Per Mertesacker spoke to the media after Arsenal’s defeat against West Ham United on Sunday. Here’s a full transcript:
on the result…Sometimes it’s hard to explain. We played a great pre-season but that is absolutely nothing. I’ve said that before already, especially after the Community Shield game. That’s reality now. It’s a massive loss for us because we had great confidence and now it’s time for us to settle down, stay healthy and look forward to next Sunday.
on what was missing from the performance…Our first half was not too bad but we lacked a bit of control. We lost a lot of balls, we weren’t patient enough at times, our possession was not that great and they scored at the right times. They didn’t have a lot of chances but they scored at the right times and punished us from a set-piece and in the second half when we lost the ball. They didn’t create too many chances but overall we weren’t decisive enough, especially in the final third. It looked like the last ball was always the wrong decision.
on the nature of West Ham’s goals…Yes, as I explained, they score at the right times - shortly before half-time from a set-piece. That was very disappointing. We worked a lot on that, not to concede. But I think they deserved it in the end, because especially in the second half, they just defended very deep and we didn’t find any solutions. Sometimes it’s good to come back from a massive loss. I think we are capable of coming back.
on if he’s still positive about this season…That’s our job now. That was the first game of the season. [It’s] a bad start but sometimes you need a bad start to come back and realise that you have to give more than just what we did.
on it being the worst possible start to the season…That’s right. I think we would love to have a different result but we have to take the result.
on the importance of the goal before half-time…The first half was ok, not decisive enough, especially not in the final third. We can only blame ourselves for today’s game. Hopefully we can come back from that disappointment. The confidence was high, everyone felt great but we had a couple of misunderstandings, especially in the first half. We lost the ball a lot, we were not patient enough at times, so there is a lot to work on. We have to work more.
on bouncing back…It’s very important. We want to have a better start than last season so we need to be very cautious of the situation. To start with a game like that is not good but to bounce back is even more important now.
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