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Mertesacker grateful to Wenger

Defender Per Mertesacker says he always had manager Arsene Wenger's backing, despite a difficult start to life at the Emirates Stadium.

Last Updated: 07/12/13 at 14:33 Post Comment

Per Mertesacker (R): Has stuck up a fine partnership with Laurent Koscielny

Per Mertesacker (R): Has stuck up a fine partnership with Laurent Koscielny

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The 29-year-old centre-back, who signed from Werder Bremen in 2011, struggled to adapt to the fast-paced Premier League in his first season.

However, the experienced Germany international insists Wenger always had the belief he would respond to the criticism and overcome his physiological fears.

"As a defender, it's about seeing situations as early as possible, especially in England where the speed is really high, more than in Germany," Mertesacker told The Daily Telegraph.

"I had a lot of difficulties to start with. I kept mistakes with me all the next day. I always ask myself: 'what happened?' But in every single second the Boss Arsene Wenger supported me when I suffered or made a few mistakes. He said: 'you have to cope quickly and respond to the criticism'. He trusted me."

The Hannover-born player admits he never regretted moving to England and is proud to be part of the north London club's tradition.

"I always had faith that I had the qualities to be a regular in a Premier League team," he said. "It was a hard fight but at the end I'm really proud. I now have the nose and can smell the danger. I now know when my partner (Laurent Koscielny) needs me to cover him.

"It's made me a better footballer. I anticipate and read the game even more because I maybe don't have the pace.

"I have to get by on my own qualities. I don't know never if it (pace) is needed to be a better player.

"When you compare me to Laurent, he is more the mobile quick player. You need players like that and others like me with the organisation, the communication and anticipation."

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m only commenting on this (I don't care about Liverpool) because F365's twitter said I had call Matt Stanger a tw*t (which I don't agree with anyway) but I just wanted to be the first. Am I the first?

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unday, Sunday. Will there be a fan of either team, who if they are winning after 80 mins, won't still be nervous? This could be anything from 0-0 to 5-5, and no one would bat an eye.

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his year I am getting F365 a whack-a-mole game but with Brendan instead of the mole (Like the one with JD on Scrubs) and every time he pops up he says something. Outstanding Whack!, Character Whack!, Magnificent Whack!, Wonderful Composure Whack, Whack f**king Whack. Hours of fun.

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Trial And Error Rather Than Transition

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