Per Mertesacker is glad Arsenal have time for a breather ahead of their trip to Munich.
The Gunners saw their chances of a top-four finish in the Premier League take another hit on Sunday, when they fell to a 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur. This loss leaves them trailing their third-place neighbours by seven points with 10 matches remaining, although they sit just five behind Rafael Benitez’s Chelsea side.
Mertesacker and co are now set for a 10-day break, as their scheduled Premier League opponents for this weekend, Everton, will be involved in the FA Cup instead. This will give the German international and his pals time regroup ahead of their next task in hand, which is trying to overturn a 3-1 UEFA Champions League deficit against Bayern Munich.
“We need this breather now,” he told the 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.”
The defeat at Spurs was another low in Arsenal’s season, as the pressure on Arsene Wenger continues to mount. Unless the French coach can mastermind an unlikely result against Bayern next week and then steer his team to Champions League glory, this will be the eighth successive campaign without a trophy at the Emirates Stadium.
Whereas in the past the fans have been collectively behind their manager, this is no longer the case with a growing number believing now is the time for a change at the helm. And if a top-four finish proves beyond Wenger’s team this season, then this number is sure to grow larger during the summer weeks ahead of next term.