Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker: Mesut Ozil and I had a World Cup hangover

Per Mertesacker

The Gunners defender has revealed that both he and the skilful playmaker suffered fatigue following the World Cup.

Arsenal’s dreams of winning the Premier League title were scuppered by a slow start to the 2014-15 campaign, with eventual winners Chelsea at the top of the pile for the entirety of the campaign.

Part of the reason that the North Londoners started poorly may well have been due to the exertions of a number of their players at last summer’s World Cup.

Per Mertesacker has revealed that he and Mesut Ozil, who both starred for Germany in winning the tournament in Brazil, struggled to get back to domestic duty as a result.

"It was difficult to come down and forget being a World Cup winner,” ESPN quote the centre-half as saying.

“You need to calm down and restart. I didn't know how to handle it. The season starts, there were new targets to be focused on.

"I was happy not to get an injury, but on the other hand it was very difficult to get back my form and fitness. Mesut had an injury - his body was telling him he was not ready. We didn't have a pre-season. The season was already being played when we started.

"It was a mental as well as physical problem. Without a pre-season, physically to come back to compete at Premier League level is hard. We weren't there mentally or physically in the first half of the season. We had a post World Cup trauma.”

Ahead of next season, Gunners fans will hope that a similar fate described by Mertesacker does not impinge upon Alexis Sanchez.

The Chile international is set to star for his nation in the Copa America this summer, with Arsene Wenger admitting that the former Barcelona man’s start to next term could be impacted as a result.

For Arsenal to realistically put forward a prolonged title success, the club must start strongly in 2015-16 and having Sanchez not fully fit or his head elsewhere could well be a detriment to building momentum.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch