Per Mertesacker is not likely to win any friends with his explanation of Southampton’s first goal on New Year’s Day.
In what was a sequence of pure calamity, Laurent Koscielny failed to deal with his man, Wojciech Szczesny rushed out of his goal for no conceivable good reason and Per himself swung a leg at Sadio Mané’s cross-come-shot, giving it a helpful nudge into the goal.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, the vice-captain said
On the first I think he wanted to cross the ball, but it was massively affected by the wind and it was a bit unpredictable the wind. But overall we did too many mistakes and they scored on two occasions.
It was not a good day the office for Arsenal’s first-choice defence, reunited and bringing with them hope that the shambolic defensive displays of 2014 would be a thing of the past.
But, to be fair to the Arsenal man, although he seemed to be blaming the wind for the first goal he was taking responsibility for what was a poor showing from an Arsenal side that had collected maximum festive points until they travelled to St. Marys.
A lot [went wrong], when you see the result. We are massively disappointed because there was a good chance to really bounce back properly but they deserved to win because they did a bit more than us.
The last two games we were in good spirits and those games were close together and we fought really hard for the two wins. But today was slightly different. I think we have to come back to our main strength. But we didn’t show up with a good performance today. We have to remind ourselves every day that we need to have a big performance.