New defensive signing Per Mertesacker has claimed that hard work on the training pitch contributed immensely to Arsenal keeping a clean sheet against Bolton in Arsenal’s last Premier League fixture.
There is no doubt that the defensive performance against Blackburn was dismal, but it was good to see that the Arsenal back-line was able to keep a clean-sheet to go some way in returning confidence to our defensive players.
Mertesacker told the the official Arsenal website Arsenal.com:
We had a little bit more time [during the week] because of the Carling Cup match
Some players had a little more rest and we trained a little harder, especially on the way we want to defend. It worked and on Saturday you saw we had a better defence. We were closer together.
After the four goals against Blackburn we lost a little bit of confidence but we were very proud of our performance on Saturday. We want to go on with this way of defending.
I want to do a good job, especially in the defence. That is my role. If the coach praises me then that is a great thing but I have to go on and keep on working. My performances can improve.
While I am not currently entirely convinced by the Arsenal defence, as there were a few defensive lapses which could have been capitalised by Bolton, you could see that for a majority of the match the gunners were defensively solid. I am hoping that the gunners will continue to improve on defence as it is easily our biggest weakness.