This has been a very difficult season for all Arsenal players and fans, as we have seen our team fall away from contention for the Top Four extremely easily, and it was even worse to get knocked out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle by a Championship side.
But now we have had a mini-revival and are back to winning ways, even progressing in the Europa League at the San Siro. Our German defender Shkrodan Mustafi says that the revival began when Per Mertesacker called a team meeting so that everyone could air their views openly. “To be honest, this season has been more disappointing for us because we had bigger targets,” he told Arsenal.com. “One really big positive thing is that to be able to recover from such a period when everything goes bad and you’re not in form, to be close together and come out of it as a team is a really big, massive thing.
“I’ve been playing in a lot of teams across Europe and I’ve been playing in teams where we have been doing well, I’ve been playing in teams where we’ve been struggling, and it’s not easy to come out especially when you’re a big team.
“You find yourself fighting in every game against every opponent. I think you have to give credit to the team because we managed to come together and go back to the basics. Everyone was fighting for each other to try to get back on a winning streak.
“Everyone knew it was a difficult period. The meeting was about trying to listen to different opinions, different ideas and different feelings, and I think we found a way to try to change a bit.
“It’s not that easy because one meeting is not going to change a lot, especially not during the season when you’re playing every three days, but it was important to speak our opinions out loud. Overall it was about giving 110 per cent to try to get out of it, and I think we managed it well.”
Beating watford at home and AC Milan twice is hardly the stuff of Champions, but you can only beat what is put in front of you and it could be considered a good thing after losing the three previous games. We now have two home games to turn that into 5 in a row and hopefully we can carry on winning right until the end of the season and pick up a trophy on the way.
God bless Per Mertesacker!