Mertesacker: Keep our chins up

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker is encouraging his teammates to keep their level of intensity and their spirits high.

Last Updated: 04/02/14 at 16:32 Post Comment

Per Mertesacker: Defender intent on continuing their form

Per Mertesacker: Defender intent on continuing their form

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker is encouraging his teammates to keep their level of intensity up and their spirits high in order to remain top of the Barclays Premier League.

The Gunners recorded a seventh clean sheet from 10 matches with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday, with a second-half double from midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

However Arsene Wenger's men have a tough schedule ahead of them which begins at Liverpool on Saturday before hosting Manchester United next Wednesday and then going up against Brendan Rodgers' side for a second time at the Emirates in their FA Cup fifth-round tie.

"It is that part of the season when you might feel tired or exhausted, but we have to keep our chins up and now the really important games are coming," Mertesacker said.

"We have interesting games in the FA Cup, Champions League and Premier League.

"We have played well this season so far, and we have to keep that level [up]."

And the German international believes his side can pull through these next challenging games despite the squad being fully stretched.

Arsenal are hopeful that Jack Wilshere will be available for the weekend to boost numbers in midfield while Mathieu Famini serves a three-match ban, Aaron Ramsey remains sidelined with a thigh injury and deadline-day signing Kim Kallstrom several weeks away from full fitness.

The Gunners have found defensive solidity in the partnership of Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny which has seen the number of first-team chances for captain Thomas Vermaelen limited as he recovers from a knee problem.

But Mertesacker is adamant that the Arsenal skipper remains a vital part of their defensive unit as he always gives them a boost in games.

"I think we have shown a lot of people who criticised us a lot over the last two-and-a-half years that we know each other much better now and that we complement each other well, so it looks like that's a good partnership [with Koscielny]," Mertesacker said.

"But I wouldn't say that's only us or the two of us. I think when I speak about our centre-backs I want to include always Thomas Vermaelen because he's our captain and he's always vital for everyone.

"He's aware of situations, he gives us a boost, he came back from a heavy injury.

"The boss will rotate in the next couple of months and it's really important that we are all in good fitness and all in a good shape so we can continue our good form and good partnerships with the three of us."


New Sky Bet customers: Free £30 matched bet


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e doesn't need a caoch. He needs a bus. A bloody big one, that he can park across the goal line. And when he gets one, he can do us a favour and let us know where we can buy one from as well.

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: No defence coach

Y

ou are wrong Per, thats the right way the play. Its everyone elses' fault that it doesnt work.

delboy
Mertesacker urges style change

A

s it's panto season coming soon, let me be the first Oh yes you do

munchie
Rodgers: No defence coach

Footer 365

La Liga: Carlo Ancelotti praises 'professional' Real Madrid after 3-1 Barcelona win

Carlo Ancelotti praised Real Madrid's "unique professionalism" after they came from a goal down to beat Barcelona.

Premier League: Mauricio Pochettino says Alan Pardew deserves more respect

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino admits it is tough not to feel sorry for Newcastle counterpart Alan Pardew.

La Liga: Luis Enrique stands by Luis Suarez selection after Barcelona defeat

Luis Enrique defended his decision to start Luis Suarez against Real Madrid after his team slumped to a 3-1 defeat.

Mail Box

'Goals Like That Can Make You Pregnant'

Those being sniffy about Erik Lamela's rabona are given short shrift in the afternoon mailbox, where criticism of Brendan Rodgers is smashed out of the park...

Does David De Gea Need Competition?

It would certainly be a good idea to give Victor Valdes a contract, while we have more mails on Brendan Rodgers, Arsene Wenger, the rabona and mailbox gripes...

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