Arsenal: Per Mertesacker- The Big German Finally Proving the Doubters Wrong


On the 31st of August 2011, Arsenal fans were intruiged and excited by the signing of German international Per Mertesacker. Arsenal had been craving a commanding centre-half for about a year, and it seemed that Mertesacker’s presence would do a lot for the Gooners’ future.

Many, who hadn’t seen him play before, expected a different style of play from him. He found it hard to settle in to the Premier League, and had a very shaky first season. His doubters came serging in saying Wenger had messed up by signing an injury-hit, slow defender.

Many Gooners, including myself, kept faith in the big German. I for one could see his potential – He understood the game tremendously well, was a great tackler and his experienced would prove to help our back four a lot.

Times went on. Mertesacker was mistake-prone, after being at fault for John Terry’s goal against Arsenal, and Morisson’s for Norwich. Only disciplined, clever Gooners could see that he was sure to come good. After his shaky start, though, the 27-year-old started to play well and settle in, until he was injured against Sunderland.

This season, Arsenal fans panicked. The man in the centre of attention, as well as the back four, had to start Arsenal’s games, as their best defender from the previous season, Laurent Koscielny, was ruled out with injury. He proved critics wrong, being one of Arsenal’s most inspired defenders, and while Mertesacker picked up his form, Arsenal’s defense was vastly improved, keeping three clean-sheets from three.

Mertesacker shone amazingly yesterday, though, in an Arsenal 2-0 win at Anfield. Liverpool fans boasted, “Suárez is going to rip Mertesacker apart!” They said. As they hoped, the hated Uruguayan striker targetted Mertesacker, and throughout the 90 minutes, tried all his famous tricks on him. None of which came off. Mertesacker played like a central defender who knew the Premier League better than the back of his hand! Positionally sound, tackling well, handling the most tricky striker in the Premier League astonishingly!

Arséne Wenger now faces the hard, but lovely problem about who to play in centre-back. Koscielny, Arsenal’s best defender last season?! Captain Vermaelen?! Or in-form Per. From needing a centre-back badly, Arsenal now have three world-class centre-backs. A reliable source on Twitter says that Arsenal will rotate, like rivals Manchester United. I’m happy with that.

If one season is all it took for Mertesacker to settle in and turn good, imagine how good he’ll be as time goes on! He lacks confidence. Us fans (especially match-day regulars) need to get behind him to regain it for him. And yes, he lacks pace, and a lot of it. But with perfect positioning, pace isn’t as important as normal. Also, the pace of his centre-back partner, Koscielny or Vermaelen will make up- Both who are very quick and pacey.

Get behind this lad. Come on you Gunners.


Written by Deano Spyrou

Follow him on Twitter @DeanoAFC44

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  1. davi

    September 3, 2012 at 13:43

    In recent seasons, the defence has been encouraged to push up, and it’s left space for attackers to exploit. These tactics will expose even the best defenders at times, and particularly relatively slow defenders like Mertesacker.
    So far this season the defence has played deeper and the midfield is well balanced (massive contribution from Arteta in that respect), and it’s providing ideal conditions for all of our defenders to shine.
    The same is happening for Jenkinson – he’s getting decent protection now, and isn’t getting exposed, so his natural defensive ability is starting to show. I think even the much maligned Squillaci will look more comfortable if he is needed to come in – he was never a bad defender before he joined Arsenal.
    This isn’t to say Mertesacker that hasn’t done well, it’s just that we’re setting ourselves up to favour our defenders, and his true ability is coming through.
    Bould is clearly having a big effect on the side. The players have a game plan for defending corners and everybody looks comfortable with their jobs.

  2. kim

    September 3, 2012 at 14:38

    Arsenal funs are frustrated about the long absence on the podium.
    Very many i know who think the same about Per. I am not one of them.
    I think this guy is a gem and he will shine. The tackles he makes are seriously and deadly timed.Ask Galas and Djorou who are far quicker than him, or even Squid.
    He made the rugby players in stoke and a crouch look light. With either Vermalen or Kosher, no team is going to intimidate us this season.Our best defender in 2012-2011 is a number four choice.
    PER IS A GREAT DEFENDER.Believe me……. or weit and see

  3. Richard Bundu

    September 3, 2012 at 15:21

    yes sir I agree with all the moment made about Arsenal this term. It,s perfectly true on team will eliminate us this term around the entire square is playing well for us and I believe it will rely turf for other teams this time.

  4. Bilyaminu Tambuwal

    September 3, 2012 at 15:36

    Incredible Martersaker, Your performance was Excellent against Liiverpool, we hope you will keep it up, Up Gunners!

  5. Heartland

    September 3, 2012 at 16:55

    Hey, I have never doubted Per. He is world class and the club would be seeing the best of him soon. This year’s EPL final result would be different from what we have been witnessing. Watch out for Gunners, it will surely happen. Guners for life.

  6. STEVE.

    September 3, 2012 at 17:02


  7. gunnerio

    September 3, 2012 at 19:29

    He spoke about the team and club with pride today. Can’t say that about that guy who left.