Per Mertesacker has paid tribute to Arsenal's fine defensive performances this season

Last Updated: 07/10/12 10:51pm

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Per Mertesacker: Has played his part in keeping Arsenal tight at the back

Per Mertesacker: Has played his part in keeping Arsenal tight at the back

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Per Mertesacker acknowledges that it is important for Arsenal to maintain the high defensive standards they have set this season.

Seven games into the 2012/13 campaign, the Gunners have been breached just five times.

The appointment of Steve Bould as assistant manager is credited with bringing stability to the back four, and Mertesacker is among those to have taken their game to a new level.

He is, however, aware that Arsenal cannot afford to get complacent after showing what they are capable of.

"It can be the difference, it is crucial for us that the defence is winning more than just games. We must try to keep that in our mind the whole year," said the Germany international.

"We have not conceded a lot of goals during games this year, most have been from set pieces.

"We just need to keep concentrating on our defensive level."

Mertesacker believes strength in depth has aided Arsenal's cause this season and sees squad rotation as a good thing.

"The manager told us before the start of the season that we have a lot of good centre-backs and is convinced we can make the team stronger and stronger because we have a lot of those good players in every position," he added.

"The manager said he would change sometimes and I think that's great for our development."

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