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The German international admits the lack of a pre-season together hindered the development of a coherent Gunners’ backline, but says they are improving with every match

Per Mertesacker feels the Arsenal defence is finally starting to work as a unit after a shaky beginning to the season.

The Gunners’ backline endured a torrid start to the campaign, including an 8-2 humiliation at the hands of Manchester United at Old Trafford at the end of August.

But the north Londoners have now only conceded more than a single goal once in their last 16 matches in all competitions, and kept a clean sheet on Saturday as Wigan were ruthlessly dismissed 4-0 at the DW Stadium.

Mertesacker feels this distinct improvement in the last two months is down to the growing understanding and trust between the Arsenal defenders.

“We try our best in every match,” the German told the club’s official website.

“We didn't have a pre-season together and we have had to get our form together and trust each other in the games.

“We are in the last 16 in the Champions League and are in a good position in the Premier League and we want to keep on going like that.

“At the beginning [of Saturday’s game], Wigan tried to close us down a lot and it was very difficult for us.

“They had a good tempo and a good speed in their game. Therefore we were careful and did a great job in the final third.”

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