Monday, July 4, 2022

Mertesacker: Retirement might be an advantage

Per Mertesacker says he’s at peace with his decision to retire from international football and hopes it’ll prove a boon to his Arsenal career.

The 29-year-old called time on a decade with the German national team this summer after earning his 104th cap in the World Cup final as Joachim Loew’s side beat Argentina 1-0 to be crowned champions.

Speaking to the Arsenal official matchday programme ahead of Saturday’s draw with Manchester City, the BFG reflected:

“It’s a new experience for me not to be involved with Germany and feel the pressure that comes with playing international football. I was always pleased to be part of the team but now it’s a different situation and I’ll try to get the best out of it. It might be a big advantage for me.

“[My career] was a long journey. During my 10 years, there was always a big motivation to achieve something and we did that by winning the World Cup. We always performed well in major tournaments but fell just short. After winning the World Cup, it felt like the right time to retire so another generation could step up.

“There’s a lot of potential in Germany and I’m absolutely happy with that. I think it’s better for me to retire now and refresh myself during these international breaks.

“My family are happy and my parents too. They said it would be totally fine to retire because I won so many caps and was fortunate to be part of the team.

“I think I have to be grateful for these years and it was just a perfect finish. Straight after we found ourselves back in the dressing room, it was the biggest relief of my life to be part of that squad. It went absolutely perfectly and with that title in my arms, it felt even better to retire.”

Appointed vice-captain on his return to the Emirates, Mertesacker also touched on how having more spare time will allow him to further focus on life with the Gunners.

“It’s another step up. Last year when Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta were injured, I was stand-in captain for a few weeks and it was a good feeling to be involved and know that the manager felt it was my responsibility to step up.

“I’ll try to behave the same way and get the best out of myself and the team, while communicating what is important for us. I won’t change anything – that’s a promise.

“I’ll try to give everything. The international break has helped me to think about Arsenal even more.”

Given we’re down to the bare bones at centre-back you can’t help but feel grateful that Per has taken the decision to remove himself from the line of fire. With all the extra time on his hands perhaps he might find a way of cloning himself during the next Interlull…he seems like an intelligent chap, it can’t be that hard.

Two BFGs…can you imagine? That’d be a great pic next to Santi.

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Who’s the guy on the left? Does he play for Arsenal?

Atletico Islington

bit harsh


My favourite player in the team!

Down to the bare bones at the back now, we could at least to with some Mertescielny-Axis solidity…


Love the BFG, really do but I love Arsenal more & think we need a first choice CB that will take over from him. With the BFG’s severe lack of pace, we just don’t push the defensive line up to compress space when trying to win the ball back.
With the energy of Sanchez and Welbeck we now have personnel up top to pressure like Barca/Athletico/Bayern when without the ball. The BFG gets away with it against most of the league but the better teams exploit this weakness constantly.
Lowe figured it out – when will Wenger?


Could it be he has retired so that Wenger doesn’t get to see this “other side” of Mert that’s coming up NOW and has never been an issue for managers both of club and country through hundred plus caps? hmmh..


Yes, we need Mertscielny in tip top shape. A shame Koscielny doesn’t seem to be thinking of retiring from international football, which is a bit strange when you think about it. I mean, wouldn’t YOU retire from international football if you were being benched in favour of a useless clumsy clown like that Sakho guy? Koscielny should feel insulted!


I think since his game has absolutely nothing to do with pace, he could be a starter until he’s well in his mid thirties, while being our captain and hopefully having won 3 EPL trophies, 2 CLs, and 1 League Cup to collect them all.


One clone is all we ask

fresh prince

I want some Podolski tomorrow.

The Only Olivier is Giroud

For a sickening moment I thought he meant retirement full stop, only to remember he retired from internationals. Imagine your vice-captain going “Fuck this, playing Flamini and Coquelin with me in defence? I’m not moving clubs, I’m retiring!”

In all seriousness though, what a man. Such class.

palace gunner

Pers has made up his mind and at world cup his team played pukka, well experienced and with gunners team needs a good keeper to cover back four with him coyg pers


what on earth are you on about???!!!


Seems he wants to move on from English


I think he’s speaking in tongues.


