Sunday, April 2, 2023

Mertesacker hails impact of young stars

The frustration felt by many at the disappointing first part of the season led criticism of the team, manager and individual players.

There were reasons, of course. The lack of pre-season for some players off the back of a World Cup summer, a dreadful imbalance in the squad which saw it top heavy with attacking players that were hardly used while we were crying out for defenders, and even simple things like players struggling for form.

By his own admission, Per Mertesacker says the post-World Cup hangover affected him, but so too did playing in a back four in a constant state of flux. Other important players, like Mikel Arteta and Laurent Koscielny, were hampered through injury.

None of these things are an excuse, but as the season has gone on, with fitness issues less impactful, and the team growing on-pitch relationships better, performances have improved and the BFG is happy to give kudos to some of the younger members of the squad.

“I am delighted with how the team responded to the criticism that came our way because it is a completely new experience for a lot of players to have post-World Cup difficulties,” he said.

“But the belief and trust of the manager and the inner core of the club has been absolutely amazing. We are in a good position now we suffered a lot of injuries to players who were amazing last season, so we had to replace them with youngsters.

“They proved they can deliver good performances for the team and that raised everyone’s level.”

The emergence of talents like Hector Bellerin, Francis Coquelin and Calum Chambers (whose very positive early season displays seem to have been forgotten rather quickly), have gone some way to backing up the now rejuvenated senior players.

The Gunners have won 22 of their 27 games in all competitions, are unbeaten in seven in the Premier League (for the first time since the Invincibles era), and sit in the second place right now.

Interestingly, the record in terms of points, wins, draws and losses is exactly the same as it was at this stage last season.

Make what you will of that.

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Those relationships on the pitch can win us the league. Can’t wait to see the Mertescielny combo peak next season, along with Ramsey-Özil, Wilshere-Coquelin etc


More automatisms please.


i’d prefer to see gabriel line up beside kos for most games

Mark Hughes

I find them a little similar and Mertesacker showed his positional awareness against Liverpool by clearing up after Koscielny had gone up field. That comes with experience, which is something fans always say we need.


This current Arsenal squad is Fuckin Excellent

The Only Olivier is Giroud

I think the fac that we have the same amount of points as this time last season is a good thing. Last season this time we were faltering (I’m thinking Everton away) This time round we’re flying. We should improve on last season.


Hmmm, It’ll be hard to match the same points we got last season though…


By which you mean, no doubt my good fellow, that it would take an immensely unlikely cock-up to get fewer points than we did last season. We need 16 points from the remaining 7 games. Only games where we could drop points is Chel$ki (h), probably a draw, Swansea (h), Manure (a). I only see us dropping 2 points Chel$ki.


We won the last five and had one draw, one loss in the last 7. I hope we beat that but wouldn’t place a bet on it.


dropping points against Swansea at home!!!!????? Don’t think so!

Ak47 arse

The only thing I can make of that record is, take last season first half of it and this season second half of it, we would be champions.


Be pushing a record points total surely?! Also, did the article mean won seven prem games on the bounce for the first time since Invincibles? Pretty sure we’ve gone longer than seven unbeaten since then

My name is my name

Yeah, we won like 10 in a row after the opening day loss last season didn’t we?

Clock End Mike

No, after losing to Aston Villa last season, we won just 5 in a row, then drew at West Brom, 3 more wins then lost at Old Trafford. But we were leading the league by then 🙂

- End Mike

I’m sure we’ve gone more than 7 games unbeaten, but won 7 games in a row? Don’t think so.

Last season, for example, we went 9 games unbeaten after losing on the opening day to Villa, but we drew at West Brom after 5 wins in a row, then won 3 more before losing at Old Trafford. We won 5 in a row twice more last season — after Christmas, and the last 5 games — but never more than 5.


For fuck’s sake, Per. I really can’t love you more than i’m already do!!

North Bank Gooner

To make a very enjoyable season complete, I would just LOVE to see us beat Che£$ki, and ram Josies “specialist” comments where the sun doesn’t shine!!

Me So Hornsey

I know it’s fanciful but my mate at work is an avid QPR fan and attends most matches he really thinks they could do a job on Chelsk at the weekend and he never talks his team up.

I looked at the fixture list and have seen that after QPR away, a local derby against a relegation team, they’re next 2 games are Man Utd… and us.

It’s not over yet guys..

No way Jose.

2014-2015 = the year we've been waiting for

Let’s thrash’em! Predictions: – Giroud bags at least one goal – Ozil bags at least one assist – Alexis splices and dices the Chelsea defence, making them dizzy, and scores – Ramsey scores – Cazorla scores (a deserved penalty) – Eden Hazard dives and the ref gives him a penalty, but Ospina saves it – Fabregas completes more passes to former teammates, than current ones – Diego Costa starts, but leaves after just 8 minutes with another hammy – Gunnersaurus sticks his head up Mourinho’s arse – The result means Chelsea have lost 2 league fixtures in a row (following… Read more »


Sounds like fabregas is going to pass to kos and Ramsey almost exclusively then.


a few through balls to alexis wouldnt go amiss


Wouldn’t it be great. Might be improbable, but not impossible. Would be like heaven on earth.

