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, 20:00
Leyton Orient striker Chris Dagnall. Pic: Simon O'Connor

Striker eager to start moving up the League One table.

Yesterday, 17:32
Leyton Orient striker Chris Dagnall is mobbed by his O's team-mates as they celebrate the second goal in their 4-1 win over Crewe last weekend. Pic: Simon O'Connor

O’s forward keen to enjoy good run in the side.

Colin Munford
Yesterday, 16:30
The Essex FA are staging new courses for referees in 2015

Latest news from the Essex FA

Facebook
Yesterday, 15:30
Top level action returns to London with the UCI Track Cycling World Cup (pic: Luke Webber/British Cycling)

UCI Track Cycling event coming to Lee Valley

Elizabeth Olympic Park

Most read sport

The comedian returned to his home town for the prestigious award ceremony.

The helicopter crashed through the roof of the Clutha pub.

Twitter sat back and watched as the world went bargain-hunting crazy on Black Friday.

There was definitely something buzzing at JCB when he delivered his immigration speech.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition