Mertesacker notes Arsenal defensive improvements

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Per Mertesacker believes the Arsenal defence is starting to take some serious shape at the Emirates.

The Gunners back-line kept another clean sheet at the weekend, shutting out Wigan in a convincing 4-0 win at the DW Stadium, a victory which moved Arsene Wenger's side up into fifth place in the Barclays Premier League.

Whilst Robin Van Persie has been taking all the plaudits in north London, the defence have quietly been going about their business with steady improvement, and the German international believes recent successes have been built on trust.

"We try our best in every match. We didn't have a pre-season together and we have had to get our form together and trust each other in the games," Mertesacker told Arsenal Player post-match.

"We are in the last 16 in the Champions League and are in a good position in the Premier League and we want to keep on going like that.

"At the beginning [of Saturday’s game] Wigan tried to close us down a lot and it was very difficult for us. They had a good tempo and a good speed in their game. Therefore we were careful and did a great job in the final third.”

Mertesacker has formed a steady partnership alongside Belgian international Thomas Vermaelen, with Laurent Koscielny and Andre Santos providing support in the full-back positions.

With injuries to Kieran Gibbs, Bacary Sagna and Carl Jenkinson, the current back four appears set to hold the fort during the traditionally tricky festive period. With that in mind, their run of form has been timed perfectly for Wenger.

Per Mertesacker
Premier League

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