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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

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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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

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