Mertesacker would have preferred Wenger to stay at Arsenal

Arsenal’s Big Friendly Giant Per Mertesacker has admitted that it was Arsene Wenger that persuaded him to take over as the Youth team manager when he retired last summer, and he also blamed the players for getting Le Prof the sack by not trying hard enough, and now he has come out to say that he would have preferred Wenger to have stayed to make his life easier.

But first of all he admitted that the Gunners need to be more ruthless to be winners, just like Petr Cech was at Chelsea. “Cech’s background at Chelsea, that is the way he won,” Mertesacker said.

“You can feel when we went there it was always tough and we struggled to deal with the intensity and that defensive ruthlessness.

“We can take that on. We have to learn and adapt to what Chelsea have brought.”

Mertesacker then said that his life would have been easier under Wenger but he is trying to get used to the new intensity under Emery. “The easiest way for me would have been if Arsene had stayed,” he said.

“He would have trusted me and given me an easy way. But I am excited about the new stuff and the change in management.

“Unai Emery is a hard coach and is totally focused on what happens on the grass.

“That is his main focus – to get us back in the Champions League.

“It is exciting that I am part of that process.

“People want to see results but we need to make sure the change happens in the right way and not to rush it too much.”

It looks like the changes are happening in the right way so far, but I’m surprised that Mertesacker would prefer it to be easier. Surely you can only get better by pushing yourself harder, especially if your job is to push the youngsters into excelling themselves on the training ground?



  1. Innit says:

    Sorry Per, I don’t share the same feeling lol.
    I am happy Wenger is gone.
    Was so depressed. I felt like I was in a never-ending tunnel with no light in sight.
    Happy with Emery so far.
    Tactically he is superior. That in itself is a huge improvement

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      Agree with your comments Innit. We all knew Per’s heart was in the right place but far too slow and never good enough as our central defender. Along with players like him and Ramsey etc it was obvious we were never going to be title contenders in Wenger’s last ten years. I’m also very happy Wenger is gone. Per also says life was easier under Wenger, I’m sure it was, no so intense, that was the exact reason we never competed. Under Unai there’s no easy rides anymore and it’s showing already and I for one love it.

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        It’s not hard to be tactically superior to Wenger, Arsene never done tactics, he had other attributes and I’ll be forever grateful for the superb football we got in his first ten years but he did inherit the best defence ever to be assembled in the English game and of course the great Dennis Bergkamp so he certainly had basis to produce a great team. Although he did put the invincible side together and because they were so good they never needed tactical advice, however, when tactics were needed, ie, the last ten years he failed miserably.

        1. jon fox says:

          Tactics and Wenger in the same sentence? That is an oxymoron! A so called top manager who did not do serious tabtics has not the right to be called a top manager.

          1. gunner22 says:

            Jon, Arsene took us to the UCL final only to loose due to Lehman’s madness
            Arsene took us to the Carling cup final only to loose due to Kos & Schnez stupidity.
            We won 2 FA back to back and one FA final.
            The only grudge i did have for Arsene was to let Loris, Ericson and Deli Ali join the spurs without bidding for them.They would have won him titles, he preferred Ramsey, Ozil (no offence to the Ozil Fan Club) and Almunia/Schez/Fabiasky etc.
            Overall 7 FA, 3 titles, invincibles, new stadium are his achievements.His era is over, thank him and lets move on with Emery and put the past to bed once and for all.

          2. jon fox says:

            If you actually saw the Barca 2006 final live you will recall that Lehmann had no real choice. He was unlucky to have been sent off. In the Prem it would have been only a booking. Plus I totally disagree on your Wenger love in. No DM of quality for his last decade. I note you chose not to mention that , which was just one of his many neglectful errors. If failing to have signed the Spuds player you mention was his ONLY REASON FOR HAVING A GRUDGE, YOU INHABIT A DIFFERENT FOOTBALL UNIVERSE THAN MANY OTHER GOONERS!

  2. Enagic says:

    He would prefer Wenger to stay in order to fulfill his personal interest if no player come out of academy every year Per needs to go too – Lyon in France produce more than 5 very season

  3. jon fox says:

    Well said the ADMIN esp for giving your own correct opinion in that last paragraph , particularly. I never could stand Merts as a player -lovely man , no doubt, but as a player too slow, too uncommitted to “over my dead body”( he would turn his face away at free kicks for instance when defending) and of course he lacked the basic speed to ever be an effective Prem defender. Yes, he did it in Germany I know, but that is very different from the frantic 100 miles per hour Prem. And doing it in our Prem is what MATTERS. As to his own views on current matters, I simply totally disagree with ANYONE who thinks WENGER SHOULD HAVE STAYED EVEN LONGER. YOU EITHER BELIEVE , BODY AND SOUL IN FULL COMMITMENT OR YOU DON’T. Emery clearly does , Merts and Wenger did not. No place, in my view, for half hearted types. Be fully committed or LEAVE! This is whole reason I could never stand Walcott . And I was right, as events have proved.

