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Arsenal’s defence heed wake-up call

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Arsenal’s defence heed wake-up call

Per Mertesacker admits Arsenal\’s defensive showing has improved thanks to footage of the Gunners\’ frailties at the back in last week\’s 2-1 loss to Tottenham.

Arsenal followed the North London derby defeat with consecutive cleansheets against Bayern Munich and Swansea, with Saturday\’s win in Wales helping to boost their hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Mertesacker believes watching a replay of their disorganisation against Spurs allowed Arsenal\’s defence to make significant improvements to their structure.

\”There was a lot of room for improvement and we saw a lot of things on television,\” Mertesacker said. \”Sometimes we didn\’t choose the right direction and we just lacked a bit of defensive work as a unit. We prepared ourselves for Munich and for Swansea and it was much, much better.

\”We saw ourselves as a unit on the television and I think it was a good thing to do because sometimes you have a different view on the pitch and you feel different.

\”Sometimes you can\’t believe what you did as a defensive unit. Everybody was involved and everyone felt we needed to improve and speak.

\”As a unit we have to cover each other. That was the most important thing we learned. There were a lot of situations where there was no pressure on the ball against Tottenham and the back four was not prepared for any balls between us.\”

The victory over Swansea provided a number of sub-plots for the Gunners, with Nacho Monreal scoring his first goal for the club, Lukasz Fabianski retaining his place in the starting line-up and Gervinho breaking his Premier League goalscoring drought.

\”I know that Gervinho was under a lot of negative pressure because he missed chances,\” manager Arsene Wenger said. \”I\’m sure he will be a big force for us until the end of the season.

\”He gives us something different. He can dribble, he can provoke. He is sensitive – he needs the support.\”

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