Numerous players have referred to Arsenal as a ‘family club’ and, according to Mikel Arteta, Petr Cech felt the same when he first transferred to north London from Chelsea.
As important as it is to perform on the pitch week in week out, maintaining a positive atmosphere behind the scenes can also do wonders for morale. Encouraging the players to socialise outside of football i.e. work, and get to know each other on a personal level is great for building bonds within the squad.
Making sure everyone gets along off the pitch isn’t just ‘nice’ for the mood in the changing room, it encourages the players to perform for each other on the pitch, trust each other and have each others’ backs.
Arteta spoke recently about the feeling of being welcomed at Arsenal and mentioned how Petr Cech was greeted with open arms from day one.
“If you come into this group it is so easy, you feel welcome straight away,” said Arteta. “You don’t need to time to settle or feel part of it.
“Everybody invites you to everything and you want more the next day, and I think Petr felt that from the start. He has some good ideas from his experience and he is someone we have to listen to and learn from.”
The captain also hailed Cech’s qualities and experience, describing him as an example to all the players.
“Petr is a great addition, not only for his qualities as a goalkeeper but also his character and the way he has settled in, how natural he is with everybody – I think this is a big part of this team,” the midfielder said.
“The advice he gives and the way he treats himself is great. He has won everything and he is someone who wants to be the first one to each exercise.
“When he talks, he says something that is relevant to the other players and not just himself. He is just an example – if he is doing it the rest will have to do it because we have not been as successful as him.”
Cech faces his old club for the first time in the Premier League on Saturday in a match which is a must win for the Blues.