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Per - Why we’re better in big games now

Per Mertesacker

Per Mertesacker says Arsenal’s ability to alter their approach is behind their recent success against big rivals.

The Gunners have won five and drawn two of their eight games against Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea in 2015.

Mertesacker is pleased with the improvement and feels that changing tactics in certain matches has paid dividends.

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Arsenal 2-1 Manchester City, December 21, 2015

“We are capable of doing different things sometimes and that is what makes it harder for the opponent,” he said. “That is why we implement it in games sometimes but we are still dangerous on the counter-attack and that makes us a real threat.

“Last season we played at Manchester City and showed a different kind of gameplan. That is what we had in the locker already but this year we are more consistent and it makes us a bit better as a unit.

“Sometimes we need to adjust, we don't have all the players available at the minute so we [thought] that was the best way to win against City. We need to trust that way as well - it is not only thinking about it, it is also about putting it into practice.

“That is what we are doing really well at the minute but that means a lot of concentration and work in training, and everyone is up for the challenge.

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“When I see our players up front working as hard as they did [against City] that makes a difference for us defenders - it makes it much easier to defend our goal.

“We go game by game and concentrate on having a gameplan and trying to implement it. That has been our strength so far against the big teams and it makes us stronger as a unit.”

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