Everyone makes mistakes I guess and boy did the Arsenal players make some big ones against Anderlecht in the Champions League. One of those was made by our giant German centre back Per Mertesacker who got the wrong side of the Belgian club’s striker Mitrovic who then scored a last minute equaliser.
But as much as the BFG was at fault, he should never have been put in that position as the Arsenal forward players were caught on the edge of the Anderlecht box, while Per’s fellow German Lukas Podolski made an awful job of closing down and stopping the cross that led to the goal. So I think he is well within his rights to lay some blame at the feet of the Arsenal players in front of him, as reported by The Mirror.
Mertesacker said, “That was a good warning that everyone should raise their game and give maybe 10% when it is needed.
“When we drop sometimes everyone has to be involved to defend. You can’t afford for just five or six players to defend, or just the back four. That is what we lacked especially in the final third and in the last 20 minutes.
“We have to defend better as a team. We did not stop them playing and they are good at it.
“As you could see, even in the final third, when you do not put them under pressure, they can deliver good balls through the middle. They can cause trouble and we just left them playing, so in general that was the problem.”
But as disappointed as all the Gunners and Gooners will clearly be, the German defender has moved to play down the importance of the result, reminding us all that Arsenal have had bad results in the past and the last couple of years have seen the team bounce back well from this sort of thing.
He continued, “This result is a small setback for us but it is a good warning and we will bounce back quickly.
“We are really good at that, we have shown that a couple of times. We still have a comfortable situation in terms of going through.
“We want to secure second place and we still have a big advantage after four games.”
Let’s just hope that the players have learned a valuable lesson and can bounce back straight away at Swansea on Sunday, because the last thing we want is to go into an international break after two poor results. Do you think the Gunners will put this straight behind us?