Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes Arsenal’s ability to “grind out a win” when not playing at their best is a key reason for their fine form in 2013.
The Gunners will end the year on top of the Premier League and have accumulated more points over the past 12 months than any other team in the top flight.
Oxlade-Chamberlain puts it all down to the team’s resilience and a growing maturity within the group - as well as one key ingredient.
Even if the team's not playing to the best of their ability, still being able to grind out a win... is massively importantAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain
“I just think [it’s down] to consistency - it's as simple as that,” he told Arsenal Player. “Even if the team's not playing to the best of their ability on the day, still being able to grind out a win or having the team spirit and character to come back from being a goal down or whatever is massively important.
“I think this year the consistency of our performances and the way sometimes we have to dig in and fight through games has just been better and I think that's why we are where we are at the moment.
“Ever since I've come to Arsenal, on our day we've been able to beat anyone and sometimes we've been phenomenal and then at other times you just can't put your finger on why we weren't up to scratch on the day.
“So far this season the boys have been really consistent and we have to make sure we continue that through the rest of the season.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain also credits the fact the squad has stayed together as being a major factor in their success over the past 12 months.
“It's massive because you need to build a base and foundation,” he said. “It’s called the spine of the team and I think that we've got that now, right from defence all the way up to the attack.
Once you spend two or three years at a club, especially at Arsenal, you start to learn what's needed and what's expectedAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain
“We've got some really solid players and a lot of talented players all around them. Keeping players in and around the squad now for the last two, three years really is a foundation.
“Once you spend two or three years at a club, especially at Arsenal, because the boss is so consistent with his ways, you start to learn what's needed and what's expected.
“The fact that we've had players here for a number of years, they're starting to do stuff a lot more fluently on the pitch without having to think of it. It becomes instinctive almost and you can't do that when you've only been there for a few months.”Copyright 2014 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 30 Dec 2013