Saturday, December 10, 2022

Arteta: Mertesacker most underrated Arsenal star

Mikel Arteta has pinpointed Per Mertesacker as the most underrated member of the Arsenal squad and admitted it would be a ‘magnificent’ boost to the Gunners’ chances of qualifying for the Champions League if they were to beat Spurs at the beginning of March.

Answering questions posed by Arseblog readers on the set of a photo shoot for his new PUMA King boots, the Spanish midfielder revealed his admiration for his German teammate’s work ethic.

“Obviously the likes of Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla are more in the headlines because of the style of football they play.

“Perhaps Per Mertesacker [is underrated] because people think he looks tall and slow, but he’s a very intelligent player, clever and always trying to help his teammates.

“He’s always training hard and keeping up the good work. I think he’s much better than people think.”

Looking ahead to a tough few weeks in the Premier League, Arteta also spoke passionately about emulating recent results over Spurs, knowing the showdown at White Hart Lane in ten days time could prove a decisive turning point in the quest for a top four spot.

“If we can repeat that it would be magnificent,” said the 30-year-old of the two 5-2 victories at the Emirates.

“It’s going to be a big game [on 3 March] because obviously if we win we get really close to them, but if they do it seven points is going to be tough to do from here until the end of the season.”


To watch the full interview with Mikel Arteta, in which our handsome vice-captain talks embarrassing moments, passionate derbies, Wenger-Moyes comparisons, the secret to his hair and more, keep an eye on Arseblog today.

Related articles



newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
robbie kahlow

Well said teflon hair. We need to sign an international CB to play alongside him. Verm not good enough and Kos is petulant


You don’t know what you talking about mate. Vermalen is a world class player. Kosh is not far behind. They just need to get their form back like others in the team and be more consistant. I like them because they attack the ball and pressure the opposing teams players in the box and dont stand back.

Form is temporary but Class is permenant !!!!!


Vermalen is a liability and Kos needs taught how to defend a set-piece properly. He worries too much about the man and not the ball. Neither of them are good enough to win a trophy and our keeper is worse again… Thank god we have Mert fit otherwise we’d already be fucked in the league.


Koscielny is miles ahead of Vermaelen, and is better than Mert IMO. Vermaelen is the biggest problem player at the club because his captaincy makes him undroppable when really he should be behind the other 2 defenders. Only Kompany was clearly better than Koscielny in the PL last season but this year he hasn’t had too many first team opportunities.


I’m not in agreement with him. Kos is the only CB with potential for me. He could be a star if Wenger and co did some defensive drills.
Mert had some very decent matches in the earlier phase but I’m not a fan. Neither of Tommy, especially as a captain.


All of them have been very unreliable this season. On paper they should be world-class. In reality very sub-par & they’ve cost us points & games. I’ve said it before, Verm is the first captain at Arsenal in recent times who isnt at the peak of his career.

Nacho Vermertesagna

Mertesacker has had a few dodgy moments in recent games, but for me he’s definitely been our best defender this season. Vermaelen’s form has been poor all season and Kos has been pretty hit or miss, but I thought Mertesacker was very consistent from August – December.


Tommy as a defender is a little bit dodgy. I still feel he should be moved into defensive midfield position. He’s too reckless for CB and doesn’t have enough wing attack sense.


Mertesacker is good very good , his weakness the lack of speed is obvious but doesn’t disqualify him from being one of the best CB’s in the business because he reads the game good, John terry the vilest of vile cunts has the speed of a turtle( and the morals of a zombie ,a rapy one) but still was really good at defending. Mertesacker perhaps is not as dominant in the air as one would expect , but he does really well for me what he needs to do more is throw his weight about or build more muscle or… Read more »


You know what makes good?
Strength. Physical and mental.
Per has none. He’s weak. Slow. Shaky. Shit!!!
Sorry for my language but, I’m very disappointed at what he turned out, when we finally signed him up after all the hype and build up for a couple of years.


