Per Mertesacker, after a very shaky first season, has grown into life at Arsenal and is now one of the Gunners’ most important and reliable players. The giant German international has also become like a captain without an armband, so when he talks, the other players listen, and our BFG is not letting his team mates use the excuse of injuries for their failure to keep up the challenge foe the Premier League title.
The centre back does accept that Arsenal were unlucky with injuries and that this did affect the performances and results, but he was also brutally honest and blunt in saying that the Gunners should have coped better. Put simply, we were not good enough at a crucial stage of the season, especially against our big rivals for the title.
The 29, year old does promise, in an Arsenal.com report, to learn from the mistakes made this season.
He said, “We can learn a lot [from this season]. Last year we managed to deal with an even more difficult situation as with 10 games to go no-one expected us to be in the top four.
“This year, with a couple of injuries we struggled heavily but we regrouped very well and how we managed this situation was even more important maybe than last year. To secure Champions League football was another test for us.
“The fans wanted us to finish further up, we were top of the league for a long time and everyone dreamt about getting the title, but it takes more than just staying at the top until the winter period.
“We couldn’t afford those away [defeats] against big teams so we didn’t deserve to be in the top three. That is something for next year that we have to manage better.”
Mertesacker also says that Arsenal are trying not to think about the FA cup final just now, as they are focused on securing Champions League football for next season. But that Wembley final is massive, and winning it may well help Arsenal to avoid the problems of this season.