Following the loss to West Ham in our opening match of the season, Per Mertesacker has agreed that it’s a massive disappointment for the team.
During pre-season, no one could stop talking about the potential of the squad, the quality and how well we could do if we just got off to a strong start. Everyone spoke as if our opening match against West Ham was an easy win and it should have been. However, since when does Arsenal like to make things easy?
Captain on the day, the BFG, spoke after the match and admitted that he’s hugely disappointed with the result, describing it as a ‘massive loss‘ a couple of times.
“Sometimes it’s hard to explain,” Per said. “We played a great pre-season but that is absolutely nothing. I’ve said that before already, especially after the Community Shield game. That’s reality now. It’s a massive loss for us because we had great confidence and now it’s time for us to settle down, stay healthy and look forward to next Sunday.”
Indeed, the team, fans and club were on a high after our win against Chelsea in the Community Shield. Even though it was only pre-season, it was supposed to be an indicator of where we were and how well-prepared we were for the league.
“Our first half [against West Ham] was not too bad but we lacked a bit of control,” the centre-back continued. “We lost a lot of balls, we weren’t patient enough at times, our possession was not that great and they scored at the right times. They didn’t have a lot of chances but they scored at the right times and punished us from a set-piece and in the second half when we lost the ball. They didn’t create too many chances but overall we weren’t decisive enough, especially in the final third. It looked like the last ball was always the wrong decision.”
The defender’s tone seems dejected and you can’t blame him. After having such positive results, to then be left shell-shocked by two goals against a team who many had assumed we’d already beaten, must be a tough pill to swallow.
Saying this, it’s hard to have sympathy when at the end of the day, the footballers and manager are the ones who have to deliver and this time, they simply didn’t.