Arsenal have been one the standout teams throughout 2015.
The former Derby County man has been speaking in length about the importance of having a strong defence and how success is built on keeping the ball out rather than scoring.
Among his examples used are the Gunners, a team previously seen as leaky and lacking in discipline.
During the 2013-14 campaign, Arsene Wenger’s men participated in some quite outstanding matches including a 6-3 defeat at Manchester City and a 6-0 drubbing at rivals Chelsea.
However, a switch in mentality and a bigger focus on defence has seen the Gunners keep clean sheets against City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Bayern Munich among others in 2015.
Writing in his Independent column, Higginbotham said: “Arsenal’s brilliant post-Christmas 2014-15 performance was down to them having the best defensive record in the division across those 20 games.”
“Everyone talks about the goals but when it comes to early May – and derby weekends like this – it’s the back end of the pitch which will decide things.”
|Goals Conceded||Clean Sheets||Appearances|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Arsenal’s fantastic improvements at the back throughout 2015 can be illustrated by the fact they have conceded the least amount of goals in that time.
At just 20 conceded in 28 matches, the Gunners have allowed six goals less than United, nine less than City and a whopping 15 less than last season’s Premier League winners Chelsea.
Many have written the Gunners off as genuine title challenges this season, yet if they maintain their solidarity at the back and keep their attackers fit, it would be difficult to see beyond them.