Thursday, December 9, 2021

Mertesacker: focus now on Premier League

Although Per Mertesacker spoke after the game last night to talk about how Arsenal wouldn’t give up on Champions League qualification, there was little else he could say in those circumstances.

The 2-0 defeat gives Arsene Wenger’s side a mountain to climb in Barcelona in three weeks time, but domestically the Gunners have to respond against Manchester United on Sunday. Despite the negativity surrounding the result in a game nobody gave us any chance of winning in the first place, there were 70 minutes of relative positivity, and the lads will have to channel them at Old Trafford.

The BFG is looking for the team to get themselves back on track against a United team that have been struggling this season.

“We go to Manchester United because we want to compete in the Premier League,” he said. “We are in a good position and we don’t want to give that position up.

“When we have lost a game, we have tried to bounce back quickly and I think we have a great chance on Sunday to do that again, and to show we are still in a strong position and still competing for the title.

“Leicester was a good game to prove we are still in it, but you need to have more little successes on the road to reach the big target. But we go step by step and that is a good focus.

“It is a great chance to get the focus back on the Premier League and forget what happened in the last 20 minutes and just focus on what went well.”

A win there would certainly help patch up the wounds of last night, and with the league very much the focus now, we can’t afford any more slip-ups.

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Mertesackers Treadmill speedometer

With the performance against Leicester and the first 70 mins of the Barcelona game. Can’t see how we can’t win it. COYG lets bring the title home


No matter what happens,Wenger should retire at the end of the season and rest his aging heart.I don’t see why we should be scared of the future.Nobody thought Pep’s legacy will be matched in Barcelona F.C but look what Luis is doing now.Wenger was once a young and naive coach at Monaco which was a big club at the time but he slowly worked his way up to the status he possess today.Let’s give someone else a chance.The future should be exciting,not scary.,


I think we have to be really careful with what we wish for in terms of a new Manager. As much as I agree with you to a degree, that potentially we do need a fresh start because lets face it, we do seem to repeat a lot of the same mistake with Arsene season after season, but the question is, who is out there to replace him? With Pep going to City, Carlo going to Munich, Klopp at Liverpool.. who is out there that honestly can come in and do a better job than Arsene? I think its too… Read more »


Yeah, but will Wenger spend. His default position is to be cautious and look for an internal solution unless someone like Cech is handed to him on a plate. I see only more of the same underachievement for years to come if Wenger stays at the helm.


How much has Leicester spent?


Ozil and Sanchez springs to mind. He does have money, but perhaps he failed or decided against purchasing a striker the previous window because there was a dearth of attacking talents that wants a move or was too pricey. We do not have unlimited funds to give any players a chance, so this might play into the mind of Wenger when it comes to transfers. Look at how well the transfer of Falcao turned out as an example. We all know whats the problem with our squad. He can’t be blind to see it. It might just be a problem… Read more »


Tim Sherwood is free. Brendan Rogers too. Remi Garde soon. Fatgooner as well, he knows everything that’s going wrong and how to fix it.

A wealth of talent, all a step up on our low-achieving tired complacent old manager.

David C

nobody had heard of Wenger before he was hired…


You Sir said what I was thinking while reading the comment you replied to.
Changes happen , no point being sacred of it.


I’m all for Wenger breaking the bank to get quality players in, but it is a lot harder than most fans think. Most world class players are already at big clubs on high wages, and there comes a point where money isn’t incentive enough to get them to come. This is where Wenger is amazing as he has the skill of convincing players to snub other clubs for us – eg Sanchez and Özil. I do think now that we are signing more “stars” that it’ll attract even more high calibre players, but building a squad does take time! In… Read more »


Definitely agree our squad is getting stronger each season. Also, promoting within seems like something we should be doing more often with the likes of Bellerín and Coq coming thru, the talent is there, it just needs to be given nature and time to develop. With the likes of Iwobi, Chuba possibly, Hayden, Gideon Zelelam, Willows bros, Bielk, etc. We’ll see Star coming thru our Academy.


What;s your definition of compete? Mine is to challenge until the last few games of a competition. Competing is not merely taking part and Arsenal haven’t competed for the CL for 10 years or the Premier League for 12 years. So what is there to be frightened of when t;s patently obvious that Wenger is incapable? That we’ve let all those managers go when there was probably a chance to sign all of them at some point is even more galling. The club’s lack of ambition is truly frightening to the extent that I feel the game is rigged and… Read more »

Unyoke The Ox

I know more than a few Man U fans that would’ve agreed with you 3 years ago, but would kill for Wenger at their club now. Maybe not kill… I was just being dramatic.


