Arsenal lacking defensive discipline, admits captain Mertesacker

Per Mertesacker believes “defensive discipline” has been lacking at Arsenal this season, despite the potential being there for Arsene Wenger’s side to be “resolute”.

The Gunners returned to winning ways over the weekend, with a clean sheet secured in a 2-0 victory over Hull City.

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They did, however, endure a few nervy moments against the struggling Tigers before wrapping up the points.

Wenger had seen his side suffer back-to-back defeats in the Premier League against Watford and Chelsea before getting back on track.

Arsene Wenger Arsenal

Those setbacks have left Arsenal 10 points off the title-chasing pace in fourth and seemingly playing for Champions League qualification once again.

Their attention is about to turn to that competition, with the first leg of a last-16 showdown with Bayern Munich due to be taken in on Wednesday, and Europe could be a welcome distraction.

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Mertesacker is, however, aware that solidity at the back needs to be established at home and abroad if the Gunners are to end their 2016-17 campaign with a flourish.

The Emirates Stadium club captain, who has sat out the entire season to date through injury, said in the Evening Standard: “I think defensive discipline is something we have to put back in our minds because it’s something we need desperately.

“The encouraging thing is that we’ve shown that resolute defence at times this season. We have the potential so let’s utilise it.

Arsenal Chelsea Cech Mustafi Koscielny

“You can’t do what we did against Watford, where we gifted them two goals, or what we did against Chelsea, where we lacked that bit of intensity at times.

“But I’ve had a good feeling in training and I’ve sensed how this squad demands the best from one another.

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“Saturday’s game was crucial for us and the Champions League is massive for us too, because we want to prove that we can perform on an international level, when the floodlights are on.

“The Bayern Munich tie gives us a real chance to do that again. That’s what we want to do, that’s why we play in the Champions League.”

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