Jenkinson makes case for defence
Carl Jenkinson feels Arsenal's defence are laying down the building blocks to sustain a push for some silverware.
Full-back Carl Jenkinson feels Arsenal's defence are laying down the building blocks which can see them sustain a push for some long-overdue silverware.
The Barclays Premier League leaders moved into the fifth round of the FA Cup with a comfortable 4-0 win over Sky Bet League 1 side Coventry at the Emirates Stadium on Friday night.
But there is little time for Arsene Wenger's squad to rest on their laurels as the quest to stay ahead of Manchester City and Chelsea continues at Southampton on Tuesday.
Since shipping six at City on December 14, Arsenal's defence has been breached just twice - with the Gunners registering half-a-dozen clean sheets from those eight matches.
Much of that has been down to a settled back four and the growing central partnership between Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.
Jenkinson - drafted in for Bacary Sagna against Coventry - is confident the current group can take their place alongside some of Wenger's other famous rearguards.
"I have seen a lot of talk about how brilliant the two centre-halves have been and the full-backs have done well also, while both (goalkeepers) Wojciech (Szczesny) and Lukasz (Fabianski) have been superb when they play," Jenkinson said.
"The defence has been very good this season and it is important going forwards that we have a strong defence because if you look at successful Arsenal sides of the past, they have all been built on a strong back four and a good goalkeeper.
"It is important we have that as a building block."
Jenkinson hopes Arsenal's defensive stability can give them the edge in what is proving to be one of the most tight championship races of recent times.
"We have done that very well throughout the last year as a whole, so we just need to keep doing what we are doing, because we are doing something right," he said.
"We have the right ingredients to go and win the league."
Like Spanish international left-back Nacho Monreal, Jenkinson has seen himself playing a supportive role for much of the season, and is likely to be on the bench again at Southampton.
However, the 21-year-old life-long Arsenal fan is more than happy to help whenever called upon as Wenger's squad look to press on.
"We have got four really good full-backs and so that means the boss can rotate when he feels it is appropriate," Jenkinson said.
"Bac has been playing so well this season it has been hard for me to get games, but as long as the boys are doing well, as tough as it is sitting on the bench, you just have to hold your hands up because we are top of the league and that is the main thing."
The FA Cup was the last trophy Arsenal won back in 2005.
Jenkinson sees no reason why the Gunners cannot battle on two fronts.
"The FA Cup is a massive competition, which everyone wants to be involved in," he said.
"You could see that when we played Spurs (in the third round) and also how seriously the boss takes it with the teams he has fielded.
"We all love being a part of the competition and will just look forwards to the next round."
Arsenal continue to be linked with a £35million move for Julian Draxler from Schalke, although Wenger labelled any suggestions a deal was imminent as "illusion" in his post-match media conference on Friday evening.
The club are, though, expected to confirm some positive news on Monday afternoon with the announcement of a lucrative new kit deal with Puma.