Wednesday, December 1, 2021

BFG talks up his ‘special relationship’ with Wenger

Per Mertesacker says he has a ‘special relationship’ with Arsene Wenger claiming that even in the darkest hours of his tough first year at Arsenal he knew he could count on the Frenchman’s backing.

Rewarded with the club’s vice captaincy this summer and a having signed a new contract in March that keeps him at the Emirates until 2017, the World Cup winner has consolidated his credentials as one of the Gunners most influential personalities.

Recently retired from international duty to focus on his club career, the 29-year-old told Sport Bild (translated by ESPN.co.uk) that he owes a great deal to both the club and his manager.

“I owe a lot to the club after they have given me such a lengthy contract extension. It shows how satisfied Arsene Wenger is with me. Usually, he’d only hand one-year-deals to 30-year-olds, but my contract runs until 2017, and I’ll be nearly 33 then.

“As a player you always want to play a part in the dressing room,” he continued. “But it’s not that easy, as I learned during my first season. In England it’s easy to get caught in the line for fire when you commit mistakes. When rumours came up that I would not make it at Arsenal, I always knew that I would not be dropped.

“Arsene Wenger placed his trust in me right from the beginning and always stood by me. He always said: ‘You’ll make it!’ We have a special relationship, and that developed even further when I was named vice-captain. It’s been three years since my transfer, but it’s not common that you win his trust that fast.

“Back then, it was a huge step for me. It feels like a second life: Language, culture, a new sporting challenge. I’ve become a new person through the transfer.”

Mertesacker also tipped his German compatriots Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski to shine for the Gunners this season before revealing boss Wenger has a new fire in his belly after May’s FA Cup triumph.

“Mesut is an incredibly good footballer; a steady source of unrest for opponents. He’ll continue to develop here, the Premier League hasn’t seen the best of him yet.

“We have many players who dribble and can carry the ball towards goal, but we have nobody like Poldi who can smash the ball into the top corner from 25 metres.

“After our FA Cup win in May — our first title in nine years — Wenger’s become even hungrier to build something here, and set the pace with Arsenal.

“He’s an institution, and has built up so much. That’s why the club is sitting pretty. And through extending his contract three-and-a-half months ago, he’s shown his critics that he can continue to develop a team.”

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Yoda's Sister

Big fuckin’ Germannnn…we’ve got a big fuckin’ German!

patrickstarr

two fuckin’ Germannnnnss… we’ve got two fuckin’ Germans!

charley

four actually just that you can’t count

Jay

Why would anybody dislike this comment?? Unless you are….

Oh fuck…

Rottenham Spuds

Jay

I was obviously referring to the Yoda’s sister comment.

Yoda's Sister

Also, just goes to show why he’s spoken of in revered terms among the gunners. He “gets” what it is to be a gooner and we love him for it.

bournegooner

Hungry Wenger. That sounds gooooood.

#MagicHat

Michael

Goooooooood, as in the way the Japanese guy says it in Kill Bill.

Subhankar

What a man

indrossi

I love how he’s picked up colloquialisms like ‘sitting pretty’. Am thinking about naming my new cat Purr Mertesacker out of respect.

Merkesacker

Mewkas Podolski

b1g3asy

Ryu Meowchi

b1g3asy

Ryo

phil

Meowkel Arteta

AC

Mewsut Ozil! I will take my coat!

Yacine

Little Meowzart?

Norwad

Paawron Ramsey

Tomas Casus

Theo Walcat

WengersNoseHair

Phwaron Ramsey

indrossi

These are all fucking genius. Take a (collective) bow, son(s).

My friend actually had a chicken he named Thierry Henry.

Scratch that

Mine’s got great assist stats passing me the yarn ball.

So I named her Mesut Pawzil

DukeNastyVI

The interview was translated to English by ESPN. I like Purr Mertesacker, though! And Per.

Gunnerkraut

i recently met two cats Özil (boy) and Mezulina (girl). Good cats.

remember the invincibles

Should we be worried that we have two 29 year old center halves and the only back is a 19 yo who doesn’t really know his best position yet?

Atletico Islington

We should be concerned about the lack of back-up and I think it’s fair to say that everyone is concerned, but you say 29 as if it’s very old for a centre-back; they both probably have at least 3 good seasons left in them

DöubleDöubleDöuble

For most centrebacks it’s that loss of pace that comes with age, which causes them to become less effective, and in Koscielny’s case he may only have about 3 seasons left at the top. However, with all due respect to the man, Per isn’t exactly known for his pace, so there is no real reason to suspect he couldn’t go on until his mid-30s and give us another 6 seasons. He could then hand over his captain’s armband, that he inherited from Arteta, to Ramsey. In turn Ramsey would relinquish the vice-captaincy to Chambers, just in time to hold aloft… Read more »

Dan

Thought the same, can Per really get slower? Though he will be even more aware of his situation.

Goonersaurus

BFG- Big F**king Gooner.
I really hope he retires with us.

gunnermite

cant remember the last time such a thing happened

Morbius

DB10

Rambozil

I love Per just as much as I love Le Prof and the Arsenal. Good times are here to stay. Let’s keep building on the cup and move back into the glory days! COYG!

gunneride

big f****g german…..BFG

WengersNoseHair

Good. Now let’s all have an orgy.

marc

Don’t do it – you’ll turn into a recluse after releasing you vital fluid – I mean it’s capable enough to give life so don’t waste it in futile beating the jabberwocky.

indrossi

Location? Time?

