Rifts are growing in the Arsenal camp over the French manager’s training methods, with Arsene Wenger and Per Mertesacker offering starkly different takes.
Arsene Wenger has responded to criticism of Arsenal’s training methods in typically spiky fashion.
In his press conference ahead of tomorrow’s game against Sunderland, the Arsenal boss was asked about Per Mertesacker’s comment that Arsenal need to “train harder” in order to overcome their current issues.
“I don’t know what he meant by that. But you have to be careful with statements after the game. I think we train very hard, the attitude is right and the spirit is there,” Goal quoted the Gunners boss as saying, although he did admit that Arsenal had not been “efficient enough offensively or defensively.”
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Mertesacker, who was at fault for Hull’s second goal last weekend, has blamed his own recent poor performances on a lack of “motivation” after the World Cup, but said that the team must “be honest to [themselves] and train harder”.
Arsenal were lucky to win in Belgium, with late goals from Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski giving them a true smash and grab win. They have also picked up only one point in their last four Premier League games, and will be determined to turn things round tomorrow at The Stadium of Light.
Sunderland will be desperate to bounce back from their dreadful 8-0 defeat last week, and will put up a tough fight against the Gunners. Arsenal’s defensive injury problems are ongoing, and Mertesacker will need to be on top form to prevent the Sunderland’s set-piece specialist Sebastian Larsson from exploiting Arsenal’s weaknesses at corners and free-kicks.