The centre-back has been unable to replicate the performances of last season and feels the World Cup win with Germany is still to settle in as he returns to domestic action
Arsenal vice-captain Per Mertesacker admits a lack of motivation has contributed to his under-par performances this season.
The German World Cup winner, who retired from international duty following his nation’s summer success, has struggled to recapture the form that turned him into a cult hero at the Emirates Stadium last season.
Without the reassuring presence of his usual defensive partner Laurent Koscielny, who is currently nursing an Achilles injury, Mertesacker struggled alongside makeshift centre-half Nacho Monreal in Wednesday’s last gasp 2-1 win over Anderlecht but insists he is determined to turn his and Arsenal’s fortunes around.
“Personally it is difficult at the moment because that was really a long season last year and to come back from that World Cup and get the motivation back… I am nearly back, but you can feel there is something missing at the moment,” he told reporters.
“With those games, the belief and the mentality is there, but the motivation will come back. We didn’t even have time to celebrate [the World Cup win] properly, that was the first thing, but you realise month after month what happened.
“I am still not there [taking in] what happened in Brazil, maybe in five or 10 years you can really realise what was going on there.
“We came back to Berlin, got on the stage, waved our hands, showed the World Cup and then everyone disappeared to their families to get some holidays, some rest and calm.”