Since he signed for us in January 2013 from Malaga, Nacho Monreal has developed his style of play to fit in with the English Premier League.
Slightly different from the passing, possession football that most La Liga clubs choose to play, our league is far more physical and fast paced. The outcome of the match isn’t necessarily predetermined, anyone can win, and it’s one of the most open leagues in the world.
“I’ve always said that it’s a different type of football here,” the defender said. “In Spain there is more of a focus on tactics, technique and positioning, whereas in England it is more physical.”
Admittedly, adapting to Arsenal’s style of play is probably easier than say, Chelsea’s, for a Spanish player. As a general rule, we do like to keep the ball, pass in triangles and move as soon as we’ve laid the ball off. However, on our day, our tempo is impossible to play against, which gives us an edge.
“The fans like seeing box-to-box play and lots of direct runs, so I think on a physical level I’ve improved because you have to get used to English football,” Monreal continued. “I’ve certainly got better in that regard.”
In addition, we’re not scared of a tackle. Arsenal have blended the European style with British passion and that’s why when we execute it perfectly, we’re unplayable.
The speed and unpredictability is why many from outside the country choose to tune in.
“The Premier League is one of the most popular leagues in the world and in Spain virtually everyone follows the Premier League as it’s very entertaining for the viewer,” the left-back explained.
Monreal added, “There are lots of staff working for the Spanish national team who watch lots of English matches and come here to watch us, so I don’t think it has much of an effect on my chances of being selected.”
Although Monreal hasn’t had the best luck when it comes to getting picked for the Spain squad, he’s not letting it get to him and admits that, with the talent on show, it’ll take a lot for him to get a call up.