Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker is confident that the players are well prepared and ready for the Premier League opener at home to Aston Villa next weekend and believes a successful pre-season has given the side new-found hope and confidence.
The Gunners ended their pre-season with a 3-1 victory against Premier League rivals Manchester City thanks to goals from Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud.
The win against City has ended a successful summer for Arsene Wenger’s men on the field as it meant they won five out of their seven pre-season matches.
Mertesacker, who has been speaking to the club’s official website, has insisted that the confident pre-season will give the side confidence going into the new Premier League campaign.
“I think it was a long pre-season but we did well, especially in this game against Man City,” Mertesacker told Arsenal Player.
“That was a good finish and I think we’re well prepared for the season. We have now international duty which makes it a bit difficult but I think when we come back on Thursday, we will completely focus on Aston Villa.
“That’s what we are looking forward to – a good, serious win so everybody sees that we are mentally ready for a long season. We have to focus on every single match as if it’s our last game. We will take care about [doing] it.”
The German international has had a very busy pre-season himself after he completed 90 minutes against Napoli, Galatasaray and Manchester City and he believes that Saturday’s friendly with City will help the side when they come up against Aston Villa at the weekend.
“I think both teams knew that both teams have strong starting 11s and a strong squad, and it was a first taste of the Premier League season,” he said.
“Everybody knew the other team would be focused, sharp and defend well so I think it was a good warm-up for the season. We think we are well prepared. We have shown that in the whole pre-season and on Saturday.”
Alex Batt – @AlexBatt