Go for Mertesacker! United fans pick out Arsenal’s vice captain as target
Ahead of Monday night’s FA Cup quarter-final, a look at the mindset of Arsenal’s opponents will be worth it considering how unprepared the Gunners appeared to be on their last big occasion against AS Monaco.
In that Champions League showdown, the French side repeated the tricks of Louis Van Gaal’s men from November’s 2-1 league win where all it took to emerge victorious was absorbing Arsenal’s profligate possession and being ruthless on the break.
Indeed, the counter-attack goal from Wayne Rooney which settled the match that night was awfully similar to the move which saw Berbatov double Monaco’s lead at the Emirates stadium.
On both occasions, Arsenal’s defense was at sixes and sevens following their own corner-kick as Per Mertesacker’s lack of pace was exposed.
What will be different on Monday is that the Gunners will not be facing Manchester United at home, but with Arsene Wenger expected to name an excess of playmakers in midfield again, United will be expected to be counter-attacking again.
In the absence of the injured Gabriel, Mertesacker is bound to start alongside Laurent Koscielny at the back.
And from the video below, it appears that the intent of exposing Mertesacker is the plan not only in United’s dressing room but amongst their fans too.