Mertesacker demands focus

Per Mertesacker has warned Arsenal they must be ready to "switch on" to the task of tackling Bayern Munich in the Champions League just a few days after their FA Cup fifth-round showdown with Liverpool.

Last Updated: 16/02/14 at 16:07 Post Comment

Per Mertesacker: Warns Arsenal ahead of crunch games

Per Mertesacker: Warns Arsenal ahead of crunch games

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Gunners, who responded to their 5-1 thrashing at Anfield by grinding out a goalless draw with Manchester United in midweek, are embarking on a run of fixtures which could well define the outcome of their campaign.

"There is no special way to do more or less, when you behave like a professional you have to continue what do you do through the whole season so you are ready for these big clashes," the German centre-back said in the Arsenal matchday programme.

"It is it is just up to you to continue what you have done - the concentration, the tension and the atmosphere will be bigger than normal, but I am still relaxed because we have had heavy schedules through the season and we have been able to pick one game at a time and think 'the next game is the really important one'.

"If there are four big games coming up, you have to isolate each game and take one at a time.

"You have to switch on quickly and try to switch off for maybe 24 hours and then (get) switched on again, that is really important during heavy schedule.

"I think our group of players has the potential to do it and we have shown that through the season we have the ability to make these games special for us."

Wenger feels that simple philosophy of tackling each match as it comes will serve his side well.

"We have gone for a policy that is to just take care of the next game, because the confidence level is so important to go into the big games that you want to build your strength up by winning every single game," said the Gunners boss.

"After, we don't really look at what kind of competition it is at the moment, because we know, in the situation we are in, the most important thing is to win our next game."

Arsenal were handed a European masterclass by the Bundesliga giants when beaten 3-1 at home in the same stage of the competition 12 months ago.

However, the Gunners responded with a superb 2-0 win in the Allianz Arena against the side which would go on to win the Champions League at Wembley.

Wenger believes Arsenal will have learned much from those encounters.

"I think we know them better, individually the players," he said.

"We will be in a better condition hopefully, because last year was after the disappointment of losing against Blackburn (in the FA Cup), to play Bayern three days later it was very difficult for us.

"I think in the league as well we were in a much more difficult position. (Now) we are mentally better prepared to go into a game of that stature."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Footer 365

Italy 1-1 England: Andros Townsend equaliser keeps Roy Hodgson's side unbeaten this season

Substitute Andros Townsend rescued England's unbeaten post-World Cup record as his late goal in Turin earned a 1-1 draw.

Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Debuchy step up Arsenal comebacks

Jack Wilshere scored as he stepped up his comeback from injury against a Brentford XI at Arsenal's training ground on Tuesday.

Wayne Rooney cannot wait to link up with Harry Kane for England

Wayne Rooney has been gripped by the excitement surrounding Harry Kane and can't wait to link up with him against Italy.

Mail Box

Why Do Arsenal Have So Many 'Internet Warriors'?

The Mailbox has an open letter from Liverpool's Raheem Sterling, questions Phil Jones' bulldog spirit and asks: "Why do Arsenal have so many "internet warriors?"

It's All Just A Ruse By The 'Southern Press'...

A varied Tuesday morning Mailbox, with thoughts on the England U21s, a Sterling ruse, Kane realism, Wenger coaching youth and enjoying the charity match...

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