Arsenala s Per Mertesacker said that there should be more of an argumentative and confrontational culture at the club to get the best out of every player for the good of the team.
The German defender said that Arsenal were too nice with each other last season and a more argumentative culture in the team would have helped them.
a You need that arguing culture,a Mertesacker said. a We lost that at times. It gets personal, and someone gets upset too quickly, but you have to face the truth and have a proper argument. That was normal 10 years ago and it has slightly changed.
a We lost that a bit, what is the intention of argument. Ita s really important, not only in general, but in a footballera s life.
a It has to get louder sometimes. We need to discuss, to find solutions, to get everyone in one direction. We had to think about how we can play better, especially defensively.
a We slightly changed approach and defended much better at Man City, even at Chelsea, when we lost 2-0.
a We decided to play more the easy ball, the secure ball, to not get exposed that quickly, and to drop off at times, and just be in good shape. You could see that. That was the benchmark for me, at Man City, how we played there. They couldna t score against us.
a You learn a lot from defeats. As well, you need to learn from victories. Thata s even more important, not to drop a single second.a
Mertesacker also touched on the fact how getting used to playing with teammates on a more regular basis would help the team to perform better.
a Automatisms a when you know players better, especially your partner a are a big part of a footballera s life,a Mertesacker said.
a In the first 10 games, we had literally 10 different back fours, due to injuries, and we had to cope with that. It took its time. As a team, we look quite sharp defensively, not only relying on the back four. Therea s more team effort, I feel.
a The post-World Cup difficulties were a new experience for the group, so it took us a long time due to injuries, lack of form.
a Everyone who was at the World Cup suffered an injury or lack of form. Now, slowly, as players come back, everyone needs to deliver and I think the selection is good at the moment.a
With Mertesacker seeing himself giving way to Gabriel in the Arsenal team whenever the Brazilian is fit, ita s hard to see if the German has a long future in the club. But the fans would certainly be hoping that all the defenders get comfortable playing with each other if they are to have any chance of fighting for the title next season.