The Arsenal and former Germany international centre back Per Mertesacker seems to have had one of the longest chest infections in the history of medicine, as he missed the last two Premier League games before the international break with it and was still not back in the Arsenal squad for the Champions League game against Dinamo Zagreb this week.
But the Big F***ing German is back in training with his team mates, although it looks like he will only be on the bench when Arsenal take on Chelsea in the big match later. His replacement Gabriel has really settled in alongside Laurent Koscielny in Per’s absence and our vice-captain could be forgiven for worrying about losing his regular place in the Arsenal line up.
Maybe that is why Arsene Wenger has made a point of praising the giant defender ahead of the Chelsea game, as reported by the Arsenal website, talking about his leadership qualities and how important he is to the squad even if he is not playing.
Wenger said, “He has a lot of class on the pitch and after the game. He is well respected, also in the dressing room, because he is always 100 per cent committed and gives everything for the team.
“Every day he works with 100 per cent commitment. They are typically German qualities but even more typically Mertesacker.”
If I was Mertesacker, however, I am not sure how much better I would feel after hearing the manager’s words, because we have heard this sort of thing from Wenger before about the likes of Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta and it often seems to be about a senior figure at the club who is not getting played much.
Do you think that we are seeing the beginning of the end for our BFG as a regular starter?