The BFG will be great for Arsenal’s youngsters

So it is the end of an era at Arsenal with Arsene Wenger leaving for pastures new, and we are seeing that many of his longest serving players have already moved on or are on their way out. Just this season he has lost Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla and also his captain Per Mertesacker played his final game for the Gunners yesterday when Wenger put him on the pitch for the last 15 minutes.

Mertesacker was overcome with the standing ovation and the response from the fans. It was a beautiful moment,” Per told “It is difficult to sum it up now. It was brilliant, how the team performed and the manager letting me on for the last time.

“I was pretty much focused and concentrated on the game. Afterwards it was very emotional. To get such an exit from the club, I’m very grateful for this opportunity. The boss brought me here, this club trusted me. It’s very humbling and I feel very grateful.

“The good thing was we were 5-0 up [when I came on], so I could really take that warm welcome and the emotions to enter the pitch for the last time.

“It’s magnificent the way I was welcomed from the first day, and for the great finish as a football player. That’s brilliant and it speaks of this classy club by giving me the opportunity to get such a great ending.”

Another long serving player, Jack Wilshere, may or may not be departing as well, but the English midfielder is sure that Mertesacker is going to be a great inspiration for the young Arsenal players coming through the academy next season. Jack said about Per: “What a player, what a character. We’re going to miss him around the dressing room because he’s a big personality with us. He leads from the back, he wants everyone to do things right and we’re going to miss him, so I’m glad he got some minutes today. He deserved it, he works so hard in training even though he hasn’t really been in the team. He works so hard in training and pushes everyone and he’s on to the young players so he’s a great person to have around them. He’s not going to leave completely because he’s going to take up his role with the academy and from here we know what to do better.”

Mertesacker may be moving up at the club, but Laurent Koscielny will be spending most of next season in the treatment room until he gets his send of next summer, so we have a new era in defence coming up as well. It is ggoing to be a brand new younger team taking the field at the start of next season, and I for one simply can’t wait….



  1. Ozziegunner says:

    My only concern with Per Mertesacher in coaching and mentoring players in the youth academy, is one of mental toughness. He has hardly played any matches over the last two seasons, notwithstanding his great performance in Arsenal’s last FA Cup win over Chelsea. Given the performance of Arsenal’s defense, the team could have done with his experience and captaincy; yet he rarely played. Although not physically injured it was announced he had anxiety issues before each game; yet still collected his salary.

    1. Cagri Fansadox says:

      Per is a third class player like Wenger is third class as manager.I doubt he could ever excel as coach when he is nothing more than dumb slow snail walking BFG as a Player.Good Riddance Wenger and Per from starting lineup.

      1. Exactly my thoughts, good riddance to both. 80k a week for collecting training ground fines.. wouldn’t it have been cheaper to hire Wenger a personal assistant to do that?

        1. Ken 1945 says:

          Cagri and Quantic,
          You two “gentlemen” are examples of the classless supporters that have crept in to our club.
          I would rate you both as non-existent as far as being able to judge footballers and men.
          Go and peddle your brainless comments somewhere else as you are obviously not up to the standards required to be a gooner!

          1. stubill says:

            Well said Ken.

      2. Innit says:

        If you think Per was a third class player then you are a third class fan. Actually you have NO Class

        Show some respect. Per has been a gunner for several years and was our captain.

        Per was slow but a good defender overall. Def not THIRD CLASS
        Per and Koscielny were rated #1 CB pairing two years in a row
        Per has a World Cup win
        Germany doesn’t take third class players to the World CUP

        1. Ken 1945 says:

          Again I find myself agreeing with you.
          Why do these so called fans bother commenting anyway?
          Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but they don’t even make sense.
          As for him moving out, he is only just starting in his new role.
          Give him a chance for goodness sake Kenyanfan, this is what Bouldy never did…coach any of our defensive players!

      3. Kenyanfan says:

        I respect per.he was world class till age caught up with England a central defender must be strong both on feet and on air, quick and interceptive. So the league was also challenging to him .salute to him and with lot of respect, I think he should just move out.Am still of the opinion that the only person we should have for atleast one more season for that purpose is Santi Carzola

    2. #MAGA says:

      Back in the day, Charlie George had similar anxiety issues and it wasn’t unusual for him to be physically sick in the tunnel before a game. It didn’t stop him from being tough competitor on the pitch though, not quite Peter Storey, but that’s another subject altogether.

    3. Midkemma says:

      If you honestly think he is the ONLY footballer to suffer from anxiety then I believe you are greatly mistaken.
      At least Per was brave enough to talk about it, this can be a benefit to our kids who now know that the BFG had anxiety yet he performed on the biggest stage, the WC.

      Per also stepped down when he felt it was best for the team if he wasn’t a starter, he done that for Germany and I bet he would have retired 12 months ago if AFC could have bought a replacement, who did we get though? No one. Per knew he was on his way out and he hasn’t hung around like a bad smell.

      I blame Wenger for not using Mavrop more and for persisting with Mustafi even though he was making multiple mistakes a game for weeks, not Per for wanting to retire because he knew he was no longer good enough to play for AFC.

  2. Sergio says:

    Has Kos announced his retirement for the end of next season then?

    1. Midkemma says:

      In all honesty, it would prob do AFC the best if he did it now, retire at the end of this season and FORCE Arsenal into making that CB signing(s) we need, as much as he can at least.

