Mertesacker admits to suffering anxiety for his whole career

Right now it seems amazing that Per Mertesacker reached the very top of the footballing tree with Werder Bremen, Arsenal of course winning the World Cup with Germany. The Gunners captain revealed just last week that he gets physically sick with nerves and anxiety before every match, and said that right now, even though he still has a playing contract at Arsenal, that he is much happier watching from the bench or the stands.

Per said: “Some days you realise that everything is a burden, both physically and mentally… but you have to deliver without a doubt, even if you are injured,” he said.

“In the moments before a game starts, my stomach turns around as if I had to vomit. Then I have to choke so violently until my eyes water.

“Even if I had to vomit before every game and go to rehab 20 times, I would do it all over again. It was worth it for all of the memories.”

“My body is finished.”

But Mertesacker also made another comment when discussing his past, and he revealed that even as far back as 2006, when the World Cup was held in Germany, that he was suffering just as much even then. He said: “Of course, I was also disappointed when we lost to Italy and were out of the tournament in the semifinal, but more than anything, I was relieved. I can still remember it as if it were yesterday. All I thought was: It’s over, it’s over. It’s finally over.”

It certainly sounds like he has had it bad, which makes it even more amazing that he continued his career at the top so long, but it is a bit difficult to reconcile being happy that your country got beat in a World Cup semi-final!



  1. once you are committed and play heartedly those are the sentiments real footballers feel. honesty and play for the shirt you are wearing. good luck and good health a true loyal footballer – gooner =forever

  2. You have to wonder just WHY a CB of only 33 , who has never had any pace to lose is not fit enough in mind and body to carry on! Not that I want him too, as he is a liability and a rank poor “captain”. I see little chance , once Wenger is replaced by a manager who will NOT accept mediocrity,surely by May, of Merts having any role to play and hope and pray that is the case. We need winners, not wimps! A decent man, but hardly a Tony Adams or Keown, on or off the pitch, as surely all must see.

    1. Tony Adams has never won a world cup and was a notoriuos alcoholic Jon ….Mert has over one hundred caps for Germany ,a far beter team than England

      1. Mertsacker IS a winner. He has a World Cup and 3 FA Cups. Just because he lacked pace doesn’t mean he was a bad CB and certainly doesn’t mean he can’t coach for Arsenal

        Mertsacker not only played for Germany but played for World Cup winning Germany.

        He was also half of a successful CB pair with Koscielny. They were the best CB pair in the PL for two seasons. He also helped us win 3 FA Cups.

        He is retiring anyway now but I hope he stays with us as a Coach or some capacity

        1. INNIT-please see my reply below to pires.
          And thank you for not bringing Tony Adams into the reply like pires felt was necessary.
          On my part the BFG did a decent job for a number of years and there is no doubting his love for Arsenal.He obviously has a mental issue and that is unfortunate.However that will not hide the fact that he will always be respected at our club and when he moves into the coaching role next season I truly hope he is able to provide the Coaching Guidance and Advice to our defenders that Steve Bould has proved totally incapable of doing.

          1. @Jon Fox, you should know the answer to your question better than any of us. None of us are as fast as we used to be, recovering time and what not, the aches get louder, the rest seems longer. This is professional football though, athletes, tons of pressure. I don’t know if you played football or remember how exhausting it can be, stamina is important for football. I find it odd Jon that you of all people it did not touch one hair or fibre, not even the slightest commonality even if you don’t agree in full.

      2. Pires-you obviously never saw Tony Adams play.This man was a CAPTAIN that earned the respect of team mates and opponents with his performances and leadership for 17 years as an Arsenal player.Ask your Grandad to tell you about him son and you will learn something about the MAN and the PERSON that is TONY ADAMS.
        Also I would point out that while the BFG did indeed win a World Cup winners medal as part of the Very Good Germany that won the 2014 World Cup the BFG was not in the team after the first couple of games.He was DROPPED because of his poor performances in the group stages.You really did ought to know your facts son because you do come across as a bit of a dimwit with your comments.
        I would also bring you to task for the Alcoholic reference you make.It is on record by Mr Adams himself that he most likely was half drunk most of the games he played for a few years.You write as if to humiliate the man.Well I’m telling you a pissed up Tony Adams was and is a better PLAYER LEADER and CAPTAIN than the BFG and every CB at our club ever was and ever will be.
        You are a MORON to try to humiliate this man.You have only humiliated yourself.

