Per Mertesacker has admitted that although he’s made his peace with it, he’s not used to starting on the bench so often.

The defender has been left out of the team recently in favour of Gabriel, who, although struggled at first, has started to grow into the team slightly now. A great deal of Gooners were a bit confused by the persistent decision to start Gab, especially when he was a weak point in our defence, but the Brazilian has improved.

Despite this, the BFG is in high spirits and believes we can win the title – still!

“It’s not totally over yet,” the lanky centre-back said.

“If we win all of our matches, then we’ve got a good chance.

“We’ve got to keep focusing on that and that’s why we’re taking things game by game. We’re trying to concentrate fully on our next game against West Ham.

“We have a bit more time now that we’re not in any other competition so we don’t have to concentrate on anything else, other than the title.”

515690790 per mertesacker of arsenal runs during a gettyimages
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – MARCH 15: Per Mertesacker of Arsenal runs during a training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at London Colney on March 15, 2016 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

He added, “I’ve got to admit it (being on the bench) is new to me. I’ve been around a long time now and this has not so often been the case, but I’m in good spirits, am fit and I have no pain.

Of course I’m playing less, but I’m sticking at it. Maybe I’ll get another chance. Things change quickly nowadays.

“You get ups and downs as a footballer and you’ve just got to remain professional, and I’ve always been that down the years.

“That’s why I’ve survived for so long in this business. I listen closely to what the coach says and he knows that he can count on me, no matter what happens.”

I love Per’s positive attitude. He’s a real team player and genuinely loves Arsenal, so I’m sure he doesn’t mind being stuck on the bench too much. Hopefully, this will give him the hunger he needs to really battle for a place in the starting XI and will make our squad even stronger.