Terry wasn’t a top defender in the early days, far from it. He had Carvalho alongside him, Makelele in front of him, and Gallas playing almost as a sweeper (from a LB position) to cover behind him. He wasn’t *bad* exactly but his performances for England at the time really showed that he wasn’t all that good either. He’s certainly improved over the years, but he’s not anything special and Koscielny is a far better individual defender, although not without his weaknesses either. The difference is that Terry has always played in a side that covers defensive positions, whereas at… Read more »


Lol. I feel like abusing you.
Verm is the best we have. N kos prolly at least ok.
Per is total shit. Are you german or something?

Dr Baptiste

From your reply above regarding Terry, it almost seems like you’re a Chelsea fan. You’ve done nothing to convince me otherwise with this comment.


Why do you write ‘something’ in full and then ‘and’ as ‘N’?
Why not:

Lol, I feel like abusin U.
Verm is the best we hav. N Kos prolly at least ok.
Per is total shit. R U german or sutin?

Or, why not just write like a grown up for the whole three lines?


I agree that Per is definitely undervalued. Our whole defense has had a poor season, but Per has been the most reliable of the bunch. I believe Kos has potential and needs to keep working hard. Vermaelen for me has been a liability and has been directly responsible for costing us a number of very important goals. I’d be interested to see how many points he has cost us from stupid fouls or being out of position and not marking his man. Love the guy, but I do think it was a mistake making him captain. It should be Arteta… Read more »


Squid? Or are talking about players only,


I think Arteta is right. Mertesacker is a good defender but lacks consistency and
self belief. He sometimes lacks ergency as well in closing down space behind him. Needs to improve and I’m sure he can



Mertesacker is a very consistent player, but he has weaknesses that are sometimes exposed. Nothing to do wiht personal consistency, it just depends on the opposition.

Sack the board

I’ve heard he’s got a massive slong.

They call him Par 5 he’s so long


“blah, blah, blah…the secret to his hair…blah, blah, blah…”

You know that’s what we want…don’t be a tease.


Lets stop talking shit mikel. Just do it on the pitch and get the job done.

Merlin's Panini

erm… he was asked the questions at a media event questions and answer session. What is he meant to do? Kick a football at them?
I agree that some of our players should shut up sometimes, but there are occasions where they kind of have to talk!


NO THERE AREN’T! There is literally no situation where better pressing of the opponents, tighter man marking and more shots on goal aren’t the answer. I’m annoyed that Arteta isn’t even wearing his kit in the picture. How are you going to score from the conference room if you aren’t in your kit, Mikel?


I would say that picking his kids up from school, for example, is just one of many situations when pressing of the opponents, tighter man marking and more shots on goal aren’t the answer.

Going for a poo would be another one (although some pressing is required, from time to time).

People need to chill the fuck out, the bad results aren’t happening because players say things and use words.


I don’t know what’s happened to TV… i wonder whether that Barca talk turned his head, he’s just not the player he was… the captaincy hasn’t helped him either strangely enough. Mertesacker has a habit of giving the ball away, which is a real problem in our style of play, it puts us on the back foot in the worst possible position… and he’s remarkably shit in the air for such a tall guy… he seems to get out jumped by players half his size… positionally he’s v good but I’m not a fan… for me, Kos is our best,… Read more »

Dave Gooner

I think you have something there Jimi – TV5’s form dipped off dramatically when he was made captain. I think that responsibility has affected him – being captain at Arsenal is no small thing. But who do you make captain in his place? If it were my choice it would be Bacary Sagna. He has been an outstanding servant of the club, with a consistently high standard throughout his career. He also has the gravitas needed to encourage some of the guys who are a bit low, and tell others (yes, I do mean you Theo…) when to button it.… Read more »


I reckon it could be a physical issue with TV… he’s looked half a second off the pace a lot of the time. It might not only be a concentration thing but actually a not fully recovered from injuries thing


I was impressed by Mertesacker as a defender when he was playing for Germany in WC 2010. I felt he read the game well and knew how to deal with situations. I was pleased when he signed for us. But he is nowhere near his usual self playing for us than when he is playing for Germany. We have a defence line up that changes with every match; I wonder, if we had a settled and consistent defence line up, would it help his confidence and composure. I too feel he is underrated; as is anyone who goes about their… Read more »


Mertesacker no longer gets in the german team…..Badstuber and Hummels start…..the reason coz Merts isnt good enough…..

