Some of the football that Arsenal produced as we beat Hull City at the KC stadium on Monday night was simply stunning. Moments of magic like Ozil’s audacious flick, Cazorla’s pinged pass to Ramsey or the Welshman’s wonder ball to Alexis were three of the most memorable but there was plenty of good stuff from the Gunners throughout.
Per Mertesacker certainly enjoyed it, although he has admitted that he does not always entirely understand what is going on with the Arsenal players in front of him, as a report in The Guardian reveals. The German World Cup winner admits that Arsenal were not good enough in the earlier stages of the season though, and that everyone at the club knows how vital it is for the team to put that right when the next one begins in August.
He is confident that we can do that however, especially if our current form allows us to go straight into the Champions League group stage draw without having the stress and strain of two extra games when the fitness levels are lower and the risk of injury is higher.
Mertesacker said, “We want to qualify directly for the Champions League. After the title is gone, that for us would be an improvement from last season where we had two qualifying matches, really tight ones, to secure Champions League football.
“That’s the first target and then the FA Cup, to defend that title would be really amazing. That’s the focus at the minute. It looks like we are quite sharp and the way we are going is really pleasing. It’s so unpredictable what we are doing. Even for me at the back, it sometimes looks a bit weird what we are doing. Sometimes we lose the balance, sometimes it’s really good, so we have to keep on going and focusing on our game defensively to keep a clean sheet.
“Post World Cup was not good enough, we have to admit that. But how we finish season after season is fantastic. But we have to be sharp from the start of the season. That is what we lack. The points we dropped at the start of the season were 10 or 11 points and that gap we could not close. We were consistent in 2015, but Chelsea did not drop many points.”
One thing is certain, Arsenal in our current form are good enough to challenge for the Premier League title, because if the vice-captain is struggling to get his head around the fluid and flowing style of football, you can bet that our opponents will have a big problem on their hands.
But can we keep this sort of thing up for an entire campaign?