

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