By FOX SPORTS staff
Moving from Malaga on the final day of the January transfer window, Monreal was thrown into action just two days later. The Spaniard's first game for Arsenal was a Premier League fixture against Stoke and he told the club's official website that the aggression of the English game bowled him off his feet.
"It was a strange game for me. For every throw-in, the centre backs went up. When you had a free kick close to the box, the whole world went up. I’m not used to that because in Spain it’s not like that, it’s more tactical," Monreal shared.
"Here, the idea is a little more direct, not as much elaboration on the ball or possession. It’s more physical, faster. The players are physically stronger, very big. It’s another way of looking at football and totally respectable. You just have to adapt."
"I had a bump on my head too! But, well, that’s what happens in a game. Like I say, it’s a very physical league. Here, when there’s a ball to be won, everyone goes for it. Nobody shirks a challenge. The ball was in the air, we clashed, head to head."
As the current league campaign draws to a close, Monreal and his Gunners team-mates are fully focused on winning all of their remaining games, so as to ensure the club qualify for the Champions League next season.
"It’s logical that people talk because the situation has not been as it should be, but the players and Club in general have to ensure that doesn’t affect us. We have to use our energy for the matches. If you’re thinking of what people are saying, you’re wasting that energy. You have to concentrate on the next match," he said.
"Every fixture now is a final we have to win. That has to be our mentality. I’m sure we’ll put it right."
Arsenal will host new champions Manchester United, and former Gunners skipper Robin van Persie, in a Premier League fixture this Sunday.