Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Top four finish is im-PER-ative says Mertesacker

Per Mertesacker believes that it is vital that Arsenal finish the season in the top four, despite Arsene Wenger’s side already having to make up a six point gap in the table after losing four of their first eight games of the season.

The Gunners have shown signs of improvement since the 8-2 defeat to Manchester United at the end of August with matches at the Emirates yielding five successive victories. However, with only one point taken away from home the prospect of a sixteenth consecutive year of Champions League football still looks far from certain.

Speaking to the Arsenal official matchday programme ahead of Sunday’s win over Sunderland, Mertesacker made clear that focus in the camp was on repeating the feats of the past:

“We have to improve. It’s vital that we reach at least the top four in the league, but at the moment we don’t have the points to speak about that.

“It’s important to perform well and make sure we move up the table. The team has to stay calm of course, but the supporters have to feel we’re giving everything to succeed.”

The German international, who has been an ever-present in the Gunners starting line-up since moving from Werder Bremen in the last days of the transfer window, also hopes he can continue his quick acclimatisation to life in England both on and off the pitch.

“I want to help the defence and if you are tall you have to give your strength to the team. It could be through headers, it could be through anything – I want to improve as a defender and acclimatise very quickly.

“In terms of working on things, of course there was no pre-season for me with the team. It all had to come together in the games themselves, so we’ve had to adapt as we go.

“Also the language and the players in this league are all different and I’m learning. My English is not quite as I’d like it yet and I’ll be having some lessons – in football and in life that will be very important.”

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Marco

Per was vital yesterday. Loved his efforts at the Emirates. He often opened the game for us with clever passes and his defensive presence was outstanding. He will pick up the pase soon, but as for the zonal marking he did a great job!

highberry

I think kos played really well yesterday as well, be interesting to see who wenger drops when tommys fit!

Boone

IF, not when.

Marco

Yes. Koscielny was good, too! Just thought he looked a bit off when that dangerous cross came in and Szczesny saved our “arses”. I’d say Mertesacker and Vermaelen together can be equally good as let’s say Vidic and Rio (in his prime).
Would like to see Koscielny on the right taking turns with young lad Jenkinson whose crosses are always, technically spoken, fantastic.

Plev

Top man. Hasn’t disappointed so far. Maybe if he can be a bit more aggresive and get on the end of some of our corners that would be nice (our corners have to get past the first defender first though!)

Mooro

Like Mert a lot. Considering how many player changes he’s had to cope with, he’s been immense.

And why can’t we finish 4th? We’ve had our shittiest time in a long while, but are somehow nowhere near being out of touch with 4th.

Newcastle will be proven to be shit. Liverpool have spent £100m and are still shit. Spuds transcend shitness in everything they do and stand for. So why not indeed?

Ghostofgoonerspast.

Exactly what I was thinking when looking at the table yesterday, six points!?? That’s nothing! I don’t know what everyone is so worried about, we’ll be back in the top four by Christmas! 🙂 COYG!

Sabrina

I have no doubt that we will.

Louie

That’s the spirit, none of this loser ‘we can survive without CL’ nonsense.

Master Bates

unbeaten for the rest of the season.

critic

winning the Pl enroute and making history..

[…] also commented, and said we needed to achieve at least top 4 in the league. Hey, here’s another suggestion, Man Cunteh are only 12 points away, win all our games, and […]

Daveyg

Though per has done well so far. Just wish he wouldn’t keep coming out of defence then making a two yard pass to one of the cm. strides out, looks menacing then does a David batty style pass. :/

paddymac

Slightly Daily Star-esque headline!!

ehammie

per is getting better with every match he has played for us so far.Cant wait tor the verminator to be though cos we need some stability at the defense. Had to commend jekinson, the young lad has got some outstanding trade mark crosses.

Trevor

When Vermaelen comes back, I think it is Mertesacker who’ll be dropped first! Simply because he needs a rest, I believe he’s played every game since he’s arrived aside from the Carling Cup.

Mertesacker/Vermaelen has to be the #1 pair you would think though.

d-holio

He should have gotten that header in against Blackburn in the dying seconds, but so far so good from the BFG. He’s been a good signing. Should have happened much earlier!

steve

His partner Koscielny is one of my 3 good reasons why I don’t think Arsenal will finish in the top 4. Combined they are an incredibly slow pair of centre halfs http://stevehynd.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/3-good-reasons-why-arsenal-won%E2%80%99t-finish-in-the-top-4/

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