Perry S.

A/S/L?

Tenzo (Theo's secret lover.)

I personally was hoping that Per was going to get the nod as the captain. His ability to read the game as a centre half is just superb, his leadership qualities are apparent, and he clearly has the trust and respect of the players and Arsene. Mikel is a great captain as well though, so this shouldn’t be interpreted as me slamming him or anything, this is just about personal taste and preference. We’re spoilt for choice in terms of leaders on the pitch with Per, Laurent, Mikel, either Jack or Aaron, (for the future), and Theo (because I’m woefully… Read more »

Racerr

Mikel was made captain cuz Arsene didn’t want Per to leave anytime soon.

Tenzo (Theo's secret lover.)

I just cackled. Very loudly. The dogs started barking.

mike

Might as well name the whole squad captains, sounds good to me!

Racerr

Arsene is back and still no comment on Welbeck. Odd

indrossi

Press Conference tomorrow morning.

The Playmaker

I’m all for conspiracy theories, but I really don’t see Welbeck at such a crucial point in his career, signing without having any talks with Wenger about what his role in the team is going to be.

Nick

Things are fine and dandy until they go per shaped.

I’ll get my coat.

Man Manny

Not so sure about Poldi holding a starting berth. He has had two seasons to convince the manager which he hasn’t. With new additions, it will become more difficult for him. But I hope what he says about Ozil comes true. He is my favourite player after Rosicky. A firing Ozil, with the new pace in front of him, will bring down defences all on his own.

Goon

Respectful guy. This is why I love this club and manager. All very supportive of each other. He will make a good manager.

German Shepherd

I love Per, but he’s still a liability against pacey teams with how fucking slow he is. Competition from an experienced center back wouldn’t have hurt him but, alas

assistantref

People say this all the time but how often has Per actually gifted a team a goal because he was too slow? It’s not often. He’s slow but he knows he’s slow and he plays accordingly.

The real limitation is it limits who he can play with. He works so well with Kos because Kos can be the pacy one. But he wouldn’t work well with another big slow defender.

grannydanger

Not often, but a goal is enough to kill the game

Fanchez

Per is good enough to keep Arsenal best of the rest but not to lead them to league or champs cup glory. That’s my honest appraisal. To often he has been vulnerable . To achieve great things we need a mighty defence which we do not yet have.

Mickö

Can’t help love this guy and still people pick on him because of his pace… Well I say fuck you I love our BFG and what he lacks in pace he makes up for with pure quality 🙂

WengersNoseHair

And Go-Go-Gadget Legs.

armold4

Loads of promise and pace everywhere, a bit more strength in depth, just waiting for them all to click… Then watch out world
I would like to see Joel Campbell given a run, my gut tells me there is a rare gem to be discovered in matchplay

Yacine

Completely agree but I do think he’ll need a run of games before he can hit full steam. I hope he’ll get that chance. My guess is that Wenger is waiting to play him in the C.O. and F.A. cups and unless our forward line suffers a few consecutive injuries we probably won’t get to see much of him until then. Then maybe he can impress enough to play an important role in the second half of the season…

santori

This whole pace issue is over blown as per usual by press.

yes Per is not the quickest but he is far from plodding slow either. Some other Cbacks in the league have equal pace issues.

Per positions himself well and has revived his career with Arsene at the club.

santori

Apparently Arsene doesn’t know how to buy defenders. Like Kolo Toure (he was a midfielder), William Gallas, Sol Campbell.

Some nonsense about how he only won titles because of the Graham defense ignoring the invincibles were largely a defensive unit of Wenger’s creation.

Now Per and Koscielny and Chambers.

Wonder where the “Wenger doesn’t know how to construct a proper defense” crowd has gone to?

WengersNoseHair

“We have many players who dribble and can carry the ball towards goal, but we have nobody like Poldi who can smash the ball into the top corner from 25 metres.”

Exactly. Sometimes it’s all beautiful passing and dribbles and cute flicks, but sometimes you just need someone to say “fuck this shit, I’m having a shot”. And then smashing a hole in the back of the net.

Yacine

Ever notice how many players crumble to the pitch whenever he unleashes one of his missiles? If there ever was a player that embodied the cannon on our crest, I think we could do much worse than Lukas Podolski.

raozila

BFG As Captain makes me feel stable 🙂 I would rather have him as captin instead of vice though 🙂

Arsenalogy goonerist

So he says that Premier league hasnt seen the best of him. What could that possibly mean ? Three figure point ? Because we all know what happened in 03-04

UndercoverMancGooner

I’d keep him until he’s 35. Even if he’s not playing 55 games a season by then, he’s such an incredible leader.

Badaab

Sounds like someone is being groomed for a career in coaching following his retirement. Would love to see the BFG and Arteta join our coaching system, if for nothing else to teach the kids coming up how to behave like professionals.

Naija Gunner

…”Coz am Happyyyyy”

COYG.

Goonerestgooner

So Per and Wenger have a special relationship…..does that mean they’re “football friends”

Yacine

friends with football benefits

Tony Hall

We love ypu BFG 🙂

Steve Walford's grimace

What’s wrong with some people? There I was trolling some frankly brilliant cat versions of Arsenal players and someone has to go and spoil it by reminding us we’ve only got five fit defenders. It wouldn’t have happened under Cat Rice.

truj

Gonner till I die!

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