We never thought we would see the day when Arsene Wenger would hail his Arsenal side’s appetite for tackling.
The Gunners are making an average of 20.9 tackles per game in the Premier League – up from 19.4 last season – and against Everton on Saturday, every single starting outfield player made at least one tackle.
Olivier Giroud topped the list with four tackles, but even Mesut Ozil (and the ‘even’ comes straight from Wenger) put his foot in against the Toffees.
“They are all on board and they have the belief,” said Wenger. “They came off the pitch really tired.
“Cazorla won many balls and blocked many tackles, even Ozil. Once you have that in the team – and it is not easy to get it – it shows the belief is there and then you need enough humility to keep it in there.
“You need to convince the players that you have to work hard to win football games in the Premier League and that you need all 11 players to do that.”
Tackles per game from Arsenal players this PL season:
Francis Coquelin (3.3)
Aaron Ramsey (2.3)
Hector Bellerin (2.2)
Gabriel Paulista (2.2)
Nacho Monreal (2.1)