Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has called upon his teammates to continue playing at the same level as the ‘benchmark’ performance against Manchester United (via Arsenal.com). Speaking to Arsenal Player, the German said that the team were committed to producing special moments for the fans and that they understood the importance of winning on a regular basis.
The Gunners’ performance against United was much needed, especially after the loss to Olympiacos, and Mertesacker backed up that sentiment by revealing that the players were told to play without any regrets about the previous game. He said, “[We were told to] do what we are best at and to go at full intensity, especially at home. Have no regrets and to focus on our job which is to have good possession in the final third, and play with tempo and speed.
“It worked completely because we gave everything from the start without any hesitation and that is what makes people happy, seeing us play in that way.
“We always want to give the fans special moments. A special performance was absolutely required after what happened against Olympiacos.”
The veteran admitted that the team were doubting themselves after their self-inflicted defeat in the Champions League, but insisted the victory against United had gone a long way towards bolstering the team morale and confidence.
“We need to focus on ourselves and manage to do that in the first 20 minutes like we did against Manchester United and defend the way did together as a unit. You could see all the doubts that came after the game against Olympiacos go if we remind ourselves that we are really good”, he said.
“We need to have a certain consistency [in the league] otherwise it is going to be difficult. But, if you get wins against the good teams then it will breed confidence for the whole team and we look forward to the next few Premier League games now.”
The Gunners face newly promoted Watford after the international break, followed by tricky games against Everton and Swansea. We also have the North London Derby to look forward to early next month. If our players can manage to retain the form they showed against United, it promises to be a pleasant few weeks ahead.