Mertesacker hails excellent Arsenal! by Ash
When Arsenal signed Per Mertesacker back on transfer deadline day in summer 2011, many labelled him as a ‘panic buy’. He was expected to flop in English football because, despite being a full German international, his severe lack of pace meant that many thought he wouldn’t be able to cope with the pace of the English game.
Oh how we were all so wrong, and although I can honestly say that when he first joined I didn’t have any doubts in his ability, Mertesacker has since gone on to prove many people wrong because now the giant German is one of the standout players in our squad.
Mertesacker may not be a big name player but his performances suggest otherwise and although he can occasionally get caught out by his lack of pace, most of the time he is a very consistent performer for Arsenal, and has become a real regular in this Arsenal team.
Mertesacker has also taken on the role as club captain for the last few games because of the absence of Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta through injury. With this new role, which remains only temporary, Mertesacker has been able to display true leadership qualities.
Being a leader in your team consists of being both negative and positive towards you teammates, praising for their rights and condoning their wrongs and I think Mertesacker is very good at this on the pitch. But he has also shown his edge off the pitch and going along with what the fans and media are saying, Mertesacker has too recognised the strength of this Arsenal team.
Ahead of the game against Marseille, Mertesacker told Arsenal.com: “We have an exceptional team – that’s the main thing. We built up confidence from last season, especially the last 10 games when we didn’t lose anything. You could feel it from the first day that there is something special in this team, apart from the first game [against Aston Villa], no one dropped and the performance went well after that. We have shown so far that we are ready to keep our confidence and keep the run going. The most important thing is to keep that mental level high and to be prepared for tomorrow because it will be hard [against Marseille].”
Mertesacker has become a player we have all learned to love at Arsenal, and although many may have had their doubts about him beforehand, there is no longer a need for concern because it seems that Mertesacker’s calm and collective character has everything sorted both on and off the pitch. The German has been a huge part of Arsenal’s club record run of winning 10 away games on the bounce. Long may it continue!!