Per Mertesacker admits that festive football is a novel experience for him but he is relishing the chance to play during this “special” time.

The Germany international spent his entire career in the Bundesliga before moving to the Emirates in August, and had been used to a lengthy winter break over Christmas.

“This time of year is a strange situation for me! I spoke to some of my ex-Werder Bremen team-mates recently and they have two-and-a-half weeks off now,” Mertesacker told the Official Matchday Programme.

“But I’m very glad to be here over the Christmas period and New Year - you get used to the English ways and it’s a special thing about the football here.

“My family will be over, so it’s fine. It’s very nice to have family that is very close to you and wants to give support in every situation. And besides, spending Christmas and New Year in London is not so bad!”

Following the morale-boosting victory at Aston Villa, Mertesacker is determined to maintain Arsenal’s strong run - starting against Wolves.

“I’m looking forward to the game - it’s another one we have to win. I’m prepared for the threat their wingers will pose with their crosses,” he said.

“At Villa, especially towards the end of the game, there were some dangerous balls into the box but we were very confident and defended them well.

“I’m still learning a lot [about English football] - new stadiums, new opponents. I’m very confident at home though, because I know the dressing room and the pitch. Every game is exciting."

  • The full interview with Per is available in the Official Matchday Programme for the Wolves game. Click here to subscribe.
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27 Dec 2011