In the absence of Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker has become the main defensive stalwart for Arsenal lately, and according to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, nothing gets past the German in the dressing room either!
The Ox revealed on Arsenal.com that Mertesacker is Wenger’s “enforcer” off the pitch, fining all the other players for any minor infringement of the rules. “Per is the enforcer,” Alex said. “He’s the fines master so he keeps everyone in check and he’s always issuing fines to make sure that people are on time.
“He’s open to dispute as well! He’s got his own little committee and you can voice your argument if you think you were late for a good enough reason. Usually his final word rules and he doesn’t get fined because he’s never late. He’s too efficient!
“He’s got me with a few. Being late for meetings, dinner, breakfast in hotels, being late into training, using my phone in the wrong areas of the training ground – there’s a lot of fines like that.
“They’re pretty straightforward but it’s really important that we all keep our time and keep our standards high. Per makes sure he stays on top of everyone in that respect.”
Personally I think it is a great thing to keep discipline off the pitch. When you have a lot of youngsters around earning astronomical amounts of money it must be very easy for them to think of themselves as prima-donnas. It’s good to see that Wenger has his eyes and ears off the pitch to keep the lads in line (and a German one at that!)
Don’t mess with the BFG!