By Lloyd Webb
Nacho Monreal has recalled how challenging his Arsenal debut was against Stoke City.
The Spain defender made his first start for the Gunners in February 2013, helping his new side beat the Potters 1-0 at Emirates Stadium.
Monreal admits it was tough to adjust to the physicality of the English game, but still has fond memories of the match.
“It was two and a half years ago and it was very hard to play my first game against Stoke City,” he said. “I remember that we won 1-0 because Lukas Podolski scored, and I remember it in a good way.
“It was a different day for me, my first day playing for Arsenal and the change from playing for Malaga to playing for Arsenal happened so quickly. I have very fond memories of this day.
"I had to improve and try to give my best every day"
“I’m very happy here because I think I’ve improved a lot since I’ve arrived,” he added. “I’ve become a better player. It was a bit difficult for me because I was accustomed to Spanish football and there are a lot of differences between that and English football.
“I had to improve and try to give my best every day. I’ve done that and now I’m very happy.
“It’s more technical and tactical in Spain but in England it’s much more physical. It’s completely different but it’s really fun for the fans and for us as well, because you have so many chances to score.
“You have chances to win the game, to draw the game, even if you’re 2-0 down in the final minutes. It’s much more open over here.”
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