LONDON - Petr Cech has suggested that Arsenal forgot how to win the Premier League in Arsene Wenger’s later years in charge and compared their barren spell to Tiger Woods’ long quest for a golf title.
The Gunners have not won the title since 2004, while Woods won a tournament for the first time in five years on Sunday night when he captured the PGA Tour Championship. Former Gunner Santi Cazorla claimed recently that his Arsenal team-mates did not believe they could genuinely win a battle for the Premier League.
And Cech, a four-time Premier League winner with Chelsea, agreed that Arsenal had lacked an understanding of how to capture the title. "For any club who’ve won titles in recent years, you have that know-how to finish it off," he said.
"You can see that in any sport. Take Tiger Woods. Five years since he won a tournament — the longer it goes, the harder it becomes. This club haven’t won the league for more than 10 years so you need to get back into knowing how to do it. We started off with the new manager from scratch and we’re trying to get a 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 often suggested that Arsenal lacked the necessary steel to win the league under Wenger, who won three titles in his first six years but failed to win another. They showed some resilience against Everton on Sunday, giving Unai Emery a fifth straight win in all competitions.
And Cech suggested that the team had been too focused on what was viewed as Wenger’s philosophy, to the detriment of picking up results. "The Arsenal way was more important than getting the points sometimes," he said.
"This is not how you win the league. Sometimes you need to make sure you win ugly games when you are not completely playing well and you just dig deep and you just close the back door and win 1-0 no matter how. I think this is what we lacked since I arrived in the last three years. We had gone through difficult moments in this game (against Everton) and we managed to get the win and keep a clean sheet. This is very important."
Cazorla, who now plays for Villarreal, said that he expects Arsenal to have a "great season" under Emery. He said: "I gave him all the information I could to try and help him out during his period of settling in and I think he’s very happy and I think he’s a great manager for Arsenal."
💬 "He is very demanding and I think this is how you improve. I think the place became much more demanding in every way so this is great to see."@PetrCech discusses @UnaiEmery_ and our start to the season.