Arsenal vice captain Per Mertesacker has revealed his title winning plan for next season, as he looks to pinch the trophy off of London rivals Chelsea.
The Gunners are the league’s in-form team in 2015 but were unable to close the gap that Chelsea built in the first-half of the season, where Arsenal faltered.
Speaking to the Daily Express, Mertesacker stated he believes the key is avoiding a Champions League Play-Off, as a two-legged tie against Besiktas hurt Arsenal this year. He said:
“Post-World Cup was not good enough, we have to admit that. How we finish season after season is fantastic but we have to be sharp from the start of the season. That is what we lack.”
“We dropped 10 or 11 points at the start of the season and we could not close that gap. We also had a couple of horrible injuries over more than three or four months to key players.”
“We have a good squad. Selecting the squad is quite difficult for the manager at the minute and that is maybe key to that success at the moment because the contribution from every player, even on the bench or the stands, is fantastic. That is the unit we want to build on.”
“We have been consistent in 2015 but Chelsea did not drop many points. The way we progressed in 2015 is absolutely fantastic. Now we want to build on that success.”
“Everyone wants to finish strong. We want to qualify directly for the Champions League. After the title is gone, that for us would be an improvement from last season where we had two qualifying matches, really tight ones, to secure Champions League football.”
“That’s the first target and then the FA Cup, to defend that trophy would be really amazing. It looks like we are quite sharp and the way we are going is really pleasing.”