Exactly. If Pep, Carlo or Klopp were still around looking for new clubs at the end of the season, and lets say Arsene announced that he wanted to step down, I would think fair enough and be genuinely really happy that we were getting someone new in. I mean some of those managers have the real credentials to potentially take us to a new level, and really begin to build on top of all the foundations that Arsene has spent the last 2 decades laying down. But right now, who is out there that can push us on? walk right… Read more »


I am not looking forward to being on the manager-go-round that everybody else is on now. Especially since we can witness the effects up close & personal with what’s happening at United. Even though like many of us I was yelling at my screen during the Live Blog yesterday: “Flamini??? WHY???” When I calm back down, it seems like a small price to pay. The risks just don’t seem worth the rewards. Especially, as you point out, anyone we would be interested in is already committed for the foreseeable future.


Steve fuckin’ Bould!!! Promoting from within seems like the natural and most sensible choice. He’s been at the club so long, understands the ethos and club better than anyone else outside the club.


Of course they would take him, but their underachievement is even worse than Arsenal’s at the moment. We might be worse off without Wenger and if we get the wrong replacement, but we know we are not going to improve from relative mediocrity if he stays.


And Klopp is doing fabulously at Liverpool of course…

Jamie Vardinho

I dont see why he has to leave arsenal entirely. Why not let him become a Director. Doesnt interfere with transfers training or any such duties but provides expertise and assistance in the above areas only when required.

I think it provides the stability we need and can avoid a repeat of the manbutd fiasco but also allows for the dynamism of a new manager provided its the right one


None of the top level managers will ever agree to work under Wenger as a Director. Everyone knows he is very much of an autocrat. The only scenario where this could happen is if someone from within the club will be hired, be it one of the current staff or former players. That could however create potentially dysfunctional structure as Wenger would be probably still seen as the one who is pulling all the strings.


Peps legacy was 3 years as a coach at barca… wengers was 20+. Only other club that might have been in a similar position is the mugs we verse this weekend. Look how their new managers turned out.


4-0 win please! That’ll makes us all feel better! ?


10-0 will suffice!


Excuse me…who are you??


Aren’t you getting worried about forgetting you’ve posted and then being surprised when you see your old posts? Old age is tricky…


I hope the result last night rather than affecting our League title challenge, makes the players focused.


Still feel the team need an upgrade on3 positions to get to Barca level: CF- Giroud seems to have reached his highest level, a really good player but a little too limited to play such a big role in the team, if Arsenal wants to reach the level of Bayern, Barca. A new signing is needed or at least give time to Walcott and Welbeck to prove themselves as CF. Walcott was good as CF before the injury, mostly been on the wing since then where he doesn’t seem to suit. Also the team would need a more fluid front… Read more »


Theo has not been in great form lately and I am wondering if this is partly down to him being played out wide? I know all players should be motivated no matter where they play but would he give a bit more if he was played up front? I might have been inclined to stick him in the central position against Hull to see how he got on.

David Hillier's luggage

I don’t know, I think Giroud can yet reach higher levels of handsomeness in the coming years


I’m disappointed he gave up,on the majestic beard.
By the way, will someone please tell Piquet how shit his looks??


There’s maybe one or two clubs in the world that Don’t need 3 players to keep pace with Barca right now. It’s certainly not just us.


A bit unfair on Joe Campbell. He has generally been very good when called upon.
He deserves a proper run before being judged.
Much better than Theo for the position.


Agree he had some good matches but has looked less good in his last starts against Southampton and Hull. Maybe trying too much. Could go up a level if given a run but seems more like a good squad player


For a defender as intelligent as Per, that was a stupid move by him.
It would’ve been much better if he was turned inside out by one of the msn, but making such a dumb decision is painful.
He had a good game, but hey…


He tried to intercept the pass. I think the biggest mistake was by Coquelin. He should stopped Neymar by tackling him. You just can’t loose the ball, if you are standing that high, so you can’t actually quilt only one player for the first goal. The whole team made that mistake by loosing concentration.


Mertesacker was partly at fault for Messis penalty if hadn’t made such a mockery of an attempted clearance then Flamini (leave) does not bring down Messi.


I agree, the first mistake in their opening goal came from Coquelin being out of position and as soon as he lost the ball he has to make the tactical foul and bring Neymar down to stop the play from progressing. Yeah, he’ll get the booking but that’s the nature of his position, you have to protect the back four at all costs, especially when you’re playing Barcelona and you have a centre back as slow as Per. Coquelin is still learning the position though, so you cant put too much blame on him, because he has got that streak… Read more »


Oh Per, as soon as I’ve seen you in the starting 11 i knew you’d do another goofy attempt of stopping a ball and hand them a goal. But you managed to surprise me and did that twice. gg mate gg.

Man Manny

If you sincerely think the two goals were down to Mertesacker,… I reserve my comments because you wouldn’t like it.


