Vice captain Per Mertesacker believes our loss at Southampton on New Year’s Day was important for our campaign, and provided a much needed wake up call as we head into the tail end of the season.
The BFG revealed that there was a major change at the club following the 2-0 loss at St Mary’s, and that our defence has been the focal point of the inquest.
It’s clear that the entire team reacted well following the defeat, and we look a revitalised side; winning five on the trot and playing our best football for a long time.
“Maybe sometimes you need a wake up call in certain times to release what’s important,” Mertesacker was quoted by the Independent.
“At Southampton it was a major setback – a bad start to the year.
“After that we promised ourselves to come out of that comfort zone and be a bit more focused, especially that what comes first is defensive work and not just for the back four, that is what was maybe the main thing for us to focus, just to promise, and after that we played more convincing, especially defensively.
“You can see the benefit when everyone realises that, and I thought everyone realised it very quickly after we lost at Southampton.
“We worked a lot on our defensive shape, not just the back four, to avoid those dangerous free balls against us. We look much better and the best game defensively was against Man City, that was a bit of a change.”
We have scored 15 goals while conceding just twice during our five game winning streak, and if our dominant 5-0 win over Aston Villa is anything to go by then we are more than capable of continuing that run.
The change in philosophy has come at the perfect time, and we look capable of making a late charge on a number of fronts this season.
We are still in the FA Cup and the Champions League, and not too far off the pace in the Premier League. The campaign so far has been somewhat underwhelming, but we are in a great position to kick on and finish it off with a bang.