Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Mertesacker talks Europa League and his decision to retire from playing

Per Mertesacker says he’s confident about Arsenal’s chances in the Europa League next, and cites the FA Cup win over Chelsea last season as a key driver for that.

The Gunners beat Man City in the semi-final before preventing Antonio Conte’s men from doing the double, in no small part because of an epic performance from the BFG on what was his first start of the season.

However, the 5th place finish in the Premier League means our European nights are going to be different, and the skipper says the players need make sure they adapt quickly to a new competition.

Asked, during a Q&A at the club’s Members Day yesterday, if he viewed the Europa League as an opportunity to win something next season, Mertesacker said, “Yeah, definitely. Man United won it last year and qualified for the Champions League so it’s a big chance for us to show we’re capable of winning something … in the long run.

“Not just a half of a year intense [FA Cup]. This year we managed to beat the top teams in the semi-final and final, that’s something we haven’t done before, we’re kind of confident you know, with this Europa League competition.

“It’s a definite chance for us, even when you go to tough places. We’ve got to learn our lessons, and we have to learn quickly how to adapt to these new things.”

This upcoming season will also be his last as a player, after which he’ll take over as the Head of the Academy, but he admitted it wasn’t an easy decision to make.

“The best thing is the club,” said Mertesacker, “and that’s what made it easier for me to make that decision.

“But to stop playing football, it was obviously not easy for me to give that up. It’s been 15 years of my life, being a professional.

“But it made it easier to stay at my beloved club. So, I’m very sad for this season, but it’s a last chance to give one hundred percent for this club, and then another road.

“But that is the next chapter.”

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Possession

We’ll keep our Big Fucking German..
What a man.

Ayush Jain

He surely loves the FA Cup and playing on big occasions.

PGunner

Big Fucking Gooner! What a dude

Paul

His stature increases.

William Nilliam

I love this guy

Dazz

Damn it, I love Per

Rich

As it stands I think we’ll fall well short of a sustained title push, hope I’m wrong.
We’re well overdue a league cup and European competition win though, hopefully we’ll take the cup competitions seriously.

midgunner

I think for a realistic title challenge we need to make some tough decisions on what may be five or six ‘good’ players in the squad.

We need to free up 2-300,000 in wages and invest it in two players who’ll really push for the first team. Personally I’d look for a top CD and CM.

Ams

The season hasn’t even started. Nothing wrong with having belief we can win it. Can it be next Friday evening already?

My name is Jeff

This is what makes Arsenal special, where in a cutthroat business like the world of international football a player such as Per can profess a love for the club and that respect is returned by the club and followers.

Alex james boat trip

Expert mert

Isaiah Rankin

exPERt

Isaiah Rankin

When he says, “that is the next chapter”, all I hear is the opening bars of Dr Dre’s ‘The Next Episode’

espen

Per the BFL!

nacho man

top man

mclougal

Hey any Gooners out there who have a few minutes to spare, could you fill in my dissertation survey about Arsenal fans at:
https://kclbs.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6Rv6TGWNQGHJsvr

Any responses would be much appreciated, thank you!

Taurine

I have lots of time for the BFG.

news.arseblog should cover at least one interview with him per week!

Twatsloch

Give him his special weekly slot and call it ‘InPerView”. Fuck yeah that would rule!

Goontang

I would get that on payperview

not so fed up

Hope the boys can win the league so that mert can retire in style

not so fed up

Lets win the league to give Mert a classy end to his playing career

santori

But he lacks “pace”.:D

Positioning first.

santori

Per will retire, Koscielny may stay one more season. Monreal is also over 30yrs. Gabriel has improved but is he really first choice still.

Plenty of opportunity for young Holding AND Chambers (not to mention Bielik to some extent even…dare I say…Elneny)

GhostofSanogo

Elneny is and always be a just in case scenario at the back, like when we had that fullback scenario some years back or possibly if we’re trying to push for a win and we take off a cb for another attacker.

shokim

Per the BFG ranks high in my book. Am sure he can cope when he eventually takes over at the Academy. In the mean time, wishing him good luck in the new season!

Lord Bendnter

Gotta love him

santori

So far this summer, Kolasinac has been a huge boost over Gibbs. Lacazette as it stands (IF Alexis stays) really replaces Lucas Perez. We are still dependent on Granit-Ramsey hopefully improving ‘organically”, Coquelin rediscovering his previous form (with Santi) and if Jack stays, we are again reliant on fitness issues. Out wide, Walcott is at least making a case for himself in pre-season but do we need more invention and can we still benefit from a player like a Mahrez (particularly should Alexis get a knock)? Is Lemar seen as a left sided option as a wing back with either… Read more »

Gonzogunner

Ours is his beloved club and although there have been tough times, he is our beloved captain.

Hi-brid

“My beloved club”. ❤ BFG

Holding Alexis

we must realise UCL didn’t work well for last few of years…so apart from facing the inevitable…we shall go for the one thats totally in our hands and give the players a nice trophy to cherish!

Marcus

Get the BFG on the Arsecast !

Merlin\'s Panini

What a legend. Tony Adams take note. This is how you do it. I loved Adams as a player but as a man Per is so classy.

Oly.

Because ManU-Mourinho won this does not mean Wenger can do the same, the man is too naïve tactically to do so. The last 2 winners had Nzonzo and Pogba in CM, who have we got that can drive us forward and defend adequately?
We can keep fooling ourselves, but I know younger managers will outwit Wenger in the Europa cup. Sorry!

Oly.

Nzonzi rather!

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