    1. kev says:

      I never really felt comfortable with Mert in the lineup tbh.I always felt we were susceptible to being split with a “through ball” or being exposed in 1v1 situations.However,I must say if a player like him had some speed he would be have been a legendary defender because of the way he intercepts,times his tackles and reads the game.Unfortunately, he was just too too slow for EPL.As for Wenger, I believe just like any other coach who fails in one club and moves to another nd excels he can have the same story.If coaches who are failing at their clubs had overstayed like Wenger did they would have had the same story of failure.I believe if he takes over a top club now he can do well.Ive seen many coaches and counting fail abysmally in one club and excel in another.The only difference is they didn’t overstay.

    2. Midkemma says:

      Adams had blistering pace didn’t he…
      Just watch that Everton goal again at how he… hmm… No, he had ZERO pace yet still one of the best CB to grace the field in my lifetime.

      Football is a team game Jon, this means that an individual can have a weakness (like Adams pace) but if he can read the game and have a CB partner who can cover that weakness then it isn’t noticed as much.

      This is not thinking about the players intelligence, Teddy was slow but he was thinking 2 or 3 steps ahead didn’t he? Like Adams, they knew what was happening and where to be. Per was like that and declined over time with us.

      For someone who slates Wenger a lot I am gobsmacked that you overlook Wenger in this, he has made Per worse, he has done nothing to help Bellerin and contributed towards him declining and getting abuse from people like you.

      Wenger was bad GRRRRR
      Ignores Wengers training…
      Bellerin is bad GRRRR
      What is Bellerin bad at? Defending… What was one of Wengers biggest flaws? Defending.
      Yet Bellerin is hopeless…

      Why bother listening to an opinion which is clearly selective at best? XD

      1. jon fox says:

        Adams did not have blistering pace , as you say, BUT neither was he as slow as MERTS, who was BY A DISTANCEthe slowest ever PreM player ever. There is a massive difference bewteen not being fast and on the other hand being abnormally and dangerously slow. I would also point out the obvious fact that ALL opinions posted by ANYONE at all are selective, by their very nature. Yours the same as any other too. Ever considered that piece of human nature realism? OR WOULD YOU RATHER JUST SLATE ME, AS HAS BECOME YOUR OBSESSION !

  4. kev says:

    It’s a shame Wenger doesn’t have a job yet.I still feel he’s more than good enough in another team.If he hasn’t stayed in Arsenal did so long he would’ve won many cups in other teams.His style of play requires high quality players and at times quality of players trumps how special you are in tactics.He was never a tactical master or anything like that.He just had the talent to find youngsters who could be world class.When coaches don’t do well they are sacked.The difference with Wenger is that he wasn’t sacked for a long time hence that bad luck stayed with him for a long time till he left.He can still do well in another team just like any other coach who fails in a club but exceeds in another.

  5. gotanidea says:

    His comments about “easy way” from Wenger and “hard coach” about Emery could describe the difference between the managers

    Wenger needs a new challenge and I believe he has still got it. Looking forward to see him manage another big club

    1. jon fox says:

      Hope it is one of our direct rivals then! That will reduce our serious competitors by one club.

    2. Goonster says:

      In the previous article about the best Spanish Arsenal players. You said that Fabregas never did defense splitting after his first season at Arsenal?

  6. Maks says:

    Of course that Mertesacker misses wenger cos he was paid for the whole last season… how many games he has played? 2,3?
    Maybe if he thinks that Wenger is great why dnt he follows him on the way out of the club!

    1. jon fox says:

      Good question you ask. The clear reason though is that Merts likes things comfortable and he is now on a good financial deal , having retired. I predict he won’t be allowed to stay long from now as Emery wants more dynamic types than Merts. Could you imagine Merts ever being allowed to coach under such as Guardiola? Nor can I !

      1. ozziegunner says:

        ?Hard work in training is what EARNS success on match day.

      2. Abel says:

        Is Arteta not coaching under Pep?
        What point exactly were you trying to make saying Mertersacker couldn’t coach under Pep?
        Wasn’t Arteta maligned by most of you as being weak and not captain material much like Per?
        The saying “give a dog a bad name to hang it” comes to mind.

