Premier League following a difficult first season.

The German international arrived in North London during 2011 and has struggled acclimatise to the demands of English football.

He was widely criticised by fans of the club who openly questioned Arsene Wenger’s decision to sign him from Werder Bremen.

However, his performances have improved this season and Mertesacker puts this down to having adjusted to his new surroundings:

“I had a very difficult first season, with all the settling in and the new things at Arsenal, but now I feel much more confident with the situation.” He is quoted by ESPN.

“It is much more physical in England compared to the Bundesliga. You have to make up your mind when to make your tackles, about the way you cover your partner.

“The improvement for me has been so big after training for one year with Arsenal. This is why you can see the players who have come into Arsenal this year also need some time.”

He also believes that the Gunners’ 5-2 victory against Tottenham will restore a sense of confidence within the squad following some shaky results:

“We had three consecutive clean sheets at the start of the season and managed the situation well as a team, but the international breaks did not help us,

“It meant we needed a great game to get our confidence back, and we had that on Saturday.”