Popcorn. Check. Huge vat of expensive sickly-sweet fizzy pop. Check. Oversized bag of newsagent bought peanut M&Ms. Check. Feature length movie of Spurs beating Arsenal. Check. Room of sheepish looking Gunners. Check. Old man tutting at the back. Check.
It doesn’t sound like much fun that’s for sure (sweet treats aside), but Per Mertesacker has revealed that he and his fellow defenders made themselves re-review their wretched performance at White Hart Lane in the hope of rectifying the back line frailties that allowed Spurs to score twice in two minutes.
Stressing that Arsene Wenger always makes the squad watch matches again on video, the BFG underlined that such was the frustration felt amongst the squad that the players took in upon themselves to further investigate.
“We do [this] before every game,” Mertesacker told Arsenal Player.
“But the defenders did it on our own and I think there has been quite an improvement. We saw ourselves as a unit on the television and I think it was a good thing to do because sometimes you have a different view on the pitch and you feel different.
“It was everybody’s decision [to do it]. We all had the feeling there was something to do so everybody was involved and everyone felt we needed to improve and speak more.
“The most important thing we learned was to cover each other more. There were a lot of situations where there was no pressure on the ball and the back four was not prepared for any balls between us.
“We are always watching videos. That is not the point. Sometimes it is good to see situations and I think the very important scenes against Tottenham made it more clear for everyone.”
Now far be it for Arseblog News to rain on Per’s parade (Per-ade per-haps?) but while it’s great to hear our defenders are scrutinising their performances it’s not as if Bayern and Swansea didn’t have chances to score.
The Germans had 21 efforts and failed to find the back of the net, more luck than judgement surely (?), while Angel Rangel could easily have given the Swans the lead at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday after another diagonal pass sliced open the defence much like Spurs did.
Naturally, you’re not going to restrict sides to no chances at all, but let’s not get carried away assuming two clean sheets mean we’ve solved all our problems. We did that at the beginning of the season and…well you know what happened.
Good wins though.