Hector Bellerin has spoken about the difference between your first proper season at a club and your second.
The right-back has been at Arsenal since 2011 but only got a foothold in the first team about midway through last season after Mathieu Debuchy got injured.
Although many were skeptical that the cockney Spaniard could ‘do a job’ full-time in that role due to his inexperience, he hit the ground running and swiftly became our first choice right-back, even after Debuchy returned.
However, with this new found responsibility at the club comes added pressure. The 20-year-old is now a starter for one of the biggest teams in the world and is under constant scrutiny.
“At the beginning of the first season, you don’t have that pressure to perform at 100 per cent because it is always hard when you first start,” he said.
“But now, in the second season, people are expecting big things from you so you can’t disappoint them. You have to play your ‘A’ game in every single match and that is a good thing.
“I’m confident, I know that I can play and you know that all the experience always plays in your favour. You’ve got both sides of it — people saying that teams know how to stop you but you’ve got the confidence and the experience.”
Fortunately, the only downside to the defender’s game is occasional naivety, which will only get better with time and experience. He’s still only young and if he’s only going to improve further, he’s an incredibly exciting prospect.