        1. jon fox says:

          Massive difference in intensity, which is vital in coaching, between Arteta and Merts. Merts was a nice guy but far too laid back as captain and not the type to defend his goal with his body if necessary and at all costs, a la Adams, Terry, AND OTHER PROPER DEFENDERS. Merts used to turn away at free kicks , rather than let the ball hit him. THAT is not proper defending at all. Sure , he shouted at Ozil once . Big deal! Adams would have put Ozil up against the wall for idleness and sorted it out there and then. ADAMS was our greatest ever captain and best CB along with Bould, IMO. Merts was among our worst CB’s since WENGER CAME AND A JOKE AS A CAPTAIN. Arteta was criticised by me for his play, not his captaincy. But then WENGER ALWAYS PLAYED HIM OUT OF POSITION!

    2. RSH says:

      exactly. Things were always nice and rosy under AW because he took all the heat for the bad performances, and tried to make 4th place a trophy. 4th place is a launching point to attempt to do better and that stopped happening with AW. And the players were pretty fine with it as well. I doubt very few in the dressing room cared or believed they could win the title. Aresnal needed to kill this mentality.

  7. That IS selfish from Per.
    The majority of the fans are happy with what we are experiencing at the club at the moment and that ‘s the most important thing.

  8. Leon says:

    Of course he would be happy if Wenger remained.
    No one doing anything – mediocrity, lack of ambition and no pressure to succeed.
    Mertesacker would be in his element.
    Just turn up for work – no need to do anything.
    To be honest I had hoped he would leave instead of staying at the club – I am surprised Emery kept him on and will be even more surprised if he remained at the club.
    The first thing I would want to do is remove the dead wood and even though Mertesacker had only just started his new role when Emery was appointed this article illustrates exactly why he won’t last – just does not have the work ethic of a typical Emery coach…

    1. jon fox says:

      Beautifully summed up Leon. I doubt even a tiny percent of Gooners will disagree!

  9. Sue says:

    Happy Birthday Ozil ?

    1. Phil says:

      Let’s blow him a kiss Sue??????

      1. Sue says:

        ????? a big smacker hey Phil ?

  10. Grandad says:

    Mert is indebted to Wenger as he would have been released 5/6 years ago had another Manager been in charge.A very average player who has landed lucky in that he has been given a job on a plate.A job which would have attracted a host of better qualified coaches.He and Bould represent the last remnants of the Wenger era.It will be interesting to see how long they last without their Lord and master?.

  11. ruelando says:

    Decent man, slow defender, but used his know how to survive the EPL. If his statement is true it just further cements why Wenger had to go, arsenal players were too comfortable and got away time after time doing rubbish

  12. Okiror says:


    1. jon fox says:

      Please remember that they are governed by TV money and schedules and also that they are NOT Arsenal fans, as we all are on here. Other top clubs also have fixture pile ups at times too, partly because of TV. Perspective and reality! One of the realities of following a top club. Would you prefer it otherwise and us NOT to be one? Thought not!

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Jon, Okiror has a point> Please watch from now on. You will never see Manchester United have a fixture pile up like we do. Everything possible is done accommodate them and they are the most televised team in the country.

        1. jon fox says:

          NOT TRUE KENNY. UNITED HAS MANY TIMES HAD A FIXTURE PILE UP. OVER MANY YEARS PAST. AS DO ALL TOP CLUBS WHO ARE IN MANY COMPS AT ONCE DO AT TIMES. JUST THE NATURAL STATE WHEN YOU ARE A TOP CLUB. Sometimes it affects one or two clubs more in any particular season . Sometimes also it more affects other teams. Watch the longer picture and reconsider. I think you are not being honest with yourself on this one. In actual fact more is done , in general, to accommodate ALL top clubs, compared with the Burnleys and Leicesters etc. THAT is the real injustice.

          1. Kenny Rolfe says:

            When was the last time the likes of Burnley and Leicester (apart from one season) were involved in European competition. Jon,as I said, watch United’s fixtures from now on. They’ll play at 12-30 On a Saturday before a Champions League game and 4 o’clock on a Sunday after the game. 9 times out of 10 this is the case, comfortably arranged by the television companies in cahoots with the FA and PGMOL

          2. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Just checked the very next fixtures for United
            Chelsea away Sat 12-30
            Juventus Champions League
            Bournemouth home Sun 4-00

            Everton away Sat 12-30
            Juventus Champions league
            Man City home Sun 4-00
            I rest my case.

          3. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Jon, you accused me of not being honest. Think this shows on the contrary I was being honest.