Finsbury Park Gooner

I really do hate to be the spoilsport… but c’mon gays. It’s not gonna happen.

Beating Chel$ki soundly, finishing 2nd and retaining the FA Cup would be a great season for us at this stage. Then storming the league next year, obviously.


Count on me to give Costa a nasty harmstring …


We have beaten Manure, Mashitty and Liverpool…… Chelski are next to fall to the mighty Arsenal it’s f’king obviously going to happen! Have faith! COYG!


we will only come second tho…


When you compare 13-14 to 14-15 one thing I think will show up is that we had more than a few blowout losses last year. We’ve had none this year. That’s a pretty big change. Couple that with how much better our record is against top 8 and top 4 clubs, this season although parallel in most numbers to last, is immensely different.

ZA Gunner

Without doubt progress… It feels like we’re starting to grow some real steel in the squad and they really believe they can win anywhere. Add another summer without any significant departures and one or two significant arrivals, throw in some luck on the injury front, and we can hopefully go all the way next year. A great time to be a gunner!


uly have never been more excited about our team than I am at this moment. I think the overall talent and depth is stronger than it has been for years, but crucially our mentality has changed over the past few months(bar the Monaco implosion), personally I don’t feel an inherit sense of trepidation before every match like I used to. I’m going into games feeling upbeat and confident. We’ve had to wait a long time for this, but I feel our time is finally now! I also feel like anything can happen during the summer, Özil and Alexis have really… Read more »

Man Manny

For the first in a long while, we have a fantastic blend of young, peaking and experienced players – the combination you need to win trophies.

Young: Szczesny, Ospina, Bellerin, Ox (can’t believe he’s 20), Gnabry, Chambers etc.
Peak or Peaking: Gabriel, Ramsey, Coquelin, Wilshere, Ozil, Alexis, Gibbs, Welbeck, Giroud, Monreal, Debuchy and Walcott.
Experienced: Mert, Kos, Cazorla, Arteta.

Notice that we have most at “Peak or peaking”. The future is Arsenal.


Great post, keep the current squad and we’ll go far (though I also can’t believe the Ox is 20 when Wikipedia says 21).


You missed Rosicky. He’s still young enough

Man Manny

Yea. Remembered him after hitting the “publish” button. He’s in the “Experienced” bracket.
Diaby too; in the peak category…I believe in miracles

Finsbury Park Gooner

I’m so excited to see what The Ox might bring to the team given a clean run of health and form. Such an exciting player.


Don’t you think Koscielny should be at peak? I think he’s 28 going 29. Also, Ramsey, Wilshere and Welbeck are still young and the best years are ahead of them. I think they’ll peak at around 27, meaning they still have 3 more years or so to develop further. They are so good we forget they haven’t hit their prime.

Man Manny

I read that Kos turns 30 this year. My general idea was 30 and above, experienced. I agree that Welbeck, Ramsey and Wilshere have not peaked yet; that is why I labeled that category ‘Peak or peaking’. I believing they are peaking. Thanks.


Points are deceptive and not a true reflection of how a team is going. Chelsea are topping yet haven’t played a good game since 2015. While we have been on the same points as last year, the accumulation of wins + consistent runs and home record reeks of progress.

ZA Gunner

And beating big teams….

Rohith J

The best teams can always grind out results when they know they are not playing well and whether we like to admit or not, Mourinho is the master at that which is why they’re top of the table. Right now, we have an almost settled squad with the possibility of a new winger (bye bye Theo?) and a CDM (to replace Flamini) coming in next season. Kind of glad we didn’t invest in Reus or Draxler. Look at their injury records!


compare our young squad to the youngsters of other top sides and you have to say our future looks bright.


Chelsea won the league by the end of Sept…they coped better than everyone post World Cup, got the early points in the bag, beat us….all over.
They are slipping slightly but have the cushion.
If Wenger had reinforced the squad properly last summer, we could have done it.

Mark Hughes

Weren’t they going to go unbeaten by the end of September? Only one team with a gold trophy though.


The unbeaten thing was just media hype….and has nothing to do with my post. Chels started well and are now reaping the rewards. Our squad wasn’t strong enough until January.

Alexis of Evil

As we approach the end of the season I have the strange feeling of not being worried about what happens (doesn’t happen) in the transfer market. The need to sell our best players has gone. We have invested in the core of the squad and bar some additional depth at the back and DM I’m happy. I think relationships worked on this season will stand is in good stead for the next.

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