Per Mertesacker was once again on the bench for the draw with Crystal Palace during the weekend.
The German lost his place in the first-team a month ago after his poor performance in the loss against Watford in the FA Cup. Mertesacker was a regular partner with Laurent Koscielny throughout his time at Arsenal. He admitted that being on the bench on a regular basis is not a nice feeling, but he is prepared to fight for his position. His chances of coming back to the starting line-up was improved after the gunners failed to keep a clean sheet for a second consecutive game.
After the 3-3 crushing draw with West Ham, many expected Arsenal to have learnt their lessons. However, the club once again allowed the opposition to come back despite being in a dominant position. The latest slip came in the home match against Crystal Palace. The 1-1 draw has bigger consequences since it has confirmed the end of their title challenge while also putting their top four position in peril. Manchester United have been given a new bout of confidence after seeing Arsenal drop points. City have overtaken Arsenal into the third spot. If the gunners once again finish in the fourth place, it would be seen as a step back after spending money on players like Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
“It’s about discipline. We lacked that desperation to defend and get everyone behind the ball.To come back to that level is absolutely important in the Premier League, and if you don’t you will get punished. These details are very important to us and everyone can see it,” said Mertesacker. Following the poor defensive displays, it remains to be seen if Mertesacker will be called up for the starting line-up in the club’s next game against West Brom.