BFG says Southampton defeat taught Arsenal the need to defend

It was a very unhappy New Year for Arsenal fans as we saw our beloved team drop precious points to a direct rival when we were beaten 2-0 away at Southampton, but Per Mertesacker says that that was a blessing in disguise and taught the players that they needed to be more solid defensively rather than going gung-ho into the attack.

Since that day, Arsenal have won 5 games in a row and are now level on points with the Saints for the coveted Fourth Place, and Mertesacker has made it clear that the game at St. Marys was the turning point for the Gunners. He said on Arsenal Player; “Southampton was a major setback – it was a bad start to the year,”

“After that, we promised ourselves to come out of that comfort zone and be a bit more focused, especially to know that what comes first is defensive work and not just for the back four.

“That was maybe the main thing for us to focus on, and afterwards we played more convincingly, especially defensively. You can see the benefit when everyone realises that, and I thought everyone realised it very quickly after we lost at Southampton.

“Maybe sometimes you need a wake-up call to realise what is really important. We worked a lot on our defensive shape, not just the back four, to avoid those dangerous free balls against us. We look much better and the best game defensively was against Man City – that was a bit of a change.

“In the last few years, we went there and wanted to convince everybody that we could play our own way, so it was a bit of a change this time. Sometimes we have to do something unexpected, and that was maybe the winning moment.”

Arsene Wenger admitted after the Man City win that he had taken advice from his players on how to beat the League title holders, and it certainly seems to have paid off! Normally Wenger would just tell his players to go out and enjoy yourself by attacking constantly, so it is a major shift in his perception. Perhaps he realises now that the Arsenal fans care more about winning than just looking good on the field!

Tags Man City Martesacker Southampton


  1. muda says:

    Szczesny knows that

  2. mrabeeh says:

    wojciech sczczesny…
    did i get it right?

  3. supertuur says:

    We have become more defensive and counter attacking. With our speedy players upfront we can kill off anyone.

  4. Redeye says:

    I just read one of the most biased articles on the mail, what do these guys have against arsenal.Adrian durham or whatever your name is the coq needs to pay u a visit

    1. cescyfab4 says:

      I read that too earlier on.

      It such a shame that the mail will keep such a troll of a journalist as one of their writers.

      Such people really need to be ignored.

      1. Mick The Gooner says:

        Utterly ridiculous. Where’s Alexis going to go? People on here were making the argument of where Reus could really go, and came to the conclusion that there aren’t really and top clubs in the market for a LW. Only Manchester United really.

        Real have Ronaldo, Barca have Neymar, Bayern have Ribery and Chelsea have Hazard, City have Silva and PSG have Cavani/Lavezzi.

        I highly doubt that Alexis will leave – he seems really happy at Arsenal. He seems the type of player that values game time over trophies too, which is great.

  5. Twig says:

    Santi moving to midfield and the return of Coquelin have been the major reasons behind our success of late.

  6. cheeterspotter says:

    I know some footballers are rumoured to be a bit thick but wouldn’t you have thought they might have discussed out defensive frailties after being bashed up by man City then Liverpool and Chelsky last season.Talk about closing the gate after the horse has bolted. All my days!

  7. Tristan says:

    Giroud makes the difference. He is the most important player in the system. Certainly I am not saying other players are not good as Grioud. but he makes the team running, not individual fighting.

  8. cescyfab4 says:

    It’s a good thing they realized this at the best point of the season.

    Now Arsenal can kill teams off with a very potent Attack and disciplined defense.

    This blueprint can be repeated successfully in Europe… From the look of things, our season just roared back into life. COYG!

  9. Hafiz Rahman says:

    time to clear the deadwoods….Wenger should learn from Van Gaal and clear them all out….

    1. Budd says:

      Most of them are gone/loaned. There’s only Diaby left but I believe he will leave. I hope that doesn’t mean he will put an end to his football career. But if he wants to play for free or on a game basis then I don’t really care if he stays. I put myself a lot of hopes in his return this season only to be really let down by his fragility again. Too bad, I really liked him and I still do, don’t get me wrong but I believe it’s about time for him to make peace with himself and admit that it is a bit late. Gosh, I want him to prove me wrong again.

      1. Sumo says:

        Most Arsenal fans consider Diaby a deadwood and is the butt of many footballing jokes. That is the general concept. There was a guardian article few days back regarding him. All Arsenal fans are like, just let him go.

        Remember where he actually got crocked? 3-0 up against Sunderland and Dan Smith(who?) decides to fly into a outrageous tackle injuring and scarring Diaby for the rest of his playing life.

        I think there is a very humane side to this Diaby saga that we tend to overlook. A brilliant footballer (20yrs at that time) lost his playing career(majority) playing for us on the field. Any other club, be it Chelsea, Real, Pool would have got rid of him by now. But the way Arsenal and Wenger in particular, stood by him is one of the reasons I love Arsenal so much.

        Also I m not entirely sure, but i read that Diaby refused his wages till he gets back playing. I don’t begrudge Diaby any of his wages. And i only hope he stays. Be it pay as you play or any other.

  10. Invincibles49 says:

    This NLD is going to be such a fast paced game. Coq is going to be a huge factor and in a potential high scoring thriller his vital interceptions/tackles could prove to be the difference between the two sides.

  11. Twig says:

    An Arsenal season is incomplete unless there’s a crisis meeting.

  12. Wonder says:

    It looks like all the players including the deference feel comfortable with Ospina than Szczesny . I really feel for Szczesny , I am a fan of him!

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