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‘Cech has great ideas on and off pitch’

Per Mertesacker has hailed Petr Cech’s influence on the Arsenal dressing room.

The Czech international was back to his best against Crystal Palace after a mixed home debut, and Mertesacker says the 33-year-old has been a major asset since his summer move from Chelsea.

“He is very experienced,” the vice-captain said. “You can feel that, he has lots of things to say in the dressing room he gives us a great lift.

"Even when we lose a game, he has some great ideas on and off the pitch. He is very important for us and a good addition"

Per Mertesacker

“Even when we lose a game, he has some great ideas on and off the pitch. He is very important for us and a good addition.

“He is experienced enough to think about what went wrong [against West Ham], you don’t have to tell him. My feeling is he comes back even stronger, so there is no doubt he will be a great addition for us.

“There was not just one mistake [against West Ham] - when a goal happens, there are always three of four small mistakes a lot of the time. It was more down to us to analyse what went wrong in general, and there was a lot.

“Last week was a reminder to ourselves to be aware that everywhere in the Premier League there is big competition.”

Mertesacker says Cech has already formed an understanding with his defenders, and he expects that to be a major benefit over the course of the season.

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“The interaction between the goalkeeper and the back four has to be top to compete in the Premier League,” said Mertesacker.

“Petr came and had that understanding from the start, we both communicate well and understand each other as someone who has to talk and is really responsible. We match our ambitions on the pitch, and so it is great to communicate with him.”