Per Mertesacker was on German TV channel 2DF last night, and thanks to Arseblog pal, Hadareud, we have a transcript of the first 9 minutes of the interview.
He talks about the Chelsea game, Costa, Gabriel, Wenger and Mourinho, our (lack of) transfer market activity and more.
How difficult was it to watch the match (derby against Chelsea) from home?
It’s very difficult to watch from home and it was nerve-racking. It could have gone better, including the decisions of the officials. I want to be back on the pitch as soon as possible, that’s for sure.
Will you be back next Wednesday?
I expect so.
Since you were watching from home, you could also witness Arsene Wenger almost refusing to shake Mourinho’s hand. The two seem to hate each other, what’s the reason for the antipathy?
The two have a special relationship. It doesn’t really affect us players that much, there’s rivalry between the clubs anyway. The two managers just took that a bit further and built a special relationship with each other. Even so, a handshake is important and maybe today’s handshake is the first step to things improving (smiles).
When you say it doesn’t really affect you, you still have to defend your manager when you’re asked a question about it. So you are you his side?
Yes, obviously. We fight for each other and what’s important is to beat Mourinho every now and then because he has a lot of self-confidence. Wenger too, by the way.
Diego Costa: first he had a go at Koscielny, then Gabriel. What would you have done in this situation?
First of all, he should have been sent off. That’s what should have happened above all. He went far too far and it seems that English referees lack the common sense that’s necessary. The officials certainly didn’t look good in this situation. Having said that, Gabriel can’t let himself be provoked and he should have been walked away from the scene by his team-mates. So we have to take responsibility for the situation, too.
The myth about English football is that things like cheating and diving are not tolerated there and that it’s the influx of foreign players that brought these things to the English game. Shouldn’t the Chelsea fans hate behaviour like this?
Well, they certainly didn’t today. Today the player got a standing ovation from his own fans and that shows you that the rivalry is more important than what happened on the pitch. That hurts, because it definitely didn’t show fairness and certainly didn’t show respect. Those are things football should stand for and that’s why I don’t want anything to do with this (*these sort of antics) myself. I hope it gets punished retrospectively since that option exists. The guy (Costa) was already punished a few times, but so far he hasn’t changed. So I hope the right conclusions are drawn and since there were several violent conducts, it should be easy to make the right decision.
It will probably happen …
But too late for Arsenal
The club have been waiting for one of the really big trophies for a long time and the team is known for 4th place finishes. This season you have scored only 5 goals in 6 league games. Are you lacking another striker?
I don’t think so. We have created the most chances of any team in the league and we also have the most shots …
… are you lacking a good striker, then?
We just haven’t been able to score from great chances, that’s all that’s to say about this short-term goal crisis. We are a team that creates a lot, and we have incredible potential going forward and things will change again. I think in these big games, we have to stay disciplined, especially in heated situations. We now finished 2 games in a row with just 10 men – that’s what we have to focus on.
I don’t think there’s a problem with our finishing, I think we’re well stocked up front. Usually we were always criticised for conceding too many goals, now things are the other way around. We have to work on finding a good balance, then there’s good potential. Anyway, in games like these so many things happen, you can never entirely prevent red cards, either.
Efforts were being made to get a big striker, you were being linked with Benzema, for instance. If you look at English football, you have two things: the myth of English football on one side and the billions on the other. *goes to show how much money City, Man Utd and Chelsea have spent, while Arsenal have spent very little*. Is Wenger this stingy or could he just not identify the player that he absolutely wanted?
It’s not finding the player that he wanted, I think he would have liked to strengthen us – but only with the right player that can help us right away. I think it was a difficult market to find value and even though the money was there to spend Wenger doesn’t just spend to spend he wants to make decisive signings. He also hopes that the team can improve together. We won the FA Cup twice in a row and we have stability. Maybe for him that stability and team spirit is the most important thing and he also has great belief in his players – something that should be highlighted as well every now and then.
