Arsenal’s nominal captain Per Mertesacker recently gave an interview where he revealed that he had no desire to play for the club any more as it made him physically sick if he took to the field. “Everyone says I should really savour the last year, play as much as possible, really soak everything in,” Mertesacker said. “I’d most like to sit on the bench, or, even better, in the stands.”
The 33 year-old has already announced that he is retiring from football and will run the youth setup next season after being given a one-year extension to his players contract last summer, but is he giving a good example to the kids by saying he doesn’t want to play any more?
One person who thinks he isn’t is the former Liverpool star Dieter Hamann, another former German international, who questioned his countryman on Sky in Germany.
“He makes another statement that is questionable for me,” Hamann said.
“He is still under contract with Arsenal and says that he has no more buck and likes to sit in the stands. He is still paid by the club and has a responsibility.
“I find that disrespectful to the fans, his team-mates and the coach. The club is up to its neck at the moment and then you have one of the captains who sits down and says that he no longer wants to play for the club.
“Whether he is the right person to give young players values such as identity and loyalty next year, I have my doubts.”
Our BFG has been a loyal servant to Arsenal for the last 7 years and has been captain for half of that time. Wenger obviously respects his influence, which is why he extended Per’s contract, but what do you think the youth team players are going to think of his statements?
Good example or bad example?