by Lewis Ambrose
A strong defensive performance has come to be expected of Per Mertesacker, and he delivered at Wembley once again on Sunday.
The Big F-ing German loves Wembley, scoring in an international against England as well in an FA Cup semi-final and final over the course of the last two seasons. There wasn’t a goal to celebrate but a superb clean sheet to be enjoyed in the 1-0 defeat of Chelsea in his latest trip to the national stadium.
“It’s another win. We’ve played a decent pre-season and it’s a good preparation for the first game,” the defender told the media after the game.
Mertesacker was still eager to keep expectations and excitement to a minimum – Arsenal won but it was ‘only’ the Community Shield and doesn’t indicate how the Premier League season will turn out ahead of the first game next weekend.
“It says absolutely nothing but it’s a little title for us, keeps our confidence as high as it was, so we are pretty happy with the performance.
“It’s still pre-season. It’s a beginner. It keeps our confidence high and I think we deserved it. Everyone dug in and deserved it.”
The clean sheet came in Petr Čech’s first official Arsenal performance, against his former club. The 33 year-old goalkeeper has won everything in the English game as well as the Champions League and Europa League and his experience could prove priceless following an £11M from our rivals.
“He has so much experience and that gives us a huge boost before the start of the season,” Mertesacker said of the new signing.
“His contribution is massive but let’s not expect too much because he hasn’t been playing for a year.”
So, can Arsenal win the league this season? Per seems quietly confident.
“We’re going to try our best and when Alexis Sánchez is back we have a good squad.”