When you look at the sums that are spent, that don’t look healthy anymore, we have stability. Even that is being criticised. I think it’s difficult to find a balance and I also think he really trusts his players. Something that I benefitted immensely myself in the past. We should wait and see how the season develops, we have a very good squad that can compete at the top.
By the way, it’s not always 4th place finishes, there’s also 3rd place finishes, so we’re slowly working our way to the top.
thank heavens the issue has been resolved. Turns out it was Arsenals fault after all.
Santi? WTF? Are they going to fine him for smiling? UEFA will surely be wanting to ban AW from the touchline for this as well. After all the match took place in London, which is a city in a European country, so they can probably claim jurisdiction somehow and throw the book at him.
I think that’s fair… Santi didn’t get off the pitch when he was sent off, neither did Gabriel. They both protested either to the officials or to the opposition player which is a big no no… If you get sent off deal with it like a man and get to the showers… The failing to control players is utter bullshit though. That’s a charge for when three or more players are at each others throats…
“Having said that, Gabriel can’t let himself be provoked and he should have been walked away from the scene by his team-mates.”
You just know Per would have dragged him away. He was probably shouting at his TV at home for someone to take Gabriel away from that thug.
That said, I can’t wait for the home fixture against them and I hope Gabriel absolutely hammers Costa with a trademark Arsenal of old horrendous-but-technically-legal challenge.
I think the players thought the situation was finished after the yellow cards. The game was ready to restart.
It was 12 vs 9. One of their player was playing in yellow.
“Detective Sergeant Matthews Framed Mike Dean”.
Amazing how many red cards we pick up despite not being a dirty team. Even Cazorla’s red on Saturday was soft. He made two fouls certainly. Enough for a sending off ? Hardly. Michael Oliver is the only good referee in England. Mike Dean and Anthony Taylor are fucking horrendous.
Clattenburg and Michael Oliver are the only two good referees in England. I am quite sure Clattenburg would have handled that situation much better than that joke of a ref Dean did.
Yeah Clattenburg is good certainly. Havent actually seen him for a while. Is he still reffing? I remember something about him being very ill… but yeah always rated Clattenburg too.
He reffed the Manu Southampton game.
Clattenburg got demoted as he started ref’ing fairly and Mike ‘The Twat’ Riley didn’t like it for his beloved ManUtd!
Agreed. Michael Oliver is one of the few that don’t seem to fall to pieces under pressure.
I think it was Michael Oliver who did the quarter-final FA Cup match at Old Trafford. He in fact started carding Utd for diving. If I remember correctly, that is.
Andre Marriner is usually quite good as well. Did a great job this season when we played Newcastle away.
Apart from missing the most obvious penalty I’ve ever seen when Bellerin was brought down..
I remember Mike Dean did a very good job when we played against Man City at Etihad last season…
He must have been drunk(or high)in that game.
Then again last season, he was the ref who decided McNair breaking Wilshere’s ankle in the United game wasn’t even a foul, and let play go on when Szcz was down with damaged ribs (leading to their first goal).
Well said Per. It think its worth more of the players speaking out on Costa’s disgraceful cuntery – at least it makes it an issue for Chelsea and keeps the pressure on Costa.
Would have liked to hear Cech put him down after the match, as a an ex-teammate it would have had more of an impact.
Reading this interview blows away one myth- that all footballers are as “thick as Costa”. Mertesacker is always eloquent and thoughtful when talking about football and has a love of the club who employs him. I don’t think Gabriel would have been sent off if the BFG had been on the pitch. He may not be the fastest thing on two legs but he’s certainly one of the most intelligent footballers and we miss him.
His interviews are always very good – he did another long one in German some weeks ago, and he really thinks about things.
Need to watch the one in the post later, thanks Arseblog for the reminder! [BTW, the channel is ZDF, not 2DF, but that’s just me being a pedantic German.]
