Per Mertesacker has claimed that he needs to do a better job in mentally preparing the Arsenal players in the aftermath of the defeat to Watford (via Arsenal.com).
The defeat to Watford last Saturday was a real low point of a disappointing season for Arsenal.
After squandering a 1-0 lead, Arsenal conceded two late goals to the home side as they racked up their third loss in four away matches.
Per Mertesacker made his first Premier League appearance of the season during the match and has now said what the Gunners need to do so stop losing matches like that.
“Tou need numbers, you need players in the box and players wanting to defend that goal. We lacked that, totally, especially on that second goal,” Mertesacker told Arsenal.com.
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“I need to do a better job in preparing our players, especially mentally to go that extra step.
“That needs to be done beforehand. Afterwards is easy because anyone can judge us on that performance and can criticise.
“That’s fair play, but we as players and me as captain need to make sure we are aware of that before the game, not afterwards.
“We should be very, very disappointed with what we produced in the second half and the way we reacted when they scored.”
It’s good that Mertesacker is acknowledging Arsenal’s failings on the pitch during the defeat to Watford. It was awful to watch the Gunners surrender an advantage in a game like that and to go on to lose was even worse. It’s good that Mertesacker is taking responsibility but he shouldn’t be the only one.