While Arsenal suffered yet another setback in their quest to win this season’s Premier League title following their 2-2 draw with Tottenham at White Hart Lane over the weekend, Gunners defender Per Mertesacker feels as though he and his teammates showed a real fighting spirit after coming from behind with just 10 men.
Following the draw Arsenal now finds themselves eight points behind league leaders Leicester City, with what just a few weeks ago looking like a banner season realistically resting on how well they do in tomorrow night’s FA Cup replay at Hull as they look to win the competition for the third year in a row.
Speaking about the clubs prior run of form following the 0-2 loss at the Emirates to Barcelona, the German international says he and his teammates are determined not to let all their hard work come to nothing.
“It’s not down to us anymore so we’re not in a position where we can really talk about the title,” said Mertesacker. “As long as we play like that, I’m confident. I have great belief in our group and nothing else.
“For a team with low confidence and no belief we played pretty well. We have shown great character and hopefully that gives us a lot of confidence and a lot of belief for the FA Cup tie and the following League games.
“We’ve shown a lot. With 11 men, we played really well. We defended well.
“I have never played in such a demanding game physically.
“We came here with a lot of ¬injuries but never took that as an excuse. That is the biggest statement for ourselves – not for anyone else. We demand a lot more from ourselves and we showed up and everybody noticed that we care.”
The team showed that they do care following the spirited fight back and must now concentrate on beating Hull tomorrow.
No one of course expects the Gunners to come back against Barcelona at the Nou Camp, but you never know in the world of football what can happen, and especially so in the Premier League where every team is capable of losing to lesser opponents.