This guy Mert is something else. His value is not just his football; he is quite intelligent. Great guy to have in the dressing room.
Regardless what you think of Per’s abilities, the guy is a true gent; common sense, intelligent, humble. A superb ambassador for the club, and the sport, and an incredibly likeable and charming chap.
He’s the complete opposite of Diego Costa, who should have ferrets continually funnelled up his rear end until they gnaw through his face from the inside, and then use his carcas as a training tube, and most importantly, a potty.
What an excellent idea Gene, ace image…
My favourite part of the interview was when Per said ‘English referees lack the common sense that is necessary’.
BOOM! That was ace. I just hope the FA wouldn’t see that interview and give him season ending suspension.
I see he refers to aw having great faith in his players and I’ve heard keown say it numerous times. I sadly don’t see the players returning the sentiments. Ozil? Where was he sat? Cazorla? Ramsey? I could go on.
I’m critical of aw but the players have been protected too long. Giroud should have come out for interview after last week and not hidden behind his manager.
The goal conceded too to go behind is so basic. The Costa situation gives us an easy distraction to the clear and continuous short comings of this team
Very well said, Per.
So many top men on this team worthy of appreciation and respect.
Oh, the interview was downright sweet. A few tidbits from the rest of it: He is considering the Bundesliga for his career end after the Arsenal contract ends (if his health allows it), and when the interviewer prompted him about returning to Bremen like Pizarro has done now, he said that that would be “romantic”. Wenger’s trust helped him to get through the beginning difficulties at Arsenal, and he never regretted the move. He hadn’t expected the intensity, and the strikers “had more kilos” than expected. He feels he has developed as a person and is glad to have two… Read more »
Thanks for the snippets from the rest of the interview! Need to watch all of it and practise my German – and what better way to do it than smiling at BFG’s Hanover Hochdeutsch!
Danke schon Eva, you’re awesome for this.
So he gets introduced as “Big Fucking German” on TV in his home country – that’s one way to redefine cool!
Thought Kos done well to get on with the game and further frustrate Costa. he was at tipping point and was going to get himself sent off sooner or later! Then again, he could have bit an Arsenal player and still stayed on the field….
I love the BFG. Spoke like a Gunner. Loved the bit about ”not always finish 4th, we went up to 3rd too”. Ha ha..
P.S : Can’t seem to say it enough. Costa, Chelsea, Fabregas and Mike Dean are all cunts.
Am I the only one that’s slightly disappointed now because I read the headline literally?
Really wish this guy had been on the pitch, the red card would never have happened
The most important thing is Per will be available for midweek.
With Coqzorla out, we will need the stability of Meterscielny.
A lot of people have been jumping the gun (as per usual) saying Gabriel should replace Metersecker.
Gabriel has been good but no, Per is still an underrated and frankly excellent CBack. He has his weakness (pace yes) but he more than makes up for it with his positioning (proviso of course he is abated by a quick partner like Koscielny)
True leadership Per. Absolutely Arsenal through and through.
These ridiculous notion that we can buy Benzema. Not if Real Madrid do not want to sell and they don’t have to for any price. they have deeper pockets than us. Plus if De Gea’s deal cannot be sealed (United’s reticence in selling should give enough indication of how a club can resist big money offers let alone RM), RM is less likely to move players on (let alone a striker for which they are unlikely to find a better replacement for). Do you honestly think RM will risk the anger of their fan base by selling Benzema to us… Read more »
Letting a player of Podolski’s calibre go WITHOUT getting a replacement is unforgivable. The effect of our transfer window activity on our best players like Ozil and Sanchez is what worries me. Wenger doesn’t have to convince me the club is a big player, he has to convince the likes of them.
So actually, dropping €100m on Schneiderlin and a forward would have been acting like the winners. Who are the top 2? Oh yeah – €80m for de Bruyne and Martial each.
Of any players in the world. I have the feeling BFG with his intelligence and common sense, seems to be destined to become a manager.