Arsenal can still catch Leicester

British Premier League football club Arsenal player Per Mertesacker speaks during the press conference for the Barclays Asia Trophy 2015 (BAT) in Singapore. Photo - AFP

British Premier League football club Arsenal player Per Mertesacker speaks during the press conference for the Barclays Asia Trophy 2015 (BAT) in Singapore. Photo – AFP

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker believes the Gunners can still catch Premier League leaders Leicester City — despite their 11-point deficit in the table.

The Gunners are third in England’s top flight after Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Watford.

They have 58 points and lag behind second-placed Tottenham (62) and Leicester (69) with seven league games, but Mertesacker is adamant they have not given up hope.

“No, absolutely not,” he told German website Sport1.de as Arsenal face West Ham, Crystal Palace, WBA, Sunderland, Norwich City, Manchester City and Aston Villa in the coming weeks.

“If we win all of our matches, then we’ve got a good chance.

“We’ve got to keep focusing on that and that’s why we’re looking at things game by game.

“We’re trying to concentrate fully on our next match against West Ham and we have a bit more time as we’re not in any other competition.

“We don’t have to concentrate on anything else, other than the title.”

The 31-year-old, who retired from international football immediately after helping Germany win the 2014 World Cup, has played 21 times for Arsenal in the Premier League this season.

He wore the captain’s armband in all but three of those appearances and still has a year left to run on his contract in London.

But having been on the bench for five of the Gunners’ last eight games, he admits being a sub is not something he wants to get used to and wants to help close the gap behind his team’s rivals.

“It’s a different view of the game, I have to admit that,” he said after 90 minutes on the bench against Watford.

“I’m fit. Of course I am playing less, but I’ll stick at it. Maybe I’ll get another chance. Things change quickly nowadays.

“That’s why I’ve survived for so long in this business. I listen closely to what the coach says and he knows that he can count on me, no matter what happens.”



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