“We are a team, it’s not Hector against Stephan, it’s Hector and Stephan for Arsenal,” is what Stephan Lichtsteiner had to say when asked how he planned to be at Arsenal by his fellow team and position mate, Hector Bellerin.
The veteran defender, joined the Gunners on a free transfer this summer as he had just ran down his contract at Juventus and was looking for new challenges.
And he looks just like the kind of push the team needed. The former Swiss international’s passion isn’t just affecting the players and Unai Emery, the fans have also started falling for our new right-back and a few consider him the best leader on the team.
I want everyone to play like Stevie Lichtsteiner, his behaviour is going to be the best thing about our season
— Rob (@Robgreeen1) August 30, 2018
Lichtsteiner, who has won seven Serie A titles with Juventus, and has seen the team come back up from the dumps to play two Champions League finals during that period, brings in optimism to the team and the fans alike. He believes Arsenal have to potential to come back to the Champions League and progress even further match-by-match.
The Swiss said [via Tribal Football]:
“When you are at big clubs like Arsenal it’s important to have in your head the aim to win titles.”
The biggest criticism faced by the new gaffer and the team’s style of play is the fact that Arsenal always seem laid-back, even in the most intense matches. This might have helped the team in a few matches, but fail in a majority of the matches.
The players need to keep pushing forward continuously, keep possession rather than bringing the ball back to the goalkeeper from the center repeatedly and playing a very safe and dull game. This drastically changed when one of our newest signings made a debut, Lichtsteiner was sent to the field following an injury to Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the first half itself.
The once-Swiss captain turned out to be an influencer for the rest of the team. He not only brought momentous change in pace, pushing forward as much as he could but also defended brutally, which the Arsenal defenders lacked quite a bit. Coming close to Lichtsteiner is nothing short of running towards the bull consensually, thats how aggressive and ferocious the right back’s game seems on the pitch.
The fullback is not only praised for his style of play but is often applauded for his behaviour off the pitch too. His leadership qualities can be seen both on and off the field, while, his mature team-focused behaviour is what impresses them all.
Love the fact that Lichtsteiner posts his congratulatory to the team on social media despite being on the bench. Don’t see that much these days! pic.twitter.com/gh4NV9LBtE
— Arsenal (@ffarsenalfc) September 2, 2018
Although Bellerin is considered one of the fastest player in the Premier League, he lacks the minute-to-minute change of pace and the awareness needed during defending. Defensively right now he isn’t half the player that he his offensively and that has affected the arsenal centre backs quite a lot leaving them with too much to deal with on a number of occasions.
Overall, it won’t a surprise if the veteran defender finds a regular place in the lineup, he deserves the play time. Emery did not have a clear answer for his choice as of now, but it seems as though he wants to focus on both the players and try to overcome his side’s defensive problems by building a strong fall back team.