Emirates Stadium

Next Game

Arsenal v Southampton

Tuesday, 23 September 2014, 19:45

Capital One Cup Third Round

Villa Park

Last Game

A Villa 0 - 3 Arsenal

Saturday, 20 September 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Mertesacker: Back on track

Per Mertesacker believes the return of some leading players from injury will give Arsenal impetus to finish the season strongly and secure fourth place.

Last Updated: 22/04/14 at 09:45 Post Comment

Per Mertesacker: Confident Arsenal will clinch fourth place

Per Mertesacker: Confident Arsenal will clinch fourth place

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Arsene Wenger's side have spent much of the season in the top two but their title challenge faded badly in March and defeat by Everton earlier this month put UEFA Champions League qualification in serious doubt.

However, they have since bounced back with a couple of victories, whilst also making it through to the final of the FA Cup after beating Wigan Athletic on penalties.

The upturn in form has coincided with Aaron Ramsey's return to action after a long lay-off, while Mesut Ozil is also now back fit and Lukas Podolski is performing well.

Mertesacker feels the injuries have been a major factor behind Arsenal's struggles this season but is now confident they can finish in the top four.

"We need these moments where you can see we've got great players and some great finishers with Lukas Podolski on the scoresheet and Aaron Ramsey back on track, Mesut back on track," Mertesacker told the club's official website. "All these players could make a difference.

"When you have your whole squad together for as long as possible, that can make a difference. We suffered a bit in the second part of the season but now everyone is... coming back to full fitness. We've had some long-term injuries and it's good to have them all back."

Mertesacker added: "We have the potential to be a very promising side in terms of title races, but if you can't keep your leading players fit all the time it makes it a lot more difficult.

"We are determined to keep fourth position."

Arsenal's latest win was a 3-0 success away to fellow FA Cup finalists Hull City on Sunday, and Mertesacker was delighted to come through a tough test to pick up three points.

"I think at the start, Hull played very well, they put pressure on us all the time," Mertesacker added. "They played with two strikers (Nikica) Jelavic and (Shane) Long. They played quite decent together as well so it was quite tough.

"We were lucky [at times] but overall when it was really, really close we had a good response.

"I think the whole team has to switch on quicker than normal to avoid those balls behind us [when we face two strikers]. I got booked very early so I always had to be aware.

"To cover each other is a vital point. We didn't do enough of that in the first 15 or 20 minutes but after it was much easier, especially in the second half, we got more possession, we were more dangerous and we've got some decent finishers in our team as well.

"That made it much easier in the second half to have better possession and play all the way through. We didn't lose a lot of balls in the middle of the park, that's what hurts us a lot. But we avoided that."

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

ilarious, thanks for that. But if I may, I do suspect the reason of your partners' ire is not Tottenham, but most probably all the compusilve gambling :)

DannySmith
Backing Costa To Keep Banging 'Em In

T

wo police horses in a paddock. Horse 1: What's with the long face? Horse 2: I'm working St James Park this weekend.

hump3.
Pardew braced for protests

T

wo things. First, I can't stop reading your name as 'Dane Bowers'. Second, you used the words 'philosophy' and 'Redknapp' in the same sentence.

ajsr1982
Can United's Defence Handle Ulloa?

Footer 365

Premier League: Arsenal win 3-0 at Aston Villa to end the hosts' unbeaten start

Aston Villa’s unbeaten start to the season was ended by a devastating goal blitz as Arsenal enjoyed a 3-0 away win.

Premier League: Newcastle draw with Hull City as Papiss Cisse scores two

Substitute Papiss Cisse saved the day for Newcastle and under-fire manager Alan Pardew in their 2-2 draw with Hull City.

Premier League: Victor Wanyama earns Southampton 1-0 win at Swansea

Victor Wanyama broke the resistance of 10-man Swansea as Southampton left the Liberty Stadium with a 1-0 win.

Mail Box

Be Careful What You Wish For, Gooners

That's the message from a Man United fan in the mailbox. Plus, thoughts on Paul Lambert's new contract, the Alan Pardew dilemma at Newcastle and lots more...

No, Wenger IS To Blame For Failure...

The backlash to the backlash to the backlash sees Arsene Wenger getting a good kicking while we also have mails on Chelsea, Newcastle, Everton and lots more...

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