Arsenal boss admits Premier League was “a shock” to Arsenal star

15:13 20 November 2012

Per Mertesacker. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Per Mertesacker. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Arsene Wenger has praised Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker for his performances this season but admits he struggled to adapt to the Premier League after his arrival last summer.

The Germany international was signed from Werder Bremen on deadline day last year, and had a hard time with form and injuries in his first season in England.

This season, however, Mertesacker has held down his place in the side with some impressive performances at the heart of the Gunners’ defence.

Wenger admits the 28-year-old had a difficult first season but insists the criticism levelled at him “went overboard”.

“To his defence I must say last year he arrived on August 31, and had no pre-season, had an ankle injury and had to adapt to a completely new world,” said the Arsenal manager.

“Centre back is difficult for people who come from abroad, it was a bit of a shock for him, but this season he has come back very fit, well prepared, and of course knew what the expectations were for him and did extremely well.

“This season especially, as you [the media] have noticed, he has been outstanding.

He continued: “The criticism was always completely unjust. It was overboard, we always say you have to deal with that.

“There is only one thing you can do as a football player at the top level, and that is to turn the critics down with your performances, and that is what he did.

“For the rest, you have to let people say what they want and show on the pitch they are wrong, that is all you can do.”

Related articles

Live Blog Transfer Window Live - January 27

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Sightings are down, but should we be worried about Britain’s biggest fish?

Read more

A lingerie shop set for an adaptation of The Casual Vacancy confused shoppers who thought it was real.

Read more

Fans of cool pictures of fire – this one’s for you.

Read more

Promoted content

Valentine's Day Afternoon Tea

London Hilton on Park Lane is inviting couples to celebrate this Valentines Day over a deliciously romantic afternoon tea at Podium Restaurant and Bar. Taking inspiration from the highly popular Confessions of a Chocoholic Afternoon Tea, London Hilton on Park Lane presents the ultimate romantic afternoon out with its Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea.

Established in 1987, Tucci is one of the North's premier stores for branded clothing, footwear and accessories.

Save up to 70% on designer brands for Men and Women, including G-Star, Diesel, French Connection, Firetrap and many more….our sale is now on.

Valentine's Day in London

If you’re struggling over what to buy for the special person in your life in your life, our Valentine’s Day in London section is here to help.

Match reports

TOP STORIES

Arsenal Quizzes

Adrian Chiles is no longer ITV's main man... so why not test your knowledge of some of his (and others') greatest gaffes? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

With news of presenter Adrian Chiles’ sacking by ITV, it’s a good time to remember some of the most memorable punditry blunders.

Read more
£50million Fernando Torres and former Fulham striker Kostas Mitroglous are two of the biggest transfer flops in recent Premier League history

The transfer window is a time for optimisim, but it doesn’t always work out for the best...

Read more
Try our fiendishly difficult new Arsenal quiz! Picture: PA

This new quiz will test even the most devoted Arsenal fans’ knowledge...

Read more

Arsenal Transfer News