Chelsea v Arsenal: Per Mertesacker admits Arsenal 'were a bit scared' when they played Man City
“I thought we were a bit scared against Manchester City from the beginning,” Mertesacker revealed, recalling last weekend’s 2-0 home defeat to the Premier League champions. “We were not that confident.” It is some admission. Confidence has, as manager Arsène Wenger later conceded, been a fragile commodity at Arsenal of late. “We can sometimes be inhibited, especially at the start of games,” Wenger said. “It’s important that we get that out of our system.” Maybe, also, he revealed this Arsenal team can simply be too nice. “We need to be a bit more physical,” according to Wenger. “I think when referees see our team sheet they say ‘Oh, Arsenal, fantastic’.”It could be, Wenger added, that he must “restructure the balance of the team. We have the characters to do it. We have technical players but we also have physical players”. Arsenal are certainly a ‘bigger’ team than they were and at 6ft 6in Mertesacker is the biggest of them all. With 85 caps for Germany, aged 28 and one of the most experienced defenders in the Premier League then, he would also be expected to provide much of that physical edge.
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