Ahead of the Carling Cup game against Bolton tonight, Arsenal’s Big Friendly German, Per Mertesacker, says it’s crucial that the team continues its progress in the Premier League.
The Gunners now lie 7th, with just four points fewer than they had at this stage last season, and after 14 consecutive seasons in the Champions League the big defender wants to ensure that becomes 15,
The table is very important for us now,” Mertesacker he said to Sky Sports News. “To be in the first four is kind of a target everybody has at this club. In the Champions League we want to go through. It’s a hard wait. I’m very confident and I think we’ll do this.”
And with so many games, the BFG says the new arrivals are having to learn on the job rather than the training ground.
“We have no time to do lots of work together but we have to use the games and work hard as a team. If we have no pre-season it’s a difficult situation but now I’ve had my pre-season and we are doing well.”
Another late arrival, Ju Young Park, is set to take part against Bolton tonight with his only previous appearance 71 minutes in the last round. But Arsene Wenger believes the slow start to his Arsenal career is normal and fans need to be a bit patient with the South Korean captain.
“Some people judged our players very quickly in a negative way and slowly they changed their mind through their performances”, he told Arsenal.com. “I prefer it that way round than the other. Some players make you jump off your seat in the early stages and then disappoint you after. These players will win over all the sceptical people and Park is one of them.
“I have been impressed by his intelligence and his attitude. He is well-appreciated and rated by his team-mates and by the staff as well – we think he is a quality player. It is hard in the Premier League but Park is a player with quality and intelligence. On the longer term that will always come out and I am confident he will do that in the Premier League as well.
“What you need when you want to be successful at a club is three strikers, three central strikers. We have them and we are very happy with that”.