Arsenal centre back Per Mertesacker was all praise for the club's defence, after the Gunners rode to a 3-1 win over West Ham United in a Premier League game. The tall German international insisted the Emirates club's new-found steely resolve could act as a springboard to future success.
The Gunners' defence had the unenviable task of shackling on-loan Hammers striker Andy Carroll, whose physical presence and aerial ability could have caused the visitors considerable trouble. Indeed, Mertesacker and his team mate, Belgian international Thomas Vermaelen had their hands full containing the big Liverpool forward.
"We could feel in the air it was going to be a tough game. We had to fight a lot, especially in the second half when the crowd became West Ham they had a good advantage. But we came back into the game on the counter-attack and afterwards we played well, especially defensively," he explained to Arsenal.com, adding, "We won more and more headers which was vital. It [our defending] can be the difference, it is crucial for us that the defence is winning more games. We just try to keep that in our mind the whole year."
The Gunners finished the match with three central defenders, after Frenchman Laurent Koscielny was brought on for striker Lukas Podolski.
Giroud Targets New Adventure
Meanwhile, the Gunners' French striker Olivier Giroud, signed earlier this summer to replace Manchester United-bound Robin van Persie, finally scored for Arsenal in a league game. The 25 year old former Montpellier forward struggled to finish chances for his new club and came under increasing pressure for failing to score. He finally scored his first ever goal for the club in a Capital One Cup match against Coventry City on 26 September and followed that with his first league goal - the equaliser against West Ham.
"I feel relieved now. It was very important for me to score in the Premier League, to keep going and start my adventure here with Arsenal," Giroud told Arsenal.com, adding, "We'll keep going and stay confident for the future. I think we have a very interesting role in this championship."