The Arsenal defence is playing with different perspective, according to Per Mertesacker.
The big German centre back helped his side to a second successive clean sheet in the 2-0 victory over Swansea on Saturday. That crucial win closed the gap on the top four and came hot on the heels of the surprise success by the same score at Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
The most important thing we learned was to cover each other more. There were a lot of situations where there was no pressure on the ballPer Mertesacker
After the victory in Wales, Mertesacker revealed that in the wake of the defeat at Tottenham, the entire defence took it upon themselves to conduct an extra examination of their team-play on video. It gave them a new outlook.
“We do [this] before every game,” he said. “But the defenders did it on our own and I think there has been quite an improvement. We saw ourselves as a unit on the television and I think it was a good thing to do because sometimes you have a different view on the pitch and you feel different.
“It was everybody’s decision [to do it]. We all had the feeling there was something to do so everybody was involved and everyone felt we needed to improve and speak more.
“The most important thing we learned was to cover each other more. There were a lot of situations where there was no pressure on the ball and the back four was not prepared for any balls between us.
“We are always watching videos. That is not the point. Sometimes it is good to see situations and I think the very important scenes against Tottenham made it more clear for everyone.”
The victory at Swansea lifted Arsenal back above Everton and, as a result of Tottenham’s defeat to Fulham, edged Wenger’s men closer to the top four.
“It rained cats and dogs, especially in the second half,” smiled Mertesacker. “It was very slippery but it was a vital win.
“There’s a good international break now, a little breather for everyone, and then we can concentrate on the last nine games. We need to keep on going.
“We are not in the position that we want to be in so it is a good target to think about our situation in the league. That is all we can do at the moment as we are out of every competition so our focus must be to climb up the table.”Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 17 Mar 2013