Arsenal midfielder hails "massive" team spirit

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Football News

Arsenal's improved bond on and off the pitch has had a direct impact on performances in the last 12 months as the Gunners look to sustain their fine start to the campaign, according to midfield maestro Jack Wilshere.

Arsene Wenger's side currently sit two points clear at the top of the Premier League table, after winning eight of their first 11 matches this season.

Wilshere believes that making a conscious effort to build bonds outside of the dressing room has helped harness a dramatic improvement in performances and results at the Emirates in 2013, with Arsenal claiming more Premier League points in the current calendar year than any other team.

He told the club's official website: "It [our team spirit] is massive. We've been out a few times. We didn't do it for a couple of years but over the last six months we go out for team dinners and we meet up outside of football, which is good for the team.

"Sometimes you just want to get away from football, you want to sit down and talk about life, your family and things like that. We've been doing that this season and it's really showing on the pitch.

"We've done really well this season and towards the end of last season; I think the team spirit plays a massive part in that."

Gunners skipper Thomas Vermaelen and vice-captain Mikel Arteta have been the driving force behind this change of attitude in North London, with experienced central defender Per Mertesacker also viewed as a leader in an Arsenal squad desperate to end their eight-year trophy drought this season.

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