Cyril Washbrook

Wrong, Jayjay.

(1) Mertesacker has played five international games this season, all of them in the starting eleven and for the full 90 minutes. He has started in each of Germany’s last four games.

(2) Even if Mertesacker weren’t starting games, this would probably reflect the skill of Hummels and Badstuber – indisputably two of the best young defenders in the world – more than anything else. Given that Joachim Löw has a huge array of talent at his disposal, it’s not exactly a disgrace to be outside the starting eleven.


No he isn’t shit. Our defensive play is.


@JayJay Please get the facts correct before jumping in to contradict.

If a player is doing well and is first choice for his national side but fails in the club, logically the club’s system does not bring the best out in him. Do not blame the player, blame the system.


Your both wrong how many key games did Mertesacker play in the euros…..none…..why because Badstuber was fit…….he has only been picked in the most recent german games because Badstuber is injured, hence why he didnt play against us against the other day.

Mertesacker IS NOT first choice

Its like saying Englands first choice centre back is Smalling because he played most recently….


@ jayjay, Mert did not play in Euro because he was injured against Sunderland, did you forget what happened to him in that “Stadium of Cow” pitch. The only time he played before the competition was a friendly. He wasn’t match fit. Check your facts.
We’ve had so many defenders in recent times, all of them have not been playing to their best. We need to adjust our system. The guys are not that terrible.


I think he means ‘headlines’, not ‘headlights’!




Maybe I would not underrate him if he didn’t make such mistakes like standing 5m behind Mandzukic when a perfect cross is coming in from Lahm, at the CL, at 0-2, at home. Absolutely unforgivable mistake, the best header in Europe this season is allowed a free header.


Actually he was left in a bit of a shit situation. Basically left two on one with two men in the box, as Kos was out of position at the near post zone). So Mert did the best in a bad situation – covered the zone in which the ball could be played, instead of gambling and man marking one guy and leaving the other completely free. Frankly, when have you ever seen this been the case when we attack? Do we ever have a 2 on 1 in the opponents box? No because there’s this thing called cover, as… Read more »


@ Bob
Quoting from your comment:
“With sensible overall team play, we would have much less where players have to improvise in defence and more of a solid look as players (who are generally quality defenders one-on-one) can stick to doing their jobs well.”

Absolutely correct. Totally agree.
Its easy to point the finger at one player, where the problem was in the wider team play.


as professionals these players should shut up when we are disappointed in them.a lot of bollocks they’re saying.Cunts


yes, I learned in school that when I got bad marks the best thing to do was hide them and pretend nothing bad had happened. definitely nothing mature about facing up to facts and showing your face.

and it’s not like he has a twitter where he’s saying this stuff, he had a pre-planned interview and he had to do it. or would you rather he had just sat there in silence while the interviewer kept trying to ask him questions?

I find it a bit funny that you’re saying all thix BS when your screen name is ‘classy’ gooner


We need a manager who doesn’t play high defensive line when Mertesacker is playing or a manager who is not programmed to introduce substitutes in the 70th minute


What’s wrong with 70th minute substitutes?


Nothing is wrong with 70th min subs, in particular. But if the substitution plan is always the same irregardless of the circumstances, it indicates a lack of tactical flexibility or options on the bunch.

Perhaps it used to be that the team’s quality was such that teams would always have to respond to Arsenal’s game plan, instead of the other way round. Nowadays, that’s not something the team can rely on.


Im sorry but Mertesacker is not an ideal Arsenal centre back. Never will, never has been. Get me hummels, Ogbonna. Ship any of between verm/Mertesacker.