    2. Declan says:

      I agree it’s ridiculous the way fixtures are scheduled but unfortunately @Okiror it’s not down to the Premier League when televised fixtures are played it’s Sky and BT Sport. They have contracts which give them the power to say when games are played. Bloody stupid!

  13. GiddyBoy says:

    I am actually surprised that someone could be this comfortable with mediocrity. SMH!

  14. kelis says:

    Arsene should have remained? I think per shares the same weak ideology as arsene Wenger and as such has to leave arsenal asap

    1. Declan says:

      He never said that, read the article again, not the headline.

  15. Wow all you people are such haters. I say good luck to Per in his new job. I don’t see why he can’t succeed. Just because he played for Wenger it doesn’t mean he will fail. But why am I surprised, all you people on this site just hate.

    1. Sue says:

      I watched his farewell match on Saturday… watching him do a lap of honour, waving to his fans & watching him crying…. it’s always emotional seeing a grown man cry…

    2. jon fox says:

      ALL? Such a generalisation , and as such, a lazy and untrue accusation. PLEASE BE MORE SPECIFIC WITH YOUR COMPLAINTS IF YOU WISH PEOPLE TO TAKE YOUR COMMENTS SERIOUSLY. Accusations made en masse are immature and plain silly. eg “All Scots are mean”, “all Irish are thick” etc etc. Think on please!

  16. Midkemma says:

    “The easiest way for me would have been if Arsene had stayed,” he said.

    “He would have trusted me and given me an easy way. But I am excited about the new stuff and the change in management.

    “Unai Emery is a hard coach and is totally focused on what happens on the grass.

    “That is his main focus – to get us back in the Champions League.

    “It is exciting that I am part of that process.

    How is that translated into Per would have preferred Wenger to stay?
    I read that he thinks it would have been easier.. not he wants it easy.
    I read he is excited about Emery.. not morning the loss of Wenger.

    Seems Admin inserted clickbait title.

    1. Declan says:

      You read my mind Midkemma.

  17. Kenny Rolfe says:

    Off topic:
    Absolutely dismayed by English fans behaviour in Spain. The BBC are saying “it’s undone the good behaviour that they showed in Russia” Huh, the truth is they never had the bottle (courage) to kick off in Russia. They’re alright bashing up innocent tourists trying to enjoy a holiday. To be honest I don’t give a damn anymore about the England teams results or performances but as a traveller abroad I do care about our reputation.

    1. Sue says:

      It’s embarrassing Kenny! What a bunch of imbeciles

      1. ozziegunner says:

        A disgrace to themselves and their country.

  18. Innit says:

    Emery’s tactics has helped us win 9 matches in a row after losing to City and Chelsea.
    1. He puts good line-ups (not flawless but good enough)
    2. Happy to change formation if necessary
    3. Doesn’t wait till the 70th minute to substitute
    4. Plays with a defensive midfielder
    5. Plays players in their best positions

    I’m 100% sure if Wenger was in charge we wouldn’t be on a 9 game winning streak after losing the first two matches.

    We are beating teams we should beat.
    It’s a lovely feeling

    1. Break-on-through says:

      That’s because after those first two losses, the atmosphere and the media would’ve been toxic putting extra pressure on the players. The games were very tight with the amount of chances, under different conditions that can easily swing it the wrong way. Defenders might panic more or someone higher might make the wrong decision. Nobody blamed Emery, nor the players, instead they just focused on the third match like it was the first game of our season. The support has been good, very good at times, not up there with the best but it has been good. The media was more or less the same. Some of our games we were outplayed for large parts, if that support was at its worst its not hard to see how things might have turned out differently.

      Look, the last few seasons, I am not like others who’re just blaming one man. I think there is plenty of fault to go around which happened to coincide with our worst two finishes under Arsene reign.

  19. Break-on-through says:

    Can you guys not read, Mert has said nothing here other than the truth. He said it would’ve been easier working under Wenger, of course it would sure they worked together for years. You people are busy bodies. He said we need to be more ruthless like Che once were, all you guys said the same bloody thing often enough. He said the intensity under Emery takes getting used to, nothing abnormal there. He ends it by saying it will take some time. Some of you are worse than the woman.

    1. Midkemma says:

      Lazyboy – We only read the headlines
      I had a good chuckle to myself listening to that while thinking of this article and replies XD

  20. jack gunner says:

    I dnt agree with Mer.
    In fact Wenger
    was lucky not to be sacked much,much
    Managers are liable to be axed if they aint
    winning.2 to 5 years is the most for top bosses.

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