      I wouldn’t think less of Kos if he did, I would wish him the best and hope he hasn’t ruined himself too much so he can enjoy his retirement without needing crutches every other week 🙁

  3. Phil says:

    Did you notice the affection Calum Chambers showed to the BFG when coming off to be replaced by Pers?That was genuine respect from a young professional to a man who has obviously mentored and advised while together at the Club.There is no price you can place on that.Pers has the experience and aura to command that type of respect from all the youth academy players and I’m sure he can have a huge impact on their early careers.Did we ever have anything other than total commitment from the player even though injury and personal issues affected his final two seasons but he is exactly what is needed at the youth level and they will lucky to have him to look up to

    1. But he never was that good of a defender to begin with, so what exactly are they gonna learn from him? He was slow, weak, not a particularly good set-piece scorer and even his positioning was suspect at times. Do you remember the nicknames trolls gave him? Merte-shaky, the rhino, bloody f*****g german..I have to say, if there wlare guys who personally benefitted from Wenger being coach at the club it’s Mertesacker, Ramsey and Giroud. Those 3 guys owe him their careers. Mertesacker has collected 2 years of an 80K a week salary while sitting on the bench.. some celebrities don’t even earn that much that regularly.

      1. Ken 1945 says:

        So what about nicknames and their relevance?
        Tony Adams was called a donkey, do you think that bothered the great man?
        He actually thrived on it and became the legend he is today.
        As far as salaries go, I think even you are entitled to whatever you earn as part of a sick pay entitlement.
        Are you know suggesting AFC become the only premier league club not to support their players either while injured or not selected to play?
        It is totally irrelevant to suggest he got paid for doing nothing. He was part of the squad, got injured playing football and the club supported him.
        By the way, as Innit pointed out, he was a german international, captained his country and played in world cup.
        Not bad for a third rate player is it?

      2. Midkemma says:

        Yet Giroud is playing for Chavski and he scored their winning goal against Liverpool, he done fantastic internationally and while he may not be a 30 goal a season striker, he is a great team player and brings others into the game while being a threat himself.

        When Giroud had competition for the starting spot then we seen Giroud perform, Giroud was saying year after year how he would welcome competition for the starting spot and he didn’t run away when Laca was signed and he was demoted to the 2nd team and being used as a supersub.

        He left when we signed Auba and he became the 3rd and wanted to stand a chance of playing for France this year.

        I was saying it when we was linked to Morata, Giroud is better! Giroud is keeping Morata on the bench… So is he really that bad?

  4. Ozziegunner says:

    The unfortunate thing about the current squad is that Tony Adams and Paul Merson with their alcohol and substance abuse problems were mentally tougher than most of the current Arsenal players.
    I have the greatest respect for Tony Adams for what he has achieved in conquering his own demons and setting up his institute to help others.

    1. Sue says:

      The guy’s a legend

  5. Liam says:

    Don’t get all the hate directed at Per, he once had a formidable partnership with Kos that unfortunately was broken up through injury, it’s not his fault Wenger preferred playing a high back line that just exploited his weaknesses, even Terry looked average when asked to play in the high line defence. It’s sort of like playing Giroud in the Salah role because he’s a forward

  6. valentine chitiya says:

    we need changes at the back

  7. Break-on-through says:

    People who think Mert was a poor defender haven’t got a clue. People who look at other teams defenders and say wow look at him he’d do much better, they haven’t got a clue. If Mert was playing in a well drilled back-line, with everyone doing their jobs would see that this guy is immense. When you see top defenders in other teams, it is because they have the teammates doing their jobs. I have to laugh when Merse or another, points at a Burnley defender or someone at a similar club, and say that is who Arsenal need he would not mess around back there. Idiot …it’s Arsenal he’d be playing for so he would have no cover, fans all on his back, pressure of expecting to be the best or at least run with the best. Mert is a master at positioning, the guy is seriously good at reading the signs. Players rarely ever take him on in duels, but he has got a weakness though the main reason that it shows …is because we are The Arsenal and we like to entertain.

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      I respect Per Mertesacher as a CB and footballer, my concern was only his anxiety issues which may have impacted on his coaching.

  8. Midkemma says:

    Per was a fantastic CB, when he and Kos was on form and had a CM that actually aided in defending then we went on good runs, his physical capabilities was becoming an issue though and he seen that himself.

    Intelligent enough to know he wasn’t good enough to start, I do believe he would have retired 12 months ago if Wenger could have gotten a replacement but as we couldn’t then he stayed as depth.

    As for his anxiety issues, you think he is the only footballer to have had them? He was BRAVE enough to speak out about it and that courage will help our kids overcome mental boundaries, being able to confront issues will help the kids grow. No need to hate on him for being brave.

    1. Ken 1945 says:

      Unfortunately some on here ridiculed the man for being honest.
      Some are still doing it now, just don’t get it at all!?!?!?

  9. Ozziegunner says:

    Midkemma, “hate” is a very strong emotive word.
    My original post was to initiate discussion, which it has done. A lot of people, including footballers have mental issues. As you have rightly pointed out, people have to face up to their issues and seek assistance from others for guidance and mentoring. The great Tony Adams is an example I quoted above. The greatest footballer I have seen play for the Arsenal, Dennis Bergkamp, “the non flying Dutchman” for his fear of flying will probably have his managerial prospects limited because of his phobia.

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