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Per Mertesacker DEMANDS Arsenal get season back on track against Crystal Palace

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker admits the side can’t afford any more slip-ups if they are to be crowned champions of England for the first time in over a decade.

The Gunners have been tipped by many in the media to pose a genuine threat to the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City for the Barclays Premier League title this season, but their campaign got off to the worse possible start as they crashed to a surprise 2-0 defeat against West Ham United at the weekend.

Mertesacker, who captained the side at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon, says they must bounce back and respond with victory in another London derby against Crystal Palace in gameweek two of the new season:

“To start with a game like that is not good but to bounce back is even more important now,” the German said [via Mirror Sport].

“It’s a massive loss for us because we had great confidence and now it’s time for us to settle down, stay healthy and look forward to next Sunday.”

“Sometimes it’s good to come back from a massive loss. I think we are capable of coming back,” Mertesacker added.

The current FA Cup holders do have a good recent record against the Eagles and have won on their last two visits to Selhurst Park including the corresponding fixture last season as Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud got on the scoresheet in a 2-1 victory.

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