In the wake of the 1-1 draw with Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, there was an inevitable question on the lips of Arsène Wenger’s players: “What was the first thing you did to celebrate?”
The answer came with the most devastatingly succinct answer of all, given by a player who is not only a football player, but a footballer in the truest sense.
“I was going to do some paint work,” said Kieran Gibbs, who, after having joined Arsenal from Swansea in the summer, has already earned the nickname “Arsenal’s little brother”.
“I didn’t do it as a joke.
I knew there was something wrong with me, but I wanted to paint myself.””
I knew it was wrong.
I couldn’t look my dad in the eyes.
I didn’t know why.
It was hard for me to accept.
I was really angry, but at the same time I was just thinking, ‘I need to paint’.”
Gibbs is an example of the Arsenal style of football, where the players know what is expected of them, and what the other team will be doing in order to keep the momentum going.
This philosophy has worked well for the club in the last decade or so, as it has ensured that there is never a lack of opportunities to improve, regardless of the opposition.
There is no longer any sense of inevitability, as there was with Arsèn Wenger’s tenure, when the club failed to win a trophy during his four years at the helm.
The problem for Arsenal this season is that they are now playing in the Premier League, and their last two league matches were away to Everton and Swansea City.
Gibbes, who has also been at the club for the last two seasons, said: “You have to be a bit more professional.
It’s important that you keep it in perspective.
It doesn’t matter if you are the best in the world, if you have won something or not.
The biggest thing for me is that I have always wanted to win something.
You have to keep doing that.”
The fact that the team is playing in this particular league means that Gibbs will not be a part of the celebrations as often.
“When we are playing in a big league, you have to look after your team-mate, the other players,” he said.
“I have always been a team player and I try to be in a good mood when I am at Arsenal.
When I am playing, it is important that I try my best, so I try not to show off.
I try as best I can to show the team-work, the effort, and the support.”
There was a feeling of relief, even though Gibbs was still visibly upset, when his team-best effort was rewarded.
The team was the winners of the 2-1 defeat against Swansea in January, and Gibbs said: “‘It’s good that I did my work’.
I didn, but it’s also nice to have the win.
You never know how a win will turn out.””
If we win, we will go into the next match with a little bit of confidence, because we know we can win it.
It has always been our aim, and I am just happy to be playing well, to keep winning trophies.
Hopefully we will continue that.”
Gibbons has a bright future ahead of him, but there is no doubt that there will be plenty more to come, as the new season begins on Monday.