by Lee Hurley
Per Mertesacker believes the ability to get a full pre-season under his belt this year will help him immensely in the upcoming campaign.
The BFG was a late arrival at Arsenal last summer due to his World Cup antics, leaving him with less than two weeks back at the club before the Premier League season kicked off. Added to that were the Champions League play-offs which meant the Gunners were having to get up to speed quicker than many of their rivals while missing a few of their key men.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, Per said “I think we had 10 days before we played our first game, away at Everton.
“The season had already started with the play-off games against Besiktas.
“This year it’s totally different and I think that is very beneficial for myself, for my fitness, to get a few tests and a few games under my belt before the season starts. I feel much better than last season but first of all we need to prepare properly.
“We are just at the start of pre-season so let’s get some good tests and good training sessions as well.
“It’s different [in Singapore] to those conditions in London but we are here for one week to prepare, to get some good tests,” he added. “We get on with that and we’re trying to get the best out of it.
“I had a five-week break so it takes a bit [of time], especially under those conditions, to get yourself going and into a certain rhythm.
“I think it’s good for me to get a couple of weeks where we can test ourselves in training and have a very good test here.”
Arsenal got their preseason off to a great start with a 4-0 win over a Singapore Select XI. They will be hoping to put in a similar sort of performance against Everton on Sunday in the final of the Barclay’s Asia Trophy.