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Wenger Speaks Out On Mertesacker’s Defensive Struggles

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has offered support and advice to Per Mertesacker after another costly error by the German centre back.

Per Mertesacker is gaining a reputation at Arsenal, and so far, it isn’t a good one. The German international has found it difficult in England so far and has been caught out on a number of occasions by the pace of the League, making some costly errors at the back which have not gone unnoticed.

This week-end he will have been counting his lucky stars that a man named Robin van Persie exists and plays up front for Arsenal, as he was able to cover up the calamitous blunder which saw Mertesacker gift the ball to Norwich’s Steve Morison who gave the Canaries the lead. Van Persie grabbed a double to come from behind and win the three points, but it was another error which has Arsenal worried.

However, Arsene Wenger is well known for his unwavering faith in players whom he believes can improve, and the 27 year-old summer signing is no different. In fact, the French manager believes that he can learn from another defender who took some time to settle in at the Emirates; Laurent Koscielny. Wenger said:

“He had not completely recovered [from the internationals]. It is a different game in England, a very demanding game for the defender. In every second of the game you are really tested with full commitment, and it takes some time to adapt.”

“We have seen that with [Laurent] Koscielny, who played at right-back and was exceptional. Last year he would not have delivered this kind of performance because you learn that from fighting in every game. That is why it is so difficult to buy defenders from abroad.”

Arsenal have conceded only seven goals in their last 8 matches in all competitions – a vast improvement to the beginning of the season which saw them concede 8 in just one game against Manchester United at Old Trafford. The side are improving and growing in confidence with every game, but tightening up at the back and ironing out individual errors would go nicely with the sides recent form to propel them further up the table and add even more consistency to their play.

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