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Mertesacker: Arsenal can challenge for trophies

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker believes the club can challenge for major honours next term if they improve their consistency.

Arsene Wenger’s side have not lifted a trophy since winning the FA Cup in 2005, despite being ever-present among the Premier League’s top four throughout that period.

And Mertesacker, who has made 71 appearances for the Gunners since arriving from Werder Bremen in 2011, is keen to end that drought next term.

“I would say that consistency is the most important thing. If we can do that then we should be challenging for trophies and titles,” he said.

“We haven’t sold any players yet so we are coming from a good base at the moment, we’re at a good level and no-one is leaving at the moment.

“Maybe someone will come and strengthen our squad so it’s in a better position than last summer when we lost two important players (Robin van Persie and Alex Song).”

Arsenal won eight of their last 10 Premier League fixtures last season to seal UEFA Champions League qualification ahead of Tottenham, and Mertesacker hopes to see that form continue into the new campaign.

“We had such a strong finish at the end of the season, especially in the last 10 games,” he added. “We put out a good team with great spirit and that is the target for the whole season.

“We must be well prepared both mentally and physically to do it straight from the off. It’s very hard to be consistent.

“That’s the main reason for Manchester City and Manchester United being successful in the last two years. They have shown for the whole season that they are consistent and that will be our main focus for the next season to show that as well.

“It’s a big year for us. We have got the World Cup at the end of it but the focus has to be on Arsenal because, of course, we want to win things and be successful this year.”

Mon 15 July, 2013
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