Why BFG has new Arsenal contract AND captaincy

I am sure that I was not the only Arsenal fan left scratching my head and wondering whether Arsene Wenger had lost his when the Frenchman decided to give the captain’s armband to our German defender Per Mertesacker in the summer. Not because he lacked the right skills, because the World Cup winner is vastly experienced and appears to be a natural leader, but because the Arsenal captaincy had become something of an issue with the former incumbent Mikel Arteta hardly being seen in the first team after being given it.

So with the former German international set for a long injury lay-off it seemed an odd choice for me and as we reported here at Just Arsenal earlier in the week it has now been almost two years since we started a game with the club captain in the side.

The boss clearly has great faith in the cntre back, though, highlighted once again by the decision to take up the option of extending his contract for another year before he has even returned to fitness, as reported by the Evening Standard.

Wenger said of the deal, “He has an option that we have taken. There was no negotiation, just an option that we have taken.

“With the number of games we have, it’s important we have all our experienced players back. Everybody is focused to do well — we are going into the moment of truth now, January until May.

“There are five months to go and ideally you want all your players with big experience back in the squad.”

But we did not have to give the BFG a new contract to keep him in the squad for this season so it is clear that Wenger values him highly and not just for his experience and defensive ability. Perhaps a report on the Arsenal website throws light onto the subject, because the player who has replaced him the side during the injury problem, Shkodran Mustafi, has revealed that Mertesacker has been a big help to him since he came to north London in the summer.

Mustafi said, “Per helped me a lot. When I had just arrived, having a person at the club with so much experience and with the personality he has helped me a lot.

“He helps me on the pitch because when he sees things, he corrected me a few times. He’s not just the type of player who says, ‘You didn’t do that well enough’ or, ‘You have to do it this way’, he tells you why.

“In the short time that I worked with him in the national team, I learned a lot from him.”

Is that why Wenger not only gave the big guy the Arsenal captaincy but also at least one more year at the club?



  1. John Legend says:

    He should stay as a tutor then, He will be most efficient and useful that way. He appears to see things from the sidelines, he could help Chambers as well when he returns next season.

  2. Wonder says:

    Wenger lacks that ruthlessness needed to be successful at Arsenal. We have Holding , Gabriel and Chambers as backups, why on hell will he need Martesacker? We have too many deadwood. We have too many average players on good salaries…That is why we cant dispose Jenkinson

    1. bigperf says:

      Since when can we not get rid of Jenkins on? As far as I know he has to decide if he wants to go to palace or not. Talking garbage mate

  3. Ronny331 says:

    Worst news I’ve heard today. He should be kept on as a mentor/coach etc. As i understand hes vocal abd is looke up to but please please keep him off the pitch. He was a liability before what’s he going to be like after such a long lay off! 🙁

  4. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Mertsacker is a good experienced, world cup winning CB

    He and Koscielny were years best CB pairing in the PL for two seasons

    He can’t play every game. Mustafi and Koscielny are our main pair now. BUT for the odd match here and there when one doesn’t play I would chose Mertsacker over holding, Gabs and Chambers any day.

  5. legend Henry says:

    metesacker, ramsey ,Ox ,elneny,gibbs …… need to be sold. wenger need to be sacked

  6. Onochie says:

    Can someone tell me one match or against which team that Per can play for Arsenal. We should take note that his lack of pace,physicality and agility is not good for any team in the EPL. Which CB is as slow as BFG? Someone should tell me. He should take a back room role in the club.

  7. proffetic says:

    This latest Wenger decision is yet another example of his slide down the banister of his own insanity. For the first time in years we have strength at the centre of our defense with players with pace who can hold a high line. Chambers, out on loan has been getting better and better at Boro. Perfect opportunity to say thanks but no thanks to Mertesacker. No Mr Wenger decides to offer him another year, which will cost the club at least 5 million quid. Now I wonder what will happen to Holding, Gabriel and Chambers. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s a poor decision made by a man who should be long gone himself.

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