Emirates Stadium

Next Game

Arsenal v West Ham

Sunday, 09 August 2015, 13:30

Barclays Prem

Emirates Stadium

Last Game

Arsenal 1 - 0 Wolfsburg

Sunday, 26 July 2015, 16:20

Emirates Cup

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."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

f Jose left a mess at Inter Milan then Rafa cleaned it up with a hand grenade and a bag of compost

westwoodbo
Benitez 'tidying up Mourinho's messes'

T

he name of the article is apt as all my wildest dreams will come through if it turns out to be true

parsy12
The Vote Pedro Gossip

Y

ouri Tielemans is everything Jack Wilshere wants to be!

ross1119
F365's Top Ten Breakthrough Stars Of 2015/16

Footer 365

Arsene Wenger responds to Jose Mourinho taunt

Arsene Wenger has brushed off Jose Mourinho's latest taunts after the Chelsea boss said the Gunners' recent spending may come as "a surprise".

Manuel Pellegrini backs Raheem Sterling to justify price

Manuel Pellegrini insists Raheem Sterling will justify his club-record £49million price tag at Manchester City in the coming years.

Jose Mourinho: Arsenal spending way to title contention

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says Arsene Wenger is buying his way into Premier League title contention.

Mail Box

Di Maria Just Didn't Fit (S**t Happens)

If a signing doesn't work there doesn't have to be a massive witch hunt. So there. Plus a detailed net spend rant, Breel Embolo, computer games and Louis van Gaal...

The Calculator Is On Wenger's Side...

Over the last five years, Arsenal's net spent is about 55% of Chelsea's, so shush your mouth Jose. Plus, Van Gaal is attacked and defended in equal measure...

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