The new Arsenal centre-back Per Mertesacker is ready and willing to face Wolverhampton Wanderers this afternoon, but he admitted that it is weird for him to be playing over the festive period!
“This time of year is a strange situation for me! I spoke to some of my ex-Werder Bremen team-mates recently and they have two-and-a-half weeks off now,” Mertesacker said.
“But I’m very glad to be here over the Christmas period and New Year – you get used to the English ways and it’s a special thing about the football here.
“My family will be over, so it’s fine. It’s very nice to have family that is very close to you and wants to give support in every situation. And besides, spending Christmas and New Year in London is not so bad!”
It may be family time for the Mertesackers, but he is still ready to carry on with the job in hand, and that means another three points this afternoon against Wolves.
“I’m looking forward to the game – it’s another one we have to win. I’m prepared for the threat their wingers will pose with their crosses,” he said.
“At Villa, especially towards the end of the game, there were some dangerous balls into the box but we were very confident and defended them well.
“I’m still learning a lot about English football – new stadiums, new opponents. I’m very confident at home though, because I know the dressing room and the pitch. Every game is exciting.”
The German international will certainly be on the pitch today, as will any other fit defenders that Wenger can find lying around. But hopefully they won’t be needed much as Arsenal will roar into a 4-0 lead before half-time……