Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has revealed to the club’s official website the side’s strategy against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
The Gunners will resume hostilities with their North London rivals when they confront them at White Hart Kane in the Premier League in Saturday’s early kickoff.
“We know from recent years that defensive unity is vital especially against our North London rivals, so we have to be really cautious on the defensive front,” the 30-year-old centre-back told Arsenal’s official website.
“We need to be really focused, especially in the first 15 minutes, to keep the players and the crowd quiet, then afterwards let’s play our game and try to do it again.”
Will Arsenal’s strategy work?
Given that Tottenham are at home, they are likely to take a more attacking approach and will be looking to get on the front foot right from the start.
Spurs have a very gifted and in-form striker in Harry Kane, who has scored 20 goals in all competitions, including 10 in the Premier League.
With Denmark international attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen also in sensational form, Tottenham will be strong in attack, and conceding an early goal could be ‘game over’ for Arsenal.
Arsenal are not a ‘defensive side’ and like to attack at every given opportunity, but they will need to be wary of leaving space at the back.
Although Arsene Wenger’s side have improved defensively in recent weeks, it just takes a single mistake to lose such a vital game.
This does not mean that Arsenal should drop deep and defend in the early stages of the game, but it would be a wise idea to keep the game restricted in midfield in the opening minutes.