Per Mertesacker: 'Arsenal need to train harder'

Per Mertesacker of Arsenal celebrates at the end of the UEFA Champions League Qualifier 2nd leg match between Arsenal and Besiktas at the Emirates Stadium on August 27, 2014
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Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker claims that his side is failing to reach its potential and should be 'training harder'.

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has admitted that the Gunners are not playing as well as they should be of late, and need to "train harder".

Arsene Wenger's charges scraped past Anderlecht last night in the Champions League as two late goals secured a 2-1 away win.

Mertesacker is quoted by The Telegraph as saying: "We are not at our best. Football-wise we lack a few things. We have to be honest to ourselves and train harder.

"Everyone knows that it is a difficult start to the season for us and confidence is not how we want it. Again, it is away from home on Saturday and again I think we have to do better with our own possession, to put more pressure on [opponents], not to lose so many balls in the middle of the park, to play more in wide areas.

"I think it is better to expose them there, instead of playing one-twos through the middle. It doesn't work as much as last season, so we have to work on that. The passing game is not as efficient as last year."

Arsenal travel to Sunderland on Saturday.

Arsenal's English striker Danny Welbeck scores their second goal past Hull City's English defender Curtis Davies and Hull City's Egyptian midfielder Ahmed Elmohamady during their English Premier League football match against Hull City at the Emirates Stad
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