Mertesacker wants later Arsenal kick-offs

The German defender admits it looks as though he and his team-mates “don’t fancy” early matches and wants the FA to stop scheduling the Gunners in the time slot

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker is eager to see his side feature in fewer lunchtime kick-offs after their struggles in the time slot this season.

The 12.45pm game has been far from friendly for Arsene Wenger’s team, with a 6-0 loss to Chelsea on Saturday the latest of several embarrassing defeats in the early kick-off.

In other early Premier League kick-offs this season, fourth-placed Arsenal have been thrashed 5-1 by Liverpool and hammered 6-3 by Manchester City.

And Mertesacker has now admitted that early away games are proving a real struggle for his team.

“I don’t know why, but it looks like we don’t fancy early kick-offs away,” the German is quoted as saying by The Mirror.

“It looks like we are going to have to apply to the FA to not play at 12.45pm away. That would help us a lot.

“We wanted to start very strong and show people we are good enough but they [Chelsea] scored the two very early goals.

“We lost some balls when we tried to keep it desperately. They then caught us on the counter-attack.

“We tried to avoid that but we missed it completely.”

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