An opening day loss to West Ham United has already left Arsenal in a tricky position at this early stage of the season.
The Gunners have been targeting a fast start and know that losing as many games as they have in recent years will only leave them adrift again in their hopes of claiming the Premier League title.
Per Mertesacker scored in the FA Cup Final last season but the German defender and Arsenal vice-captain wants more success, and knows how the Gunners have to do it.
“If you compare us to Chelsea, the reigning champions, I think they lost only three games last season,” the German defender explained when speaking to the Observer. “That’s something we haven’t been able to do.
“We lost six, seven or eight games per season, that’s not good enough to win a championship,” said the Arsenal centre-half.
He’s right, though Manchester City lost six games and went on to claim the title back in 2014 it is unlikely any side will win it if they lose that often again.
That makes Monday night’s game against Liverpool crucial, as the Gunners have to fix their home form. Arsenal have failed to score in three of their last four Premier League home games, losing twice and drawing once. Another slip up and Manchester City will already be six points ahead after just three games.
“It’s the first test against a title contender, so it’s a chance to see how good we are. We need to turn up, especially at home, with the right intensity and a kind of aggressive nature we maybe lacked in the first home game.”
Mertesacker’s own performances have come under criticism at times, with many seeing his slow acceleration yet failing to appreciate his reading of the game. The World Cup winner doesn’t let that bother him, as “there will always be doubters”.
Those people are insignificant.
“There are so many people who trust me at the club and count on me every week,” and isn’t that all that really matters?