Because of all the injury problems Arsenal have been beset with recently, including to Mesut Ozil and young Serge Gnabry, the Gunners have just two Germans in the match day squads at the minute. Both Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker were involved in that unlikely last minute win over Anderlecht, with the striker scoring the crucial winner.
And both of our German stars have been fairly honest in their assessment of the game, admitting that the performance was not really good enough and that we only got the win with a large slice of luck. Both they also think that the players can use this result and push on to get the season back on track.
Podolski has told Arsenal Player that the win now gives the Gunners a fantastic chance to book our place in the Champions League knockout phase once more when the Belgian club comes to London for the return fixture in two weeks, but that we must not take anything for granted.
The 29-year old forward said, “It was a dramatic game for the fans and for us as well but at the end we have the three points.
“If we lost today it would have been difficult. It was important that we won and went back to London with the three points.
“I hope [we can gain momentum]. We had 25 shots on target against Hull City and we drew. Today was not the best game but it’s important that at the end you get the points and we have the points.
“Sometimes you have to be a little bit lucky and today was the day. When the ball is on my left foot I score 99 per cent of the time. It was a good moment for me and the fans because they support me all of the time.
“We still have three games left and nothing is certain yet. We have an important game against Anderlecht at home and if we win that then I think we can go through.”
Our BFG has played a lot more minutes on the pitch this season and he tried to find an explanation as to why Arsenal have struggled with performances and results so far, as revealed in a Daily Star report. Mertesacker also believes that this could be a turning point for the team, but he knows that it will not just happen but will need a concerted effort from the players, both in training and on the pitch. And he accepts that his own form needs to improves as well as it has not been right since the World Cup finals.
The defender said, “Everyone knows that it was a difficult start for us and our confidence is not that much how we wanted it.
“The character is good, the mentality is good, but football-wise, we lack a few things.
“Our passing game is not as efficient as last year.
“We are not at our best. We have to admit that, be honest with ourselves and train harder.
“Personally it is difficult at the moment because that was really a long season last year and to come back from that World Cup and get the motivation back.
“I am nearly back, but you can feel there is something missing at the moment.
“With those games, the belief and the mentality is there, but the motivation will come back.
“We didn’t even have time to celebrate [the World Cup win] properly, that was the first thing, but you realise month after month what happened.
“I am still not there [taking in] what happened in Brazil, maybe in five or 10 years you can really realise what was going on there.
“We came back to Berlin, got on the stage, waved our hands, showed the World Cup and then everyone disappeared to their families to get some holidays, some rest and calm.”
So will this lucky result against Anderlecht inspire Arsenal for the rest of the season?