Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has called on the club’s strikers to rediscover their killer instinct in the final third after their chances of silverware this season were severely dented by Sunday’s FA Cup defeat to Watford.
Arsenal were knocked out of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon as Watford secured a 2-1 win at the Emirates Stadium to eliminate the holders and book their own place in a Wembley semi-final. Odion Ighalo ended a personal barren spell in front of goal by putting the Hornets ahead before Adlene Guedioura lashed in a second to send the 12-time winners out – despite Danny Welbeck’s late strike setting up a grandstand finish.
Per Mertesacker insists Arsenal’s season is not over – but has called on the club’s goalscorers to rediscover their killer instinct.
“You have to give us credit because we kept going against Watford and created chance after chance. But at the moment we lack that killer instinct. We need to work on that if we want to be successful in the Premier League and the Champions League.
“We were not relaxed against Watford. Even in the box we played and always found good positions, with the man in the right position but we lacked that relaxation even to hit the target. We did not do that sometimes. We missed it too often.
“We cannot afford to concede against Barcelona. We have to go there and try to attack, no matter what, that is the only possibility we have. We can be fortunate to have such big game in front of us.
“They are the ultimate team at the minute, so we are straight away under pressure and we have to go away from home. I think the confidence is there, we are just missing something.
“The season is not over. We play in a confident way, we maybe lack that bit at the end. The desire to play together and to be good as a team is there, you can feel that.” The German defender told Arsenal football official website.
The result means Arsenal cannot become the third team to win three successive FA Cup trophies and has seriously dented their chances of silverware of any kind this season.
The Gunners now go to Barcelona on Wednesday night looking to overturn a 2-0 home defeat in the first leg of their round of 16 clash with the reigning Champions League holders, and a team at the top of their game.