Villa Park

Next Game

A Villa v Arsenal

Saturday, 20 September 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Signal Iduna Park

Last Game

B Dortmund 2 - 0 Arsenal

Tuesday, 16 September 2014, 19:45

Champions League Group D

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

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

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."

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

riting a minute by minute account on Berbatov would be like chronicling the days of the guy punished for sloth in the movie Se7en. Day 4 - lay in bed, did nothing - 15th minute, stood there did nothing .

lustral
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

W

hen players in their 30s leave Real Madrid, it's usually to Bolton Wanderers. I miss those days.

sailingmagpie
Top Ten CL Players Whetting Our Appetite

W

ow Pete, you would make an excellent stalker!

fouloleron
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

Footer 365

Chelsea striker Diego Costa a fitness concern for boss Jose Mourinho after Schalke draw

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says Diego Costa is not yet ready to start more than one match in a week.

Champions League review: Big wins for Roma and Porto, Barca edge to victory

Roma and Porto earned big wins in the Champions League, while Barcelona opened their campaign with a narrow victory.

Champions League: Jose Mourinho rues missed chances in Schalke draw

Jose Mourinho bemoaned Chelsea's failure to kill off Schalke with a second goal before Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's equaliser.

Mail Box

I've Given It Some Thought: He's Got To Go

There is some more considered reaction to Arsenal and Liverpool's results, plus a big get well soon message for Jonas Gutierrez. And an apology to Merse...

B**locks To That, I'm Going To Sit In The Shed

Arsenal supporters given their understandable reaction to the debacle in Dortmund, whilst Liverpool fans weren't too impressed either. Still, at least they won...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property