By Giuseppe Muro

Johan Djourou believes the Premier League will be won and lost on how Arsenal fare against teams who aren’t direct title rivals.

After last week’s win over high–flying Manchester City some might take victory for granted against the division’s bottom side West Ham United – but not Djourou.

The Swiss defender knows his side cannot afford to slip up as they did against West Bromwich Albion last month because that five-point gap to leaders Chelsea needs to be closed.

“It’s true that you need to get the most points out of those games [against teams not going for the title] because they are the games that can finish your season,” Djourou told

“You always know against Chelsea or Manchester United you can drop points but you can’t allow yourselves to drop points [against the others] so it’s true that West Ham is a big game for us.

“The most important thing is to be ready and do it week in week out. I think we are starting to understand that and hopefully we can do that now. Of course [we will not be complacent].”

On a personal level the 23–year-old has started in each of the last four games, keeping clean sheets in the last two, and after a frustrating period of injuries Djourou is starting to feel back to his best.

“I’m getting there,” he said. “It’s been a long road for me and I’m really enjoying my football now. It’s true that being out for so long it was very frustrating and now to be back and playing game after game is good.

“I’m holding up as well because you never know what is going to happen when you come back. You could think that four games is a bit much but everything is holding up which is great.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
29 Oct 2010