Lovely big German centre-back Per Mertesacker believes the hard work put in on the training ground is starting to pay dividends for Arsene Wenger’s defence.
The Gunners may have conceded 14 goals in the league this season, but having achieved two clean sheets in three games with the Teutonic stopper in the side, the seeds of improvement appear to be sprouting shoots of improvement (ish).
Speaking in the aftermath of Saturday’s win against Bolton, the deadline day acquisition told Arsenal Player:
“We had a little bit more time [during the week] because of the Carling Cup match.
“Some players had a little more rest and we trained a little harder, especially on the way we want to defend. It worked and on Saturday you saw we had a better defence. We were closer together.
“After the four goals against Blackburn we lost a little bit of confidence but we were very proud of our performance on Saturday. We want to go on with this way of defending.
“I want to do a good job, especially in the defence. That is my role. If the coach praises me then that is a great thing but I have to go on and keep on working. My performances can improve.”
This may be completely wrong, and thus not particularly fitting for a ‘news’ site, but I’m pretty sure Arsenal have the most clean sheets in the Premier League this season (3), while also having conceded the second most goals (14), only Bolton having fared worse. I think that nicely sums up the rollercoaster ride we’re on.