Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has said that Arsene Wenger’s focus on style over substance damaged the Gunners’ chances of winning the Premier League title, and welcomed the “more demanding” atmosphere under Unai Emery.
Cech won four league titles at Chelsea before moving across to London in 2015 to join Arsenal, who have not lifted the trophy since 2005.
They have won their last four games under Emery despite not playing at their best, and Cech said the new coach has instilled more of a winning mentality at the club.
“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 after Sunday’s 2-0 win over Everton.
The 36-year-old added that Arsenal must rediscover how to win the title, and compared the Gunners to Tiger Woods — who won his first tournament in five years on Sunday.
“For any club who wins titles in the recent years, you have a team with the know-how how to finish it off — and you can see it in any sport,” he said. “I take Tiger Woods — 10 years since he won a Major tournament. The longer it goes on, the harder it becomes.
“This club have not won the league for over 10 years so, obviously, you need to get back into 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. That will make the big difference.”
Cech has managed to keep his No. 1 spot despite added competition from summer signing Bernd Leno, although Emery has said he will continue to assess that situation throughout the season.
Emery has also showed more of a willingness to substitute big-name players like Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey so far, and Cech said it is clear that the new regime is tougher than the old one.
“I think the place became much more demanding in every way, so this is great to see because this is what initially drives everybody forward and gives you the [right] 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,” Cech said.
“This is how it should be. We have very healthy competition and we are actually taking the benefit of it. It comes from the everyday work and the manager’s way of playing the game as well.”