        1. if critisising someone,by giving facts ,as ken 45 says , is trying to huimliate him then your constant critics of wenger are also an attempt to humiliate him….and you,who are attending since the sixties,must know that Wenger is,like Tony Adams,a legend of the club.And its JoN that compared Adams first to BFG

          1. Pires I agree with Phil on this one. I greatly respected Tony Adams as a player for and captain of Arsenal FC. I respected him even more for admitting to being an alcoholic, facing up to his demons, undergoing rehabilitation and using his post playing life providing support to others with substance abuse problems.
            I also greatly respect Per Mertesacher for being honest about the mental issues he faced. In today’s society mental issues, such as depression (“the black dog”) are of great concern, particularly in men who find it difficult to talk about it. If Per talking about his issues causes one person to seek help and avoid a potential suicide, it will be a great help to society as a whole.

            1. Admin, my reasonable (in my view) comments still await modeation many hours after posting.

          2. Phil, I’m disappointed in your choice of words a you now sound drunk. Anyone has the right to give their opinion on a player whether factually right or wrong. You have no God given right to insult other people on this forum. Your vitriolic above paints you as either presently drunk or grossly immature for your widely publicised advance age. I hope it’s the former cos the latter would mean you’re a really nasty fellow.
            Kudos to Pires for not rising to the bait and insulting you as well.
            P.S. Admin should intervene when people reply opinions with insults.

        2. Bravo for putting this silly little child pires in his dunces corner! So little life experience, so little knowledge yet such a busy keyboard warrior, writing arrant nonsense. BFG is a good man but was always a liability and accident either happening or waiting to happen. And you can’t build a tight and tough defence around a statue who turned slower than an ocean going liner. Yes , he had great positional sense but so does Nelson’s Column and I wouldnt want that in our defence either!

          1. Jon, you need to stop insulting fellow Arsenal fans on here. You can make your point without resorting to playground tactics….

  3. Mr Phil and Pires

    please calm down…dont get personal…


    Tony is an alcoholic and may not be good with his words but hes a top defender…and he needs some respect too for his performances…

    if Tony had played against city, he would have ensured that even if city were to get 3 points there will be some casualties involve….headbuttimg…or “break some legs”

    we need such aggression, determination and leadership from our players

    1. This is true

      Tony used to be that steel where when he goes for a tackle, either the ball stays and you go, or you stay and the ball goes, or you both stay, but never letting both of you go. But now we have defenders who escort attackers in our box and in a blink of an eye the ball is in the back of the net. People have grown soft

      Miss those days when we had a wall in the back, a steel in the middle and lethal attackers in the front..

      1. not only our defenders….our players love to hugs and laughs with our opponents…exchanging shirts….no fights no aggression….

        If Tony, Viera or Co were around….even if its a red card….they will ensure that the next time the opponent play them again it will be fear and pressure….even if we were to lose 5 nil…the opposition team will have 2 or 3 players out injured

  4. There’s no point in comparing… both are good but in different ways.

    BFG, despite his lack of pace, reads the game well enough to be one of the best.

    Frankly, I appreciate his honestly in admitting his feelings and sickness.

    I also share his preference to spend the remaining season on the bench rather than playing.

