Wojciech Szczesny joined an Arsenal in 2006 that was world-renowned for playing an eye-pleasing brand of soccer. Five years later, the Arsenal goalkeeper sees a team willing to sacrifice that image and grind out results, according to the Daily Mail.
"You can see from today that we are up for a fight," Szczesny said after Saturday's 1-1 draw against Fulham. "Maybe it's not as beautiful as before but it's effective. I think we've got more experienced players this season."
Szczesny is enjoying his first full season as Arsenal's undisputed starting goalkeeper and appears to the be the solution to the club's longtime problem at the position.
When he became a starter last year, he saw a group of players who played a creative and open game but shied away from the more physical aspects of English soccer. The outspoken 21-year-old credits the additions of two experienced signings for bringing a bit of sorely-needed toughness to the group.
"We've got players like Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker who like to fight. Mikel played for Everton who play different kind of football.
"I think the players that have come in are very creative as well, like Cesc [Fabregas] and [Samir] Nasri. They are creative but they are different.
"Maybe they are not as beautiful in the way they play but it doesn't matter if you win the game."
The new Arsenal is currently seventh in the English Premier League standings after 13 games. Nine games in the next six weeks will provide a stern test of the Gunners' fighting spirit and quality. It includes two games against league-leading Manchester City.
Photo via Flickr/Fid aka Theo