Wenger ready to go ‘long ball’ as Arsenal battle for top four spot, reveals Mertesacker


Arsene Wenger is prepared to switch to long ball tactics as Arsenal try to grab a Champions League spot for next season.

The Gunners earned three points to go fifth in the Premier League table with a 3-0 win over West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium last night, thanks to goals from Muset Ozil, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud.

The victory came hot on the heels of a creditable 2-2 draw at home to Manchester City on Sunday and Wenger’s men go in search of more vital points when they head to Selhurst Park for a top flight clash against Crystal Palace next Monday night.

And Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker has revealed Wenger’s men are prepared to sacrifice their passing game when going forward if it means players such as Ozil and Alexis Sanchez can be put in to goalscoring positions.

Germany World Cup winner Mertesacker, who was on the bench last night after a long injury lay-off, said in his notes in last night’s match day programme: “As a squad we trust each other, but sometimes you might just miss a little something, individually or collectively. Even when you are struggling for results, or things aren’t going as good as they could be, it’s important to take as small step back and think about what is important.

“And that’s trusting each other and knowing what we are capable of. We need to find the spots where is really dangerous, maybe sometimes play a long ball that Alexis can run on to, rather than giving him a pass to feet, where he has to turn and face three or four of the opposition.

“Let’s try and get players like him and Mesut into spots where they are dangerous, behind the lines, where they are able to make a telling contribution. Sometimes that is the answer, rather than going backwards where the situation is more comfortable and safe.”