Jamie Carragher: My one concern about Arsenal this season
Jamie Carragher admits Per Mertesacker could be a weak link in the Arsenal side this season
Jamie Carragher has questioned whether Per Mertesacker has the required quality to help Arsenal sustain a genuine title challenge this season.
The former Liverpool defender has publicly backed the Gunners to establish themselves as serious contenders this season and believes that the current campaign represents Arsenal’s best chance of winning the league for the first time since 2004.
However, question marks still remain over whether Mertesacker can help to provide the defensive stability needed to build a title push.
And Carragher admits that his one concern over Arsenal’s ability to challenge for the title this season is the German.
Carragher wrote in the Daily Mail: “Arsenal have to exploit the glimmer of light in front of them. They have been the best team in 2015, taking 67 points from their 30 Premier League matches, but being the best from January to December means nothing.
“Many will expect them to fold when the pressure is on and I do worry about Per Mertesacker in the centre of their defence. But there are reasons why they can see the job through this time.
“They have won big matches in 2015 and the victory at the Etihad Stadium in January was significant in terms of providing confidence and belief.
“I’ve been really impressed by their away record, too. Going to Leicester and Crystal Palace is tough now, but they scored five at the King Power Stadium and won at Selhurst Park too. Beating Swansea at the Liberty Stadium was another huge result.
“When I look at their squad, I don’t see many better central defenders in the Premier League than Laurent Koscielny, and Arsenal win 67 per cent of games with him and only 46 per cent without him.
“Petr Cech has been a typically excellent signing and the more I see Francis Coquelin, the more I am impressed by his energy and drive. He looks the part.
Now Arsenal must show they also look the part. They cannot let this moment slip.”
Arsenal, who last won the title back in 2003-04, return to Premier League action with a home clash against local rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon.
The Gunners are currently second in the table and level on points with leaders Manchester City after 11 games of the new campaign.