Who the fuck is Ogbonna? A quick google search says he was in the Italian second division last season. Is that why you want him? It also says he’s been “linked” with us. Which just means he’s one of those names picked at random by the sorry excuse for newspapers we’ve got here. Ah, that explains why you want him. So what, are you an avid Serie A fan and have been impressed by his performances? Or did you sign him on Football Manager and expect Arsene to sign someone because of a video-game? ffs if you’re not going to… Read more »


He’s a beast in Fifa 13, one of the best defenders in the game. But that’s just it, its a fucking game! I wish people would take their cues from reality more 🙁 Side note, Lily I find my self constantly thumbing up your posts! Certainly a voice of calm in what can be a shitstorm of a comment section 🙂


haha. On FIFA Gervinho is unstoppable and Walcott’s easily the best central striker in England. Doesn’t quite click with reality, that.


Yeah sure. Ogbonna is a beast for Torino and right now our defence needs some of that. The soft goals we’re letting in are really embarrasing. Suee we got some great defenders but do they put their absolute all in defending? (mert vs kroos in the UCL) Sagna &kos maybe and thats it. The rest are just there to form a back four. That’s where Ogbonna comes in.


“FIFA 13. It’s football, but in a different Universe. Buy now. 49.99 from all good retailers.”


I felt that Samba would have been a good choice a couple of years back….

Merlin's Panini

yes we shud buy Samba his tall.


We’ve conceded goals of late that have been entirely his fault. Making henderson looking like messi, allowing van buyten a free header…among many others. So as much as he’s underrated, he also has his flaws.

I’d like a shake up in defence in the summer either of mert/verm/kos should be hooked and better coaching of defence plus motivate them to play like Warriors for this our club!


Didn’t know van Buyten scored against us…

As much as I like our “established” centre-backs I have to admit at least one quality addition would have been a good idea.


I dont fancy us on March 3rd at all…… Without going in depth Spurs are going to be looking for revenge and have a strong backbone this year highlighted by the win against Lyon and the Utd result, I have come to terms with this year being the year that we dont make top 4 now. In a way I want it to happen so that changes are made because I am sick of the same crap every year As for Artetas comments he must be having a laugh, Mertesacker is complete dross, an embarassing defender and not the type… Read more »


Hahaha Adams – mobile quick??? have you ever watched him play?

Think about it....

Does being good at interceptions not make him positionally strong…..


I like Per yet everyone is moaning about TV5 now a couple of weeks ago Kos was destroyed by you lot.Know Kos is World class.A world class payer spotted by Wenger in Ligue 2.but Wenger is awful now

You can’t win!



Koscielny can be very good, but he’s not world class. On form, he is fast, an excellent tackler and makes some good interceptions. When the opposition fields small technical forwards and plays the ball on the ground he is generally a great defender. His weaknesses are the physical and aerial aspects of the game. He could be a little stronger and taller (although Sagna is an example of a shorter guy being good in the air, I guess white men can’t jump). He is also capable of the occasional inexplicable mistake and not a player you can rely on to… Read more »

I want my Arsenal back!

Sorry but all 3 are shit! (dont hate, just saying)


I think you’re shit (don’t hate, just saying) 😉

I want my Arsenal back!

Your mum was shit!

Johnny Jensen's Bender



Most of the defence are very good. In my opinion, it’s the ‘wingers’ that aren’t doing enough to protect the full backs. Say what you want about TV5 playing LB against Bayern Munich, he doesn’t stand a chance when he is left 3 on 1.


ah shut up and less of the ass slaping. up your own game and leave the crtique to us


oh, it’s ‘critique’ now, is it? are you a connoisseur of defensive strategy and players?


It’s Patrick fucking Vieira mate. Of course he’s a connoisseur.


I believe Mertesacker= Crouch……….I believe they are the same person, I have never seen them on the pitch together at the same time so they must be the same player,,,,,they are both crap in the air, no power, no pace, no brain, no footballing ability, just tall and blonde with ugly faces….I reckon Crouchie is having a laugh and plays upfront for Stoke on Saturdays and in defence with Arsenal on Sundays…..I cant believe I am the first to spot it!!!


OK arteta, he may be nice and a good presence in the dressing room.
But we need someone who can play, stand his ground and bully the attackers. That needs guts. We need guts.


N one thing I’m sure everyone agrees.
Ver’s form has dipped with captaincy. He doesn’t have that personality or whatever.
Jacky’s ready to take over next season. Cesc was captain quite early in his career. Did a decent job.
N I’m very hopeful ver can go back to being what he be-es best – The verminator!!!


