Is Arsenal giant being a bit TOO nice to the players?

Arsene Wenger has often spoken about how he sees things like team spirit, unity and togetherness in the Arsenal dressing room as important as having individual players of the very best quality. (So that is why he has not been spending the big money to bring in the top names then!)

But it really is a key factor in any team and we saw from what happened to Chelsea under Jose Mourinho this season after they stormed to the Premier League title just months before. In modern football and especially in the English Premier League, most teams will have more foreign nationals than homegrown players and while the whole idea is to bring the best from around the world this can have it’s own problems.

How many times have you heard about little cliques of players from one country, continent or even religion? So it is vital that the Arsenal dressing room is kept together and that each player is happy and the Arsenal vice-captain Per Mertesacker has told Arsenal player that this is a crucial and large part of his job. Perhaps the fact that the German is a huge giant of a man helps him to keep the peace but our BFG reckons it requires a much more subtle approach than that.

He said, ““I try to be at my best, be calm and give our players the best from myself but communicate as well and give good information. That is what I need to do and that is my job. Everyone gives energy and everyone gives advice and needs to listen, including me.

“You have different characters. You won’t say the same to Laurent or Hector as what you say to Alexis. You have to put your words in a different way sometimes. You know now how people react to certain advice so I always try to adapt on that and give good information for their character.

“I don’t want to upset people and it is really good we have a lot of people who don’t take it personally – but if you put your words in a different way it may happen. I try to always be careful on that front because it is a sensitive topic.

“On the pitch you cannot handle that sometimes in the perfect manner, so it can be shouting or trying to give information. That is what I mean by treating everyone the same but a little different at times.

“Preparation is good but communication is vital and if you see something you need to tell you partner because that can make the difference at the end. We have a good group here but we still need to prove that we can be consistent to the end and play a major role in the Premier League.

“We can still learn and have experiences but the team spirit and how the team creates energy together is absolutely vital. If some things [are not] going your way, you need to try and find solutions and do the best you can as a team.”

I do understand the need to treat different characters in different ways but it also sounds to me as though Mertesacker is bending over backwards to accommodate his team mates. Might it not be an idea to give them a bit more of a kick up the backside every now and then?

Tags Mertesacker Wenger


  1. 19 march will tell if we can still win the title or no chance
    Everton game is the biggest game of the season
    On per he has been good this season he let us down in only 2 games against southampton and chelsea
    Barcelona game it was flamini fault

  2. arsenal are no longer a giant !. they are mediocre at best.we all wish we were supporting a giant indeed , but since about 2006 we have began to shrink from the inside out .the only giant at the emirates these days is wengers ego !!.

  3. I respect Per a lot! He is a top top player and a natural leader imo.
    I don’t think he is too nice, remember the Man City game when Ozil just came???
    Sometimes,you have to do that and some other times, it has to be done calmly.
    Of all our older players, he is most capable as our captain because;
    He is always available…that alone is the number one thing for a captain unlike Arteta in recent years…If you can’t be fit,how will you captain a team?
    2)He can be vocal when needed and can also bark orders.

  4. Giving the players a kick up the backside, now and then should be the Manager’s job.
    The Captain has to lead by example, showing his fighting spirit at all times, for the badge that he wears on his chest.

    A good captain has the respect from all of his teammate’s,
    Individual Ego’s become one on match days! And that’s for the pride of the team.

    A good captain has close ties with the Manager ( No, not in that way ? ) just So he understands the manager’s way of thinking … to be his voice and keep the instructions in order on the pitch.

    Unfortunately, we don’t have a Real Captain at Arsenal,
    Maybe that has something to do with the mentality of our Manager?

    1. There is not really anything at all wrong with what you say, the thing is though : I have seen some of the finest captains inside of football, hold nothing back, in confronting a teammate who is letting the side down. I admired them for it, and I also remember hearing ..Lee Dixon speak about “big Tones wrath”.

  5. Yes, it looks like he chooses his words very carefully. A little to carefully, it’s all well and good explaining the way to go about it, but witnessing it, on a weekly basis, well this is a whole new category.

    So this is why Theo has become his bum chum, to avoid a talking to. By bum chum I obviously mean their mid air bum-bump.

  6. Yes, ‘Arsenal’ is too nice to players!!

    – Wenger doesn’t ‘like confrontation. And since he disallowed banter/jeering up etc in the dressing room (ask Adams et al) his teams have been a little heartless if you ask me. I mean it’s top flight football ffs, if you don’t like confrontation with or between players are you really the man to deliver in such a competitive sport?

    – the wrong players are rewarded (as is the coach) for not a huge amount in return. Huge salaries and big contracts, and what do they give back in terms of moving the team forward?

    – AW defending them always even if they have just played like a bunch of school girls.

    – connected to point 1. Leaving footballers to their own devices is not generally a recipe for success. Top and may I add successful Managers with very definite systems/plans do not accept failure from their players and aren’t afraid to enforce it. We ‘always’ go off the boil at some part of the season and seem unmotivated.

    Forget le Prof and get me a ‘guvnor’! Who will give the hair dryer treatment when called for or who will drop a player if they don’t score or are consistently ineffective. then the whole kindergarten approach to top flight football might leave with him.


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