Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger has backed Per Mertesacker, whose performances have come under a lot of criticism this season, to return to his best soon.
The 30-year-old became a regular in Arsenal’s starting line-up since joining them in 2011 and has already made 146 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions. But the former Werder Bremen center back’s this season has come under a lot of criticism as Arsenal have made a slow start to their league campaign.
But Arsene Wenger has backed the German defender to bounce back and return to his best. Only of the reason behind Mertesacker’s poor form could be attributed to the sheer number of games he has had to play over the last two seasons. He was also part of the World Cup winning campaign for Germany this year and his fitness has been under the radar. Wenger also feels that injuries at the back have also destabilized his defence and as the players return to the first team, it will help Mertesacker to settle down as well.
“I believe he’s on the way up. He had a difficult start to the season but he’s been much sharper [lately].
“Many people had a go at him for the corner [at Liverpool] but I looked at it and he had no chance to get that ball in the zone where he was.
“It’s not easy for him. When Koscielny comes back and with Debuchy being back, we will be more stable. Even in midfield we need to get our players back and to defend better.
“We had no stability at the back and when you look at the number of players who played centre back this season, it’s not easy.” – The Arsenal manager said.
Arsene Wenger has used Mathieu Debuchy as a center back in Koscielny’s absence and the Frenchman has insisted that Debuchy’s strength in the air is one of the reasons behind this decision, after his team struggled against Stoke City.
“I put Debuchy in first of all because he is good in the air. At Stoke, we suffered in the air.
“He is a defender of experience and the experience sometimes just in one movement can make a difference. And the defensive responsibility is a bit less on the flank.” – Wenger added.