  5. Adams is a COMPLETE LEGEND. Yes he had problems, but who didn’t? He gave everything for Arsenal…I don’t think we’ll ever have another like him.
    It brings a tear to my eye watching his premier league legends show. I love the guy, he was & will always be Mr Arsenal

  6. Gonna be honest here, I didn’t really pay much attention to what Per said until Hamann slammed what he said. Hamann made some good points but he probably does’t understand how we give an unofficial testimonial season to players who would rather stay than look for first team football elsewhere. I also think Per could of been hiding his end of playing career pain, that’s how some people mask pain by acting like it’s what they wanted all along anyhow. Going by the Chelsea performance you would think he still had something in the tank, but he’s a huge man so I think what he said is his honest feelings. His body because of it’s size would feel it harder than the usual thirty somethings who you hear say that it catches up with and they find it harder to bounce back. He, Hamann, I think was wrong to assume those words mean he looks unsuited to coach young players about loyalty, commitment and character. That’s like saying players who join a derby rival should never coach boys or manage clubs for similar reasons, if you have something to give I’m pretty sure something is better than nothing. And I doubt Per would be a bad influence on the younger generation, I believe the opposite. They get allot of input daily but when it comes to hard work, loyalty and character building it is in their own household where they learn the most important stuff along the way to becoming a man.

  7. Abel I will now address your post in more detail.
    Firstly I was not drunk when I wrote my reply to piers.What a pathetic thing to say.Learn the English Language and do try to expand on your incredibly limited choice of words.I say things as I mean them not just foe effect.You come across as a pretty small minded person with limited educational standards when addressing someone like that.
    You say “Anyone has the right to give his opinion on a player whether FACTUALLY RIGHT OR WRONG”.That is was you have written and you call ME DRUNK.Ok how’s this-Robert Pires was a good footballer for our club but the fact he had 237 illegitimate children by 236 different womem(he quite liked one of them and they had twins)means he obviously wasn’t giving his full commitment to club and us supporters as most of his time he was tipping up any female with a pulse he could lay his hands on.I am also disturbed by the rumours of him and his pet camel ?.So that is ok with you pal is it? I know (or would hope) these comments are factually wrong but according to YOU I have the right to give that comment.seriouly pal be more carefull in what YOU WRITE and HOW you write it.You could upset someone on here one day if your not careful.
    So I do not have the right to give MY opinion but YOU do.That is what you are implying. You are basically calling me Drunk Immature and an Old Codger in one sentence.And you know what pal? I’m not bothered at all.I give my thoughts as I see them.Do I think pires a Moron? Absolutely.Im lucky at my age that I SAW Tony Adams play his Whole career for this club and you think I’m going to let someone dimwit who has obviously no understanding of the mans life take a shot at him without giving him some serious comeback.He has called him a “Notorious Alcoholic”.Pal I’m telling you that if he had STOOD on the Highbury North Bank and shouted that out he would have had far more than being called a Moron shoved down his throat.
    Immature? If that’s the only thing you can come up with from your obviously very limited command of the English Language then what can I say? Other than buy a dictionary and go to Night School.
    Nasty Fellow?Whatever pal.I give my thoughts as I see them.If that’s how you describe me then trust me I can live with that.
    Advanced Age? Yeah mate I’m 62.What difference does that make? If you think I’m someone who will back down and cower to you pal then trust me you have got the wrong bloke here.Unlike you I do not hide behind words.I am what I am pal and I’m more than happy to take you on with this site as a host any time you like.
    You have touched a very delicate point with your defence of someone who has openly called out a Club Legend as a Notorius Drunk.This is a defence of someone who is consistently posting replies such as this that have no facts and substance.But it obviously makes him feel cool in front of his classmates.This is someone who posts comments exactly as he has done here and then does a quick line of “ Oh don’t say nasty things about Mr Wenger.Look at all the trophies he has won.35 FA Cups 49 Charity Shields 264 Emirates Cups The Badmington Horse Trials Wimbledon (men’s singles and mixed pairs)The British Grand Prix 800metres final at World Athletics Championship etc etc etc”.You get the drift here pal do you?You should.Tony Adams is and always will be a Club Legend.How Wenger could do with a few of them in his team right now.Then again the useless French Dinosaur would probably play him LWB.

    1. I am in awe of your comments. I would love to shake your hand. Truth, passion and Arsenal and life experience WRIT LARGE. BRAVO!!! Bloody children, they
      know nothing!!

