There have been thousands of words of criticism, from pundits and Arsenal fans alike, blaming last weekend’s defeat to Chelsea on Per Mertesacker for getting himself sent off in the 20th minute, but Arsene Wenger has come out in defence of the Big Flippin German saying that he has also been Arsenal saviour in the past, but he does agree it was a mistake by the experienced defender.
“Ideally I don’t want anyone to make a mistake but that is part of defending and we were caught on the counter-attack and in a bad position,” Le Prof said. “It is easy to look and explain on the screen during the game or after it, and anybody that understands football can explain that. But when you are down there on the pitch, if you are caught a fraction out of position it is impossible to correct. That is what happens and I have to accept and live with it.
“We forget the amount of times Mertesacker saves a goal from going in and that happens. The risk is part of the game and you have to feel comfortable with that. Mistakes are part of that competition but we learn from defeat.
“We have learned from the performance on the day and we had great spirit, a great team attitude and a response but we came out of a game which we have not played. We were down to 10 men and 1-0 down so it was very difficult.”
It is easy to blame one man, and everyone seems to think that Per is too slow for the Premiership nowadays, but the fact is that everyone makes mistakes sometimes and it is perhaps unfair to judge a man on one performance. The important thing is that Per (and the team and fans) get over it and pick themselves up for the next game.
As Wenger often says; Do the judging at the end of the season….