Pause Pleases Per

Mertesacker his pleased that Arsenal have a 10-day break in order to regroup ahead of the Bayern Munich battle.

After losing 2-1 to Tottenham, going 2-0 in the first half, in yet another big game, was a tough blow to take. It’s become a habit, and Per believes the break can help the Gunners to rediscover some form, and cut out the mistakes.

With Everton making it through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and us being knocked out, we have been provided with a weekend without football. Could this be a blessing in disguise, and help us to catch the German’s off-guard? I wouldn’t get your hopes up, but with Arsenal you never know. Per thinks it can certainly help.

“We need this breather now,” he told the London Evening Standard. “We have 10 days until our next game so we can think about our situation. Of course there is potential but we need to show that.

“That’s what we need in the next few weeks. To go to Munich, to show responsibility for the Champions League, take the chance there and afterwards we have to take care about the league and try to go for all points.

“We were good in the beginning (against Spurs) but we need to maintain that level and that’s what we are lacking all the time, that consistency over 90 minutes or at least to keep a clean sheet for the first 45 minutes.

Wenger – Not efficient where it matters

ARSENE Wenger speaks to the media after the 2-1 away defeat to Tottenham.

Two goals were conceded in quick succession during the first-half, as has happened in most big games this season, and all of them so far this year.

Despite dominating the possession and grabbing a goal back, Wenger criticised the team’s efficiency throughout, criticised Tottenham’s style, talks takeover, and insists he’ll still fight.

Q: A sense of frustration, or more than that with how the game went and your position now?

“Well it’s frustrating because we put so much effort in and we lost a game when we were on top of the game. If you watch the game again you will see at the moment we were 2-0 down, we should have been 2-0 up.

“I think they had a very difficult start, we were on top of the game and the 2-0 of course gave them confidence to defend well and that’s what they did for the rest of the game.

“It’s very frustrating because we put a lot of effort in and had a great attitude but we come out with no points. As well, because we were not efficient in the zones where it matters, at the front and at the back. Without being at any moment dominated, the only times they were dangerous was on counter-attack, Tottenham, today.

“If you are dominated and they create chance after chance you can accept it, but today it was a strange game to lose.”

Q: Did you feel let down by your defence today?

“I will have to see it again, we certainly lacked cautiousness on both goals because there was no pressure on the ball and we didn’t cover.”

Q: How much of a challenge will it be to finish in the top-four now?

“It will be a massive challenge. Massive. I said before the game that we couldn’t drop these points today, and I maintain that after the game. Especially the way the game went, it’s difficult to understand how we can lose games like that.”

Q: Well you lose games like that when you make those kinds of mistakes, you had warnings earlier on but you didn’t learn, you’d hope international defenders would learn wouldn’t you?

“Yes, ideally you don’t concede goals at all. It is frustrating because we had the best defensive record in the league away from home until today, and when you go into a big game like that, once you’re 2-0 down you make it difficult for yourself because you have to come out and open yourself up against a team who is good at counter-attacking. But after in the final 20 minutes, was Tottenham go, then foul and stop us from going and they stay down a lot. We couldn’t get the final flow into the game, because it was Tottenham go always.

Q: You keep losing 2 goals in the first half in quick succession, why does it keep happening?

“Yeah, it happened to us many times this season, but only big games. It’s difficult, there’s no common thing in all the games every time it’s a different problem. But of course, after you make it difficult yourself. I cannot fault the attitude or the effort that the team produced or the spirit that the team has shown. But you give yourself a mountain to climb every time in a game of that magnitude.”

Q: Do you know anything about the Middle-East consortium takeover bid, and are Arsenal in a position that there in, vulnerable to people interested in buying the club?

“To the first question, I don’t know anything about it. I heard that like you, certainly. Secondly, you’re only vulnerable if you want to sell and you need money. That doesn’t concern me at all, that’s down to the owners and are they interested to sell or not, I don’t know at all. But about this story, I don’t know anything about it.”

Q: Do you still think it’s possible to get into the top-four?

“I still think it’s possible and we will fight for it, that is for sure.”