Defining Moments: Response after Monaco

As another season draws to a close, Arsenal can look back with pride on a campaign that offers genuine cause for optimism.

Per Mertesacker was a near ever-present throughout 2014/15, and here he explains some of his defining moments from the past 10 months.

March 1 onwards: Response to Monaco defeatHaving lost the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Monaco with defending that Arsene Wenger would later describe as “suicidal”, it would have been easy for Arsenal’s season to come unstuck.

With Olivier Giroud in the line of fire after a disappointing night, the pressure was firmly on the Frenchman and his team-mates as Everton arrived in north London three days later. A response was expected, and Giroud and Arsenal duly delivered with the Frenchman scoring in a morale-boosting 2-0 victory.

The team would go on to win a further eight wins on the bounce in all competitions to all but secure their top-four place and reach the FA Cup final. It was exactly the sort of response Wenger had hoped for.

“Apparently our squad is capable of learning really quickly and asking ourselves ‘what went wrong, what do we have to change?’” Mertesacker told Arsenal Player. “Sometimes you just need to change your mindset a little bit and we know that we are good enough to cope. Sometimes to ask what went wrong in certain situations in games [is important].

“Sometimes you need a reminder or a disappointment. We try to learn from victory but more significant is when you lose that you ask yourself even more. It was a good learning process for us and afterwards we were absolutely fantastic in what we did and how we executed it.”

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