Carl Jenkinson hails Per Mertesacker leadership

Jenkinson hails Mertesacker leadership
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Carl Jenkinson is full of praise for Per Mertesacker for the German's influence as Arsenal captain.

Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson has paid tribute to Per Mertesacker for his leadership qualities as stand-in captain.

The German international has taken the armband for all of the Gunners' matches so far this season due to the injuries to usual skippers Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta.

Jenkinson feels that Mertesacker's positive influence is rubbing off on his teammates.

"Per's been here a while now and is very comfortable with his surroundings, he's playing well at the moment and proving a good leader," Jenkinson told reporters. "It's important that the whole back four is talking to one another – if I'd had one criticism in the past it's that we haven't talked enough when doing so makes everything so much easier for everyone on the pitch.

"Per has taken everything on board and is doing a lot of organising out there. It's something we all need to do if we are to push on and keep things tight as a defensive unit. Bacary [Sagna] has played there and he has proved he is exceptional so it's not an issue.

"In the past few games we have adapted fantastically. I think we've adapted fantastically. I think we've done incredibly well – it'll be a big boost when Thomas is fit again but everyone who has played so far has done their job and we want to keep that going."

Arsenal have won four of their five matches in all competitions so far this campaign with Mertesacker wearing the armband.

Arsenal's Per Mertesacker in action during the match against Fulham on August 25, 2013
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