Arsenals hopes of qualifying for the Champions League were strengthened last night, but defender Per Mertesacker admits that their title charge was damaged after defeats to Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool.
Injuries to a couple of key players and disappointing results saw Arsenal fade away in their title charge this season, admits the defender.
“We have struggled heavily with a couple of injuries, but we have regrouped very well and how we managed the situation was maybe more important than last year, so securing Champions League football was another test for us,” he said.
“It is not done yet, Everton play Manchester City on Saturday, but we have it in our own hands.However, everyone wanted us to get further up, especially the fans, and we were top of the table for a long time.”
“Everyone dreamed about the title, but it takes more than staying top until the winter period. “We could not afford those (losses) in big games against big teams, so we did not deserve to be in the first three. That is something we have to manage much better next year.
“The (defeats in the) early away games (at Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea) killed us this year. Hopefully we can learn from that.
“Everyone questioned our qualities, but how we came back as a team, that makes us stronger for the future.”
By Ollie Brown