By Chris Harris
This season Arsenal will battle when they need to and play when they can do, according to Alex Song.
Arsène Wenger's side have a reputation for dazzling football and showed plenty of grace during Saturday's 4-1 win over Bolton. But they also needed a large helping of graft to overcome Owen Coyle's muscular side and weren't afraid to put their foot in during the 90 minutes.
Song applied a deft finish for Arsenal's third goal at the weekend and he believes that recent Premier League victories have proved that he and his team-mates have the stomach for the fight as they chase the Premier League title.
"At Blackburn away, we know what happened there last season. When we go to places like that we know how tough it will be, we know we have to fight and we showed good character,” he said.
"We know that Bolton have the same style as Blackburn. At home, we know we have to play to our strengths, move the ball, pass it and then no-one can do anything about it when we play at our best. That's why everyone was happy.
"When you play at home, it's not as hard as it is away from home at times because we have more space and when we play away the team wants to keep the ball, and to fight.
"I think we did very well at Blackburn two weeks ago and we did very, very well against Bolton and now we have to learn from this game for the future.
"For Arsenal, with the style we have to keep the ball and play. Now we know that we can also go away from home and be ready for every team and be ready for the fight.
"We can fight when we need to fight and we can play good football when we get the chance to play good football."
Saturday's ultimately emphatic win looks even better when you consider who didn't play. Nicklas Bendtner, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Thomas Vermaelen and Robin van Persie are injured while Samir Nasri, Denilson, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Abou Diaby all started on the bench.
That's effectively an entire outfield team and Song was delighted that the rest of the squad rose to the occasion.
"Of course, it's a very good thing for us," he said.
"You saw the players we left on the bench today and that's very good for us, it shows we have strength. We're also missing good players [with injuries]."Copyright 2013 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 13 Sep 2010