I understand people getting at BFG, but I feel he is one of the best in the world who can read the game well. Any blame I would put, I would direct that to the tactics of ours. Anytime the opponent team is on a counter, Per always get higher of the pitch and tries to tackle and stop. It seems to work on smaller teams. But when we are playing against Messi, Neymar, Suarez who can dribble the ball well, it seems like a stupid thing to do. When you leave Kos/Monreal against those front 3, there is only… Read more »


Wow! Really?

One of the world’s best but is naive in his defending? I’m sorry he seems a nice guy but he’s well past his sell by date.

How can any gam seriously think he’s good enough for where we should be


I think Per is ok, so there!


You don’t want the best then

Back to you and double it


I would like the best but Per is amongst them, and Per has a place going forward…


Wow, I agree! And we have the same name!

Saigon Jack

How nice is it going to Old Trafford these days with nothing to fear? Bookies make us just slight favourites at 8/5, I’d say an Arsenal win is much more likely than that.


In order to win we have to score at least one goal. I don’t see where that’s coming from.

Arsenal hurts

we didnt need goalscoring striker
we didnt need back up for coquilin
yeah right.


We can blame the our defence all day long but to me, that is not the issue. Arsenal were facing the current world’s best attacking trio. Whether by clumsy defending or clever interplay, Barcelona were going to score goals. either at the Emirates or Camp Nou. Arsenal’s problem is at the other end. We have good attacking players but not exceptional ones. Every time an Arsenal player was in a position to score, they panicked and rushed. Arsenal creates enough chances and yesterday was no exception, we just don’t take those chances. And that is where Arsenal’s problem is, not… Read more »


I pointed this out yesterday. We were rush, where to? I don’t know.

This Is psychological more than anything. Once the players set their minds that Barcelona players were superior they lost even before entering the stadium.

So we were definelty NOT going to beat Barca not on such a night because we had already lost the mental battle. Again our problem with the Chavs.


The number of chances Ozil creates vs the number of those chances convertted backs your theory. Imagine a Suarez on the end of all that Ozilness. Would be 20 goals more this season already.

Bob Davis

I’m hoping for a solid performance at Man U to lift all our spirits. I don’t think the defence is a problem. With the amount of chances we are creating the strikers don’t seem to be able to convert.

Giroud clearly is not going to be a 20 goal a season striker. We need to start looking for a world class striker now.

They must know this and they will have targets in mind. I just get the feeling we’re always going to be short of 2-3 world class players!


Think the RW position is the bigger issue right now, only Ramsey has played decently in that position this season


Welbz played very well. Would like to see him get a few starts, possibly including Nou. We are weak on the right, he tracks back, he’s tall and fast. Other option is Ramsey right and start Elneny, whose capabilities we don’t fully know yet, but Ramsey scores, works hard and isn’t the best dribbler/distributor, all of which suits the right, central, attacking, floating position that nominally starts on the right. In any event, even if Elneny mostly for Santi/Ramsey central position, he should be ahead of Flamini! Let’s rebound!


Maybe we can work on Mertesacker not missing ridiculous slide tackles on the halfway line 70 minutes into a 0-0 game against the best attacking trio in world football.


Letting in goals (within reason) isn’t the problem, not scoring them is. Since the away game against Liverpool (3-3), this are Arsenal results

Stoke 0-0 Arsenal
Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea
Arsenal 2-1 Burnley
Arsenal 0-0 Southampton
Bournemouth 0-2 Arsenal
Arsenal 2-1 Leicester City
Arsenal 0-0 Hull City
Arsenal 0-2 Barcelona

That’s a total of 6 goals for and 5 against, (2 of those against Barca). That’s 6 goals scored in 720 minutes played.

I don’t think mistimed tackles are the problem.


It’d be much better to have drawn 0-0 than to have drawn 2-2 in that game. So I don’t think that is right at all.

You should never be planning on taking points when you let in two goals.


That was definitely a Take the Yellow Card situation for at least one of three defenders. Coq, Mert, or Kos.


Aguero’s finish just now is what our strikers are failing to do. We would have closed our eyes and hit the keeper or a defender….


Anyone else see the comment from LVG that his team needs to perform “horny”? I’m sure he meant “cocky”, but that’s just too funny. I can only imagine his players taking it in a literal sense and instead of tackling, they just start trying to dry hump the opposition.
“Why did you bench Giroud on Sunday, Arsene?”
“Our tactics were to keep Schweinstieger flaccid.”

Naija Gunner

“keep doing the same thing all year round and hope for a different result”! Wenger’s way. Stupid idea I must say!


Yeah, well start by scoring goals then we’ll talk about the league.


We have the players and squad to win the title and/or FA cup. We don’t have the players to win the CL. We are in that case one superstar player short. And this superstar type players can be counted on one hand. All are unavailable. Is it surprising that Arsenal isn’t doing terribly well in CL? Pre- Wenger, were Arsenal a bit team in this competition? No. Did Arsenal continuously feature in the competition of European elites? No. Sure another manager may be able to take us to new heights in the CL but you have to also look at… Read more »

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