Mertesacker hails Arsenalís improved defense
Arsenal center-back Per Mertesacker has revealed the reason behind his side’s recent improvement in the defensive department. The German defender claims the footage from Arsenal’s 2-1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur last week has helped a lot in improving Gunners’ defensive frailties.
Arsenal have miraculously managed to keep clean-sheets against Bayern Munich and Swansea City in consecutive games. Arsene Wenger and Co. grabbed a huge win over Swansea City on Saturday. The win has allowed Arsenal to move within four points of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur with a game in hand.
Per Mertesacker believes the footage has helped Arsenal improve team chemistry in the back-line. The 28-year-old Germany international reckons there have been significant improvements to his side during the past week.
“There was a lot of room for improvement and we saw a lot of things on television,” Per Mertesacker said. “Sometimes we didn't choose the right direction and we just lacked a bit of defensive work as a unit. We prepared ourselves for Munich and for Swansea and it was much, much better.
“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.
“Sometimes you can't believe what you did as a defensive unit. Everybody was involved and everyone felt we needed to improve and speak.
“As a unit we have to cover each other. That was the most important thing we learned. There were a lot of situations where there was no pressure on the ball against Tottenham and the back four was not prepared for any balls between us.”
The 2-0 victory over Swansea City was significant for a couple of reasons. Arsenal’s winter signing Nacho Monreal scored his first goal for the club. Meanwhile, Lukasz Fabianski retained his spot in the starting line-up and Gervinho finally scored for Arsenal.
“I know that Gervinho was under a lot of negative pressure because he missed chances,” Arsene Wenger said. “I'm sure he will be a big force for us until the end of the season.
“He gives us something different. He can dribble, he can provoke. He is sensitive - he needs the support.”