The KC Stadium

Next Game

Hull City v Arsenal

Monday, 04 May 2015, 20:00

Barclays Prem

Emirates Stadium

Last Game

Arsenal 0 - 0 Chelsea

Sunday, 26 April 2015, 16:00

Barclays Prem

Mertesacker's midfield warning

Per Mertesacker has warned Arsenal's creative stars they need to concentrate on solidifying their defence before working their midfield "magic".

Last Updated: 24/10/13 at 17:47 Post Comment

Per Mertesacker: Celebrates with midfield stars Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil

Per Mertesacker: Celebrates with midfield stars Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil

Arsene Wenger's side were handed a reality check on Tuesday night when a late goal from Robert Lewandowski gave Borussia Dortmund victory in the Champions League.

The manager felt they had been "naive" to be caught on the counter attack when they should have been concentrating on closing out a positive result.

Arsenal's next opponents, managerless Crystal Palace, will not provide anywhere near the same level of challenge at Selhurst Park - but Mertesacker insists discipline is needed nonetheless.

"We know we are on a good run in the Premier League, but it needs more than just playing with full freedom and vision," said the German.

Breathtaking goals in Arsenal's 4-1 dismantling of Norwich last weekend won widespread plaudits, but Mertesacker added: "We need to defend first.

"Then we can switch the rest on. You have seen what can happen after that. We have players who can play so quickly together.

"Tomas Rosicky came in and fitted into everything as well as Mesut Ozil or Jack Wilshere. When those three combined together, you could feel some magic in the air, a real chemistry."

Ozil was subdued against Dortmund, which was a first for the German playmaker since his club-record £43million deadline day move from Real Madrid.

The midfielder, though, almost helped conjure up a goal for Santi Cazorla, who curled a 20-yard effort against the angle.

Cazorla, just back from an injury lay-off, is excited by the prospect of linking with such a high-quality team-mate.

"We have got to know each other and I have to say that it is very easy to have a good understanding with a great player like him, since our playing philosophy is very similar," Cazorla said.

"As the days go by we have a better association on the pitch. Mesut is a player of a different kind. He is a joy to watch and has a lot of talent. Like Zidane or Ronaldinho, he can be one of those players who marks an era."

Arsenal will check on the fitness of Wilshere, who was substituted as a precaution against Dortmund after aggravating his ankle, before the Palace game.

Mathieu Flamini should be back in contention having been rested in midweek after suffering mild concussion against Norwich.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

inners: All of us watching the latest installment of The Daley Blind Hour. This weeks episode was called Sun Kissed In Merseyside, and although it was a bit of a downer, he was splendid to look at.

tk421
Has Di Maria's Spell In England Turned Sour?

I

think Liverpool should start trying alternative therapy now, given that Sturridge's hips and knees are apparently unfathomable to modern medicine. Voodoo, acupuncture, healing oils, rolling in the snow after a hot bath, its all got to be worth a go now.

slideways
Sturridge doubt for run-in

W

ell thats the most one sided, Mourinho ass kissing, Terry loving conlcusions I have ever read. Does Daniel Storey have a tattoo of the Chelsea crest on his calf too? What a plonker.

goonergo
16 Conclusions: Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea

Footer 365

Bournemouth all but secure promotion to the Premier League with a 3-0 win over Bolton

Bournemouth all but secured promotion to the Premier League with a 3-0 win over Bolton on Monday night.

Jose Mourinho: Cesc Fabregas not in PFA team 'strange'

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says it is 'strange' that the PFA Team of the Year has no place for Cesc Fabregas.

Eddie Howe dishes out the plaudits after Bournemouth success

Eddie Howe was keen to share the praise around after Bournemouth effectively clinched promotion to the Premier League.

Mail Box

Mail From Fan Who Craves Relegation...

In this case it's a Sunderland fan who just wants to see a clear-out. We also have mails about Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton. It's long and it's sexy...

Is This What Arsenal Fans Feel Like?

'It's all well with the short and pretty passes, but we did absolute f*** all up front,' writes one Man United fan. We have mails on Chelsea, Brendan Rodgers and...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company