I agree about Verm not being an outstanding captain, but I’d rather have Arteta be captain that Jack. At least for now that is. Jack’s 19, 20 (?) at the moment, that’s way too soon to be giving him the captain’s armband. Cesc was Cesc, and he was able to deal with the pressure at a young age. How do we know putting all the ridiculous expectations that come with being captain on Wilshere won’t mean a dip in his form?


Jack is 21, Adams was made captain at 21 .


The rules of cb are simple.
Strength. Composure.
N we haven’t had one decent pairing in the past few years. Vermaelen comes close. But, cbs work in pairs. And with the amount of confidence ver has lost in the past couple of years, with an added burden of captaincy, we’ll have buy someone absolute top quality. Top top quality who’ll handle most of the pressure the cbs have to deal with. N hopefully, ver gets stronger with every clean sheet kept.

Merlin's Panini

Why did you call yourself Michu?
I can’t take anything you say seriously.


Because he keeps producing cheap shots?


Because he keeps producing cheap shots?



Guess I’ll comment from a different account n see if the response varies. But I do honestly think the cbs we have are shit. N ver’s form has continued to dip. I would like strong and composed characters. Someone with the mentality of wilshere, and strong enough. Cbs naturally don’t require a lot of pace. Just good strength, good in the air and composure, tons of that. A very good belgian comes to my mind. No, not vermaelen. Kompany. Vincent Kompany. Now does that make me sound like a city fan? I watch lots of football. N anyone who watches… Read more »


N may be now I sound like an indian. Lol.


What’s with the “N” ‘s? Are you trying to piss me off?….well okay you just did!


Mertesacker has great positional awareness. Vermaelan is comfortable on the ball and can drive us forward from the back. Koscielney is magnificent in the sprint and tackle. With their powers combined… …we still have a group of midfielders / attackers who too often let second runners get ahead of them / don’t close down crosses / don’t close down the opposition in the middle third. Specific to Per, though, I like him. He’s a great offset to TV / Kos who like to drive into their mark, a bit like full backs (and sometimes, therefore, get turned too easily). All… Read more »


A win here and there, and all you foul-mouthed people here will say Per is the best defender ever. A lot of us here are blown by the wind. If you can’t say something good about a player that plays for your club, just STFU. We already know their shortcomings.

Does insulting our players restore pride to the Emirates faithful? Guess not. It’s hard, but I’ll still scream ‘C O Y G’!


Did he say underrated? I’d say underperforming at present.

Fuck yids!

Reading all the comments it seems barely any gooners opinion is shared. Such petulance amongst us all. Any opinion is met with contemptuous disdain and a heap of thumbs down. The fans are in as much disarray as the team. Bad times for AFC :'(


Most error prone defender IMO is Vermaelen. He’s been nothing but shit this season.

[…] Read More Here: Arteta: Mertesacker most underrated Arsenal star […]


He does get a ridiculous amount of stick of the media. Which I can only guess cos hes German

The Lube

Come on. Everyone criticising our defenders need to realise that football is a team sport. It can’t always be the fault of the defenders. Where’s the pressing from the forwards? Where’s the assistance from the midfield players? People need to realise that if a team decides to neglect their defensive side of the game they’re going to pay for it, sooner or later. Point here is that our defence is feeling the pressure of our offensive play. Because of this,I refuse to believe that we have bad defenders (except Squillaci)


Just change the fucking formation to 3-5-2 against Bayern in the 2nd leg and let all 3 prove that they are worth their weight in gold!

Our chances in CL was pretty much over as soon as the draw was made in December, so go for an all out attack in Munich. Worst case scenario: loose and getting officially knocked out, best case scenario: win and instill some much needed confidence which we all agree is the only lacking attribute!


Our defence is shit. The midfield don’t protect them…and they clearly dont have any defensive coaching.


