By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger believes his Arsenal side have found success this season partly by curbing their "cavalier" nature.
The Frenchman's 15-year reign has been characterised by carefree, flowing football. His new side still play the 'beautiful game' but, once the points are assured, they are content to 'close-out' matches.
"I would say we are a bit more controlled and less cavalier," Wenger told Arsenal Player last week.
"We are less adventurous when the job is done, I must say. You can feel that there is some reserve there if needed. In the second half against West Brom we just kept it serious without going overboard. Overall I would say it is a more mature attitude.
"We were more functional. We did the job properly, with quality and, I must say, with seriousness."
The policy is working; in their last 11 games Arsenal have scooped nine wins and a draw. It has silenced most of their early critics. Not that the manager is concerned.
"At the moment I feel we are more focused," he said. "Saying 'look I am right' is less important for me than trying to continue the quality of our team and our results.
"There is still room for improvement so we are focused on that. I am convinced we have been right but what you want is that people who love Arsenal are happy and I think at the moment to do that we still have a job to do."
The full interview with Wenger is now available on Arsenal Player.Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source