  8. @Phil,
    Where I come from, it is assumed that the older a person gets, the wiser they become. Obviously doesn’t apply to you. I shudder to imagine you in your youth, if at 62 years of age, you feel the need to insult anyone who has a different view from yours.
    I’m on this site to discuss one of the few things we have in common ; Arsenal Football Club, not English language proficiency or Educational background, although I doubt you are better schooled than I am!
    I don’t know why you’re up in arms over the reference by @Pires about your Idol Tony Adams as a notorious drunk.
    A fact Tony Adams himself admitted on live TV and has even written a book about. A simple Google search would enlighten you further.
    P.S. Every human being deserves to be respected irrespective of ethnicity, race, colour, religion or beliefs.

    1. Tony Adams facing up to his alcoholism, going through rehabilitation, becoming a recovered alcoholic and councilling others demonstrates strength of character, which should be lauded, not result in being called a “notorious alcoholic”.

    2. Abel -You come after me and I will come straight back at you.Tony Adams is unable to defend himself on sites like these.Calling him a NOTORIOUS DRUNK is a very cheap shot.I have been very fortunate to have been able to meet with this Club Legend and socialise with on many many occasions.He would have put his life on the line while playing for both his club and his country.He loves this Club like you can never imagine.But you and your school friend pires are happy to refer to him as a NOTORIOUS DRUNK.That for me sums you both up.
      Education?Yeah you probably are better educated than me mate.But I have something called breeding that you pair don’t seem to have.
      I will defend my opinions because that’s what they are.When unwarranted headlines of a club legend offend me I will voice my opinion on that too.
      For the record I do not hold Wenger in anywhere near the esteem as I do with Tony Adams and never will.Any respect I did have for this man has rapidly diminished over the last decade and the day he is out of this club cannot come too soon for me.But of course he did win 35 FA Cups 49 Charity Shields blah blah blah

      1. I’d like to buy you a whole pub full of drinks! Slaughter and keep slaughtering these dimwits.

        1. Jon Fox,
          It was your pompous repost that started this all of with your arrogant post and yet again bringing Wenger into the topic.
          You are the only one so far, who has tried to take denegrate Mertesacker and then you call others dimwits!!
          Your views are not as widely accepted as you like to think, despite the many attempts yoou make to humiliate those that differ with you.
          Like a lot of other fans I have also met Tony and a photo of us together take pride of place in my room at home. I also found the man a perfect gentleman and he is the one man that can epitomize what being a GOONER is all about.
          Phil, it has nothing to do with Wenger and you know it.
          Your blah blah blah extract I would place next to your comments regarding how many cups etc Wenger has won.
          We are talking about a club legend here, one that every gooner respects.
          I have the same contempt as you have regarding the slur made here. So don’t bulls**t your post by making it into a Wenger issue as well.
          You have the same right as everyone else here to be furious, but don’t imply that those that defend Wenger agree with this post.
          It’s J.Fox who ridiculed Per, but that goes unchallenged?
          Why? The post was originally about Per, but J.Fox decided to bring Wenger into his squalid remarks about Per.
          Like you, I don’t give a damn about whether you or, especially, J.Fox like what I say, but if you want to include Wenger in the Pires remarks I will do as you do, no fear of that.
          If I could choose to be one player, it would be Tony, because he is everything I always wanted to be regarding football. He is the complete gooner, who achieved EVERYTHING he wanted in his life and goes on achieving. Those that make bowing gestures when Ozil takes corners should go down on your knees if you ever have the luck to be near Tony.
          Pires, I distance myself completely from your post, I find it despicable that you would say this. It is completely out of order and no decent human being, let alone a gooner, would support your comment.
          It has nothing to do with age, schooling, religion etc. it’s called RESPECT.
          What Per (imo) was doing was exactly the same as Tony declaring his fight against his personal demons.
          Anyone who tries to make a negative point from their honest revelations are revolting human beings.

          1. Ken 1945, thanks for showing how a reply can be made about points raised without resorting to name calling.
            However, the point I was initially trying to make to Phil and his band of followers is that regardless of what anyone says on this forum, no one should be insulted.

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