#Poldi #Bfg #Mesut #SmashDortmund #Aha


Not entirely sure what palace gooner means in his comment above but yep i think he could be onto something. hope AW reads these pages for some insight.


The guy on the right does play for Arsenal……but was last seen in rio.

we have a search party out for him since then.


Good man Per. Big respect for him. Though with our defenders dropping like flies I’m Thinking of going to Dortmund tomorrow and bringing my boots. You never know.


Take Penfold aswell DangerMouse

this aint FIFA bitches

Hopefully Mesut retires from international football too, so as to solely concentrate on helping the team that pays him £150,000 a week to watch him sulk around the pitch.


per-fect finish


You have to respect Mertesacker he comes across as a humble and modest professional.
But agree with the guy who wants a pacey upgrade so we can really start squeezing the play.
And on a sidenote Ozil is a complete waste of space, can someone please tell me what he can do other than pass the ball?

Bendtner's ego

Where did all this negativity come from??

Slow day at Le Grove?

German Shepherd

Ironic, all the people declaring Ozil shit and a waste of space now are equally useless as “fans” of Arsenal.


Haha 13 thumbs down but no one knows exactly what he does besides being sound in possession.
He can’t tackle, he can’t intercept, he doesn’t like shooting, he doesn’t like the physical nature of the PL, he’s decent at set pieces but it doesn’t look like we ever practise them, he keeps the ball ticking over but so could Alex Hleb.
He can’t defend, he doesn’t have the athletism or the desire to shut down the play.
I just don’t understand why he’s keeping Chambo or Cazorla out of the team?
It’s a complete mystery to me?


Just read Wenger’s comments, it really is as simple as that: He controls the timing and the pacing of our passing game. For a team as dependent on constantly varying the pace as we are, that is crucial. If everyone in our team simply attempts instant one or two touch passes all day long, without ever considering when to slow down and when to speed up, we’d become the most predictable team in the world. In fact, the main reason we’re often easy to shut down is because Ozil is not playing all that well. However, simply replacing him won’t… Read more »


Obviously you know more than Arsene Wenger and Joachim Löw.

Shine on you crazy diamond.



Ouai c'est moi

I’m slightly disappointed, to be honest. Mertesacker – great guy, I’m sure, but I totally disagree with his decision to retire from international football. Playing for one’s country should be an obligation. Mert talks about a ‘younger generation’ coming through. Well, Per is only 29. He has another SIX years probs at the top. He’s only thinking about himself, money over patriotism, and as you can probably see this has kinda made me think differently about him. When Arteta eventually goes Per will be Arsenal captain. Can you think of anyone who captained Arsenal from international exile?

Casual Gooner



I’m in favour of becoming more direct bring on the Ox, he needs a run of games.
Ozil really isn’t that good.
We’ve got ourselves a dud and allowed Cesc to go win titles with Chelsea.
Arsene Wenger really has no excuses left.
A lop sided squad, he’s improved our attack but neglected the defence and the centre of our midfield.


@Rich – Wtf are you talking about, mate? If you bothered to look, you’d see that Ozil finished 6th in the BPL in shot assists last season, but 4th in shot assists per 90 minutes. In the entire League! Not bad for an unfit, lazy German in his first BPL season. He’s out of form. That’s it. Did you throw Jack under the bus when he was out of form? What about all those shots Ox missed the other day? Was he to be moved on? “Isn’t really that good”? Mark my words – Ozil will come good this season,… Read more »


The BFG is exclusiveluy ours only….

fresh prince

Wheres Theo? And where’s Gnabry? Theo should have been nearly ready by now but still no sign so has there been a setback? And Gnabry had an innocuous injury which has lasted months.


The days of players who are just playmakers are gone. You need to be able to do more than just carve out chances. I’m sorry but Cazorla is a much better player. Wilshere Carves out chances and has more to his game. The Ox is 21 but has more pace, energy and drive than Ozil. Ozil is shit, lacks personality and the longer we persist with this pile of cows dump the worse our results will get. Allowing Cesc to go to Chelsea was the final straw for me, Arsene’s punch drunk and at season’s end we need to tear… Read more »


I can’t believe any sane person would still consider Ozil any good?

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