Less experienced Arsenal players will be well advised to listen to the advice of a player the Italians call The Professor as they look to maintain their lead at the top of the Premier League table with two testing away matches this week.
Italian European Championship winner Jorginho will experience the delights of Luton Town and Aston Villa before the weeks is out. He has done his homework and will be ready.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta coveted Jorginho for his former club Manchester City. So, it is understandable why he pushed so hard for Arsenal to sign him when he was made available buy Chelsea in last January’s transfer window.
The €15million fee was a snip in the modern market, especially for a player barely 30 and a serial trophy winner for club and country.
Now Arteta is using the player, also known as Radio Jorginho, for the way he controls play and talks continually during matches, to guide his young title pretenders into closing out close encounters of the Premier League kind.
He explained: “My role is to do my best as well as helping my teammates and the people in the game. In this match, when you have things completely under control you must remember the game is never finished.”
That Jorginho conducts his interview wearing a smart pair of black rimmed glasses, makes him appear even more professorial and so easy to learn from. One can almost imagine him following Arteta into management. Their views are closely aligned.
He added: “To win games, you need to be strong defensively first, and then with the quality that we have in the team we are going to score. It’s something that the team is learning; how important it is to defend. When I say defend it is not just the backline, but the whole team. For example, seeing Gabriel Martinelli on the flag to defend and then sprinting 100 metres to shoot against the post [in our last match against Wolves] is unbelievable, but that’s the mentality that we need to have. And that’s the mentality that we have.”
He could have pointed out how Arsenal top the table with the best defensive record in the division. But lapses in concentration and attitude that allowed Wolves a glimpse of glory last time out are still part of the make-up of this side.
Jorginho reflected: “Concentration and focus is important. Without it,
then you get comfortable when the game looks easy. You start a little bit to play around and try to enjoy the ball. Then, I think we need to put in our in our mind that we also enjoy scoring goals, not just to play around and invite the pressure and situations that we don’t need.
“I think it’s something that we will learn so quickly because we could see in this game the boys are so intelligent and they can see what’s important.
“I try to communicate a lot and try to help my teammates with my body language and with my voice and to actually show, to help them to finish the game and win the game. As I said, the game is not finished until the referee blow the whistle so you need to keep pushing keep fighting until the end.”