Our defense struggles because we never….EVER have a set back four for a 5-10 games. Injuries and defensive cover from midfield also plays a part, as does coaching. For me our beat back four when in form is Gibbs, Verm, Kos and Sagna. The centrebacks aee balanced(Right foot and left foot), they are pacey and can borh leap (alot) higher than Mert. I know mert has the best mental attributes, but that is learnt through playing and developing partnerships and understandings with GK and fullbacks. IMO, to help the defense 4 things need to happen 1. Give Jack the Captaincy… Read more »


No listen carefully what I’m going to say, All 3 are good center backs and all 3 had individual weakness like every other center back in the world, and every center back now and then can make a mistake, but if you arsenal fans are so blind to see that the problem is not wit per or verm or kos or the hole defense the problem is we have no defensive midfielder no one to cover the back four no protection and when we are expose to counter attack verm and per are let to deal with that alone usually… Read more »

[…] 来源:[Arseblog News] […]


I like all our centre backs but they all have their weaknesses, but they also have their own defensive skills as well: Mertesacker is a little slow however to me he looks a little more athletic than when he first came Verm has an urge to win every ball within 20 yards of him which means he gets pulled out of position to often, something that he clearly hasn’t been told or coached to stop. Kos is weak, which again is bad coaching because everybody can go to the gym and put on a couple of kgs of muscle, which… Read more »


“Kos is weak”

Said the blind one,


Blind, explain?


Kos is mentally weak.
Per physically as well.


Yea, the coaching must be shit.
Cos the scouts can’t really fuck over so many times.


@john. Or like putting walcott up front and just hoofing it like bayern!


Exactly, i was going to say that but thought that Messi highlighted the point a little better!!

Yao Kouassi

What you mean ‘Gervinho’s definetly nooo’ Mikel?
Cheap shot mon ami, cheap shot!


As a footballer Arsene Wenger played in the French amateur leagues. Gained Managers ticket in 1981. aged 32. AS Nancy Three seasons. No Premierships. Nancy relegated. Sacked in 1987. AS Monaco Seven seasons. One premiership. One French Cup. Departure from the club by mutual consent in 1994. Briefly coached Japanese J. League . Joined Arsenal 1996 – 2013. Seventeen seasons . Three premierships. Four FA cups. One League cup. Twenty nine years in Management. Four premierships. Six domestic trophies. Aston Villa. Chelsea 72 games 35 goals signed £5000 lol. 1 October 1966 Arsenal. He was Arsenal’s top scorer in both… Read more »


The second set of statistics are for George Graham.
Arsenal manager for eight years.
Graham was as successful as Wenger probably more successful.
George was successful for a few years and Arsene
was successful for a few years.
Then they both went off the boil. It happens.
My point is that there is no need to fear change
George and Arsene show that managers are out there.
There is no reason on the plantet to believe the next manager won’t be as successful even more so.
Arsene has had a fair go its time to move this club forward.


Mert has had his fair share of poor games but he certainly hasnt been our worst defender this season. He started the season pretty well but has gone off the boil in recent times just like the rest of them. How many of you remember the games in which Vermaelen and Koscielny started and inadvertently ended up fucking up? (Chelsea Home, Man City Home, Blackburn Home, etc.)
Vermaelen and Koscielny are too alike to play together. They have a knack of charging up the field to knick the ball away which doesnt come off always leaving the fullbacks exposed.


For me, Mert is our best CB because he has different qualities to Verm and Kos and I believe he is smarter than them in his reading of the game. Unfortunately, BFG has been a bit shit recently. I’m hoping it’s just a bad patch as I do think that him and either of the other two are our best CB pairing. I would like BFG to take a few more chances and try to distribute the ball forwards rather than constantly backwards or sideways. He’s smart enough to pick out a good pass but seems to chicken shit to… Read more »


Mert is an extremely good centre back, so is Verm, but Mert and Kos together is simply a better combination, remember its not always a case of the best player plays, its the best result that count and so the best collective defence is needed, and in this the combination of all 4 defenders is more important that some stat that favours 1 more than the other in individual performance. In addition to this Verm’s ability at left back makes the combination of Kos and Mert more attractive as should an injury occur your able to put an entirely fresh… Read more »

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x