By Declan Taylor
Manuel Almunia believes that a “change of character” in recent weeks will enable Arsenal to overcome away-day specialists Bolton on Saturday.
Questions were asked of the Gunners’ resolve after defeats against Fulham, Hull and Stoke City earlier in the campaign but Almunia has seen enough since the victory at Chelsea to suggest a changing tide.
In an exclusive interview with Arsenal TV Online, the Spaniard admitted some early-season struggles against the Premier League’s more direct opponents but believes Arsenal’s September victory at the Reebok Stadium is evidence that the team are able to deal with the Trotters.
“We have had bad moments against the kind of team that play long balls, lots of crosses,” said the 31-year-old speaking at Arsenal's Spanish Double Club on Wednesday afternoon. “I think the attitude of the team has changed over the past few games and I think we are finding our way and our origins and the desire to win and show the strength of the team.
“From that, we know Bolton very well and I think more people know what to do against this team. We know the way to do it because we did beat them at the Reebok Stadium. Personally I know them very well and I hope the rest of the team know them as well.
“Every single player realised that we have to not only play when we have the ball but we have to play without the ball too. This is the work that we have to practice every day and we are doing that now.”
Subscribers can watch this exclusive interview now. The goalkeeper discussed:
that victory at the Reebok Stadium, the team’s mental preparation, conceding goals, collective responsibility, the importance of the defence, the threat of Kevin Davies and his role within the team.