Arsenal had never won against Olympiakos in Greece in three previous attempts so it looked like an impossible task for the Gunners to go there and win by two clear goals, but the team handled the pressure like experienced campaigners and came away with their heads held high and, more importantly, the win they needed to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Our new rock at the back, Petr Cech, thinks that this win proves that Arsenal now have the ability to handle any other pressure games that may come up as the season progresses. “We are ready to play under pressure,” he told Arsenal Player. “This is something that is really nice to know because we are playing for the title and that will bring the pressure on. Then when you go further in the cup competitions the play-off rounds come up so you will definitely play under pressure.
“If you want to progress and go as far as possible then you have to keep winning games. It might be that it doesn’t go well for you in one of those games and you have to chase it, so it’s good to know that we’ve been in that situation before and we can actually do it, regardless of the circumstances.
“Hopefully it will help us to progress as a team for the next phase of the league and also in the Champions League. There’s always pressure in games where the circumstances are difficult, especially when you play away from home and need to get the result. Once you’ve experienced that then it gives everybody confidence.”
In two days time we will find out which team we will face in the next round, and we can go into the game with confidence no matter who are our opponents. Especially if we have the on-fire Giroud leading the front line. Cech was also happy to praise our much-maligned striker for the way that he coped with the pressure as well. “You have to give Olivier a lot of credit because for a long period of the season Theo was injured and Danny has been injured, so there’s obviously a lot of pressure on him,” Petr continued. “We rely on him but he’s shown that he’s up to the challenge and he’s kept scoring important goals.
“He’s strong, big and obviously he can score. This is what you want from your striker so all the time he is scoring goals he is very important for the team. It’s great for his confidence as well because if you ask any striker, the biggest cure for them is to score goals. We hope he will continue playing well and having chances to score goals.”
Giroud is confident, Cech is confident, and I bet the whole team now feel like world-beaters. Now we just have to keep calm and carry on winning at no matter the price. If we win some games easily when we are in full flow all the good, but when we can still win when we are playing badly and the odds are stacked against us then even better.
This could be Arsenal’s season at last…..
Onwards and Upwards!