Something that’s worried me in previous seasons is the closeness – or lack of it – among our players at Arsenal.

It may sound completely irrelevant but having a strong support system within the team is essential for success. Of course, the players’ families and friends are around to offer a shoulder to cry on, so to speak, but they’re not next to them on the pitch. The best people to talk to about footballing issues are other footballers.

After being out for a little while due to injury, Aaron Ramsey returned to action against Dinamo Zagreb and spoke afterwards about how close our squad has become.

“It just means we are all in it together no matter what happens on the pitch,” the midfielder revealed.

“We all back each other, we all trust each other and whatever happens in the game, we stick by each other.

“You understand how to talk to some players when they need encouraging and vice-versa. It grows with time and, over the last few seasons, we have definitely become stronger and more of a tight-knit group.”

This is what happens when a squad remains unchanged. They form bonds, relationships and trust and end up playing for each other every weekend, not just the fans or the boss. They want to protect each other and it’s an underrated quality to have in a team.

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