Search

Arsenal boss admits Premier League was “a shock” to Arsenal star

15:13 20 November 2012

Per Mertesacker. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Per Mertesacker. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Arsene Wenger has praised Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker for his performances this season but admits he struggled to adapt to the Premier League after his arrival last summer.

The Germany international was signed from Werder Bremen on deadline day last year, and had a hard time with form and injuries in his first season in England.

This season, however, Mertesacker has held down his place in the side with some impressive performances at the heart of the Gunners’ defence.

Wenger admits the 28-year-old had a difficult first season but insists the criticism levelled at him “went overboard”.

“To his defence I must say last year he arrived on August 31, and had no pre-season, had an ankle injury and had to adapt to a completely new world,” said the Arsenal manager.

“Centre back is difficult for people who come from abroad, it was a bit of a shock for him, but this season he has come back very fit, well prepared, and of course knew what the expectations were for him and did extremely well.

“This season especially, as you [the media] have noticed, he has been outstanding.

He continued: “The criticism was always completely unjust. It was overboard, we always say you have to deal with that.

“There is only one thing you can do as a football player at the top level, and that is to turn the critics down with your performances, and that is what he did.

“For the rest, you have to let people say what they want and show on the pitch they are wrong, that is all you can do.”

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 16:45
Highgate's Craig Gourlay (left) took 5-23 and then hit an unbeaten 42. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Craig Gourlay’s all-round display maintained Highgate’s maximum record this season as they beat Harrow Town by four wickets to stay top of the Division Three table in the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Yesterday, 16:15
Hornsey's Chetan Patel was frustrated by Brentham's negative tactics. Pic: Max Flego

Sean Solia equalled the highest score by a Hornsey batsman in league history – but his side were left frustrated as Brentham ground out a draw in Division Two of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Yesterday, 15:33
Islington Admiral United captain Kevin Duffy (left) and goalkeeper Harry Hicks show off the Ken Doherty Cup after beating Regent's in a penalty shoot-out.

Goalkeeper Harry Hicks was the hero as Admiral triumphed in a sudden-death shoot-out to clinch their first silverware of the season.

Yesterday, 14:04
Islington BC coaches JR Richards (left) and Jerry Mitchell with their Keystone awards

Islington BC coaching duo John ‘JR’ Richards and Jerry Mitchell have both received prestigious awards to mark their long service to the club.

Most read sport

Competitions

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder