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."


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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

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