'Trying to develop' - Aarons has benefitted from City's defensive focus
- Credit: Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images
Improving defensively was a key target for Norwich City and Max Aarons this season, with the right-back feeling more confident than ever about the defensive side of his game.
The 21-year-old's attacking strengths have been a prominent part of City's style since he emerged during the early stages of the 2018-19 title triumph, although he learned plenty of lessons during a Premier League relegation campaign.
Now, as transfer links to bigger clubs continue, the England Under-21 international feels his all-round game is really starting to develop.
“Last season was really good in terms of working defensively and upping my game in that sense," said Aarons
“I feel completely more well-rounded than the first year when I came into the team. So it’s been really good and I’m just trying to develop my game even more.”
Beating Luton 3-0 at Carrow Road on Saturday was a seventh successive win for the leaders, with Aarons maintaining his run of having started every Championship match of the season.
It was also a fifth clean sheet in six games, with 25 goals conceded a full 20 fewer than Daniel Farke's team had at the same stage of their title success two seasons ago.
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“The way we dominate the ball, in possession has always been fine and I think a few years ago when we went up people were saying that we conceded a lot of goals but this year that has been the main difference," Aarons continued.
“Sometimes with a possession side people will accept that they will concede a few goals but we wanted to really nail down, get on it and stop conceding goals.
“Not to speak too soon, but if the end goal is to get back to the Premier League, then that has to be an aim as well.”
On the other hand, that tweaked style means 20 fewer goals have been scored than after 35 games of 2018-19, but 16 goals during the current seven-game winning streak shows that City have found an even better balance recently.
“At the start of the season we weren’t scoring as many goals as we would have liked," City's speedy full-back added. "Obviously we needed that solid base to win games and now we’re scoring a lot more goals.
“We’ve carried that on and we’re not giving teams many chances, with the way we dominate the ball. The more you have the ball, the fewer chances the opposition can have to score.
“That’s how we’ve been this season and it’s been really good to be a part of that.”