Per Mertesacker has been a tower of strength at the heart of the Arsenal defence this season, displacing the very talented Arsenal fans favourite Laurent Koscielny, at least for the time being. Andy Carroll was expected to be raring to go and a real handful, which he was, but Mertesacker and Vermaelen were strong and composed under pressure and handled the big man better and better as the game wore on.
“What can you do about their goal? Sometimes that happens.
“We have not conceded alot of goals during games this year and most have been from set pieces.
“West Ham had a few chances but we didn’t let ourselves down. We kept our chins up and we have unbelievable quality on the bench which made the difference.
“It (defence) can be the difference. It is crucial for us that the defence is winning more games. We just try to keep that in mind the whole year.”
Arsene Wenger spoke earlier in the season about the impossibility of winning anything when you are leaking goals, even if you have great strikers. Last season Arsenal conceded 49 league goals, while Robin van Persie’s efforts helped us to score 74 times. This season, so far, we have conceded five and scored 13. If you project that from seven games until the end of the season you get figures of 27 conceded and 71 scored.
I know it is early days but assuming those numbers we would score just three less than last season while conceding just over half the amount we did last time. Considering that Giroud has not got going yet, the scoring is looking good. As Mertesacker suggests, if Arsenal can keep being mean in defence, we have got a very good chance.
Only Manchester City and Manchester United scored more than 71 goals last season and they both conceded more than 27. So there you have it, we are going to be champions again. Come On You Gunners!