Arsenal squad needed to regroup after major setback on New Years Day against Southampton.
Per Mertesacker has claimed that crisis talks staged by the Arsenal squad following their 2-0 defeat to Southampton may just have saved their season.
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Arsenal perhaps reached their nadir this season with a terrible performance at St Mary’s on New Years day that saw them lose ground on their top four rivals.
And Mertesacker believes the Gunners squad felt the time right to stage an intervention in order to salvage their faltering season and remind the team they needed to improve their defensive requirements.
The North Londoners have since won five straight games, keeping four clean sheets, including their 2-0 win at Manchester City.
“At Southampton, that was a major setback. That was a bad start to the year,” said Mertesacker, reports Daily Mirror.
“After that, we promised ourselves to come out of that comfort zone and be a bit more focussed, especially what comes first is defensive work and not just for the back four.
“That is what was maybe the main thing for us to focus, just to promise, and after that we played more convincing, especially defensively.
“You can see the benefit when everyone realises that, and I thought everyone realised it very quickly after we lost at Southampton. Maybe sometimes you need a wake-up call in certain times to realise what was really important.”
Arsene Wenger admitted that player power was responsible for the severe change of tactics against Manchester City but despite the success against the champions, Mertesacker says the proof the squad have learnt their lessons will only come if they keep winning matches.
“We have lots of meetings, especially on what we needed to focus on, and what was really the important things.
“Sometimes you can discuss a lot and you do not find any solutions, you have to find them on the pitch. You can talk so long, but you wont get the benefit.
“We talked consistently about how to find our best way, but you have to show it on the pitch, otherwise everybody will doubt you and you cannot see any benefit.
“Sometimes you have to discuss a few things, but what is really important is that you implement it on the pitch.”