Sunday, June 16, 2024

BFG: It wasn’t the Mertesacker final, it was about the team

Per Mertesacker says he hasn’t re-watched the FA Cup final in which he put in such an epic performance, and dismissed suggestions that it should be known as the ‘Mertesacker final’.

The Arsenal captain had been sidelined for the whole season, but because of injuries and suspensions was handed his first start against Chelsea in May.

His experience came to the fore as he put in an tremendous display to play his part in winning the cup. Afterwards, former player Martin Keown said the game should be known by the 33 year old’s name, but Mertesacker won’t have that, saying there’s too much focus on individuals and not the team.

In an excellent interview on the official site, he said, “It was exciting for me to see how things can turn. Nobody believed in me and to call it the ‘Mertesacker Final’ says it all.

I don’t take that at all, though, because it’s not about me. The way people think about teams nowadays and singling out individuals is wrong for me. I won’t take that.

I felt I had to say something about me, but I meant it more about the team generally because Chelsea were super-favourites and everyone thought they would win.

“We kept our legacy in the FA Cup going and that was our main aim that day.”

He also said he doesn’t pay too much attention to what ex-players and pundits have to say, and his meeting with Keown in the tunnel after the game was visibly awkward.

“I normally don’t talk to ex-players who are now pundits much because they have their words and their criticism, which is absolutely fine,” he said.

“Sometimes I listen and sometimes I don’t. You have to pick up the right things for yourself. Sometimes you take things away, sometimes you don’t.

