By Chris Harris
Kieran Gibbs has called for the whole Arsenal squad to step up and do their bit over a busy Christmas and New Year period.
Arsène Wenger's side kick off their festive fixture list with a trip to Wigan Athletic on Saturday before three games in eight days against Newcastle United, Southampton and Swansea City.
Gibbs knows that rotation will be essential as the matches come thick and fast - and he doesn't want Arsenal's performance level to drop.
"It’s really important that everyone stays focused now," Gibbs told Arsenal.com.
"This is the busiest part of the season and if we can keep everyone together through this period and get good results under our belt, it puts us in a strong position for the rest of the season.
"You can see that players will start to get tired. Players who have played in almost every game need to be rested sometimes and this is the time to do that. This is the time for the other players to come and give their part for the team."
The postponement of the West Ham United game on Boxing Day should allow the players to spend time with their families over Christmas. But Gibbs accepts that sacrifices must be made at this time of the year.
"Last year I was out with my hernia so I was at home at Christmas," he said.
"Hopefully I will get some time with my family this year too but we’ve known for many years that you have to sacrifice this time and concentrate 100 per cent on football."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