Is Mertesacker a good or bad example to Arsenal’s youngsters?

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?

Sam P


  1. He’s happy to sit on the bench and collect a pay cheque, Walcott style. Can’t say am surprised, the inept dinosaur likes collecting his deadwood. 80K a week down the drain. Oh well, who cares, it’s the clubs money getting wasted not mine.

    1. jon fox says:

      Your last sentence is not strictly true, unless you never attend matches, never buy club merchandise or never even subscribe to Sky Sports or BT Sport. Is it ? If you don’t do any of these things, then and only then , you are correct. Rest of your comments could easily have been written by me, and many thousands of others , so true is it!

  2. Ackshay says:

    once again football “expert”pundits shitting from their mouth. i think per had the cojones to talk about the hidden side of professional football. most fans think players play a match grab their money and go home with no thought about their game. some do, some dont and i would think some of the youth we have would have issues dealing with the pressure of playing for arsenal.

    Atleast they would be able to approach per for some advice. you think players like messi or ronaldo dont have issues. ifhamann played for a paycheck giving no shit about the result who the hell is he to judge others. Stupid idiot

    1. pires says:

      spot on.He has just said that he enjoys his last days as a professional footballer.Even in the stand because his body is finished and he was almost vomiting before games.As for the “pundits” we’ve seen with Carragher what’s like today to be one nowdays

      1. pires says:

        what’s like to be one nowadays.and Neville at Valencia

        1. Phil says:

          Well there is of course one option a multi millionaire footballer seeing our the final days of his £80k a week wages and happy to sit in the stands before taking up another very well paid coaching role at the club could have done.He could refuse to take his wages.
          Now that WOULD show us his COJONES and would also show his true feelings for the club.
          Let’s not forget this is OUR money that ultimately pays his wages.

      2. jon fox says:


  3. allan says:

    i can see his reasoning as he knows he is not as fast as he used to be and does not want to let the team down. But i know for sure when he’s playing he gives 100%.

  4. Sue says:

    I’d rather he didn’t play… or not for the first team anyway. Especially after the Forest game…..

    1. Phil says:

      Sue I’m sure you could have performed better than the BFG that game against Forest.
      But let’s not forget THAT performance against CHELSKI in the FA Cup Final last season.

      1. Sue says:

        Yes he did have a belter that day (even if their goal did deflect in off him)

  5. Howard says:

    Does BFG got what it takes? Same Arsene Wenger deciding everything for the club and bringing the club down. The youngsters were very good when Brady and Bouldy were there? I don’t think he qualifies.

  6. Howard says:

    He wasn’t that good as a player so how can he? Another Arsene Wenger loser who gets paid chunk of money but still fails

  7. GB says:

    The article writer has picked bits and pieces from the BFG’s interview and that is not fair. He has suffered most of his career with nerves before a game and even explained how his sleep patterns and match day preparation was effected by serious diarrhoea due to nerves. It is not something some people can change about themselves so don’t anyone suggest he should ‘man up’ etc. Even Charlie George admitted to being sick in the tunnel on match days which he couldn’t control. Having said that, I do wonder why he was given another year instead of retiring after his cup final epic display last season but I do think he will be a great coach for the kids.BFG in and Wenger out.

    1. Midkemma says:

      I think Per was being a man when speaking about his issues.

      I like how you put more context to what Per said, it is too easy to say something like “Man up” when guy has an issue but recognising it for me is being a man, I respect Per for talking about it.

      What do people mean by “Man Up” when said to Per about him talking about his issues?
      Are they implying that a man has to repress his feelings?

      I also wonder why he was asked to stay another year but then I think about how AFC have been acting and I guess it is because the board wouldn’t part with the funds. On paper, we had Mustafi, Per and Koscielny with Holding and Chambers. On paper that doesn’t look too bad…
      Sven would be picking the CB anyway so I am not worried about Wenger misusing the money, kinda frustrating that Gazidis didn’t do more in the transfer windows.

  8. jon fox says:

    I have conflicting thoughts about Merts. A fine and decent person, beyond question but I thought a poor leader lacking physical courage on the field. His wonderful positional sense, never overcame his freakish slowness, which , in the Prem , always made him a liability. He should have the courage to have retired the moment he made that demotivating (to others) statement and stopped picking up £4 million for basically just turning up for training. I do not think the new manager , whoever he is will want him here as a coach next season and also hope not too. We need coaches with far more dynamism, will to win and refusal to be complicit in mediocrity.

    1. Gunner22 says:

      The best he can do is to resign right now and get out of the club and forget about management.was never a great player. Just ok/average, never going to be remembered either. Getting paid for doing nothing and this has become a trend for Arsenal captains.sad but true theres no one worth for the captain’s arm band right now in the team

  9. Midkemma says:

    Fair play to Per.
    This is his last season with us, he may have been able to have the odd belter of a game like he did against Chavski so it was a gamble, it didn’t pay off.

    Per earnt that gamble IMO. If they give their all for us then we can’t just turn our backs on them. That would be cold. AFC have shown too much kindness at times but I don’t want to flip to the total opposite and become a cold heartless team of mercenaries.

    As much as Theo leaving was a relief, the way he left I felt was done poorly and we shouldn’t be looking to go that way. Show some heart in our actions. It doesn’t mean we can’t also be ambitious.

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