Per Mertesacker was one of several players brought in towards the end of the summer transfer window to bolster the Arsenal squad for the new campaign.
However, the German international recently admitted that he is still having communication problems with his new team-mates and insisted it is not surprising that the Gunners have endured such a slow start to the new season, as Arsene Wenger’s new-look side was always going to take time to gel.
The 27-year-old defender recently said:
‘I’ve only been gone a month from Germany. I have not yet properly acclimatized. Sometimes it feels like an extended holiday. Only slowly am I starting to get used to the fact that the center of my life is now actually in London. I have been living in England since the middle of September, but it doesn’t yet feel like home. I don’t have my own house or my own flat. There is a lack of anchor points which I already had in Germany. But that takes time, it’s normal.’
‘We have many new players, but I feel that we have integrated very quickly. I still have communication problems, but given the circumstances this is inevitable.’
Arsenal have already lost four of their opening seven Premier League games, with Mertesacker coming in for criticism for some of his performances.
In my opinion, had we of bought him during pre-season he wouldn’t have come under such scrutiny, as he is a top class defender.
He went on to say:
‘Arsenal is one of the top teams in the world and the level of the league in general is very high. But it is clear that mistakes happen. They are almost inevitable in a team which has not yet gelled.’
Mertesacker is boosted by the faith that Wenger has in his team though:
‘The coach has been the pride of Arsenal for years.’
‘Arsene Wenger does not sign players about whom he is not totally convinced. He gives this feeling to everyone on a daily basis. This knowledge gives me a lot of security.’
‘He (Wenger) has a huge reputation there and enjoys complete confidence.’
‘For the Arsenal fans Wenger is a hero and he cannot lose this status. There is no one here who is not certain that the success will return. We have a talented team with a lot of potential lying dormant within us and it’s only a matter of time before that comes to the surface.’
We may be having some communication problems with our defence, but this could have been avoided had the transfers been made earlier on in the summer, as it would have given the team more of a chance to gel before the season began. However, since this didn’t happen we now find ourselves in a situation where we hope that the team gel, and gel quickly!
Another thing that I am concerned about here is the media hype. When Mertesacker arrived he was labelled as a great buy, but after a few under par performances they now seem to think that Wenger wasted his money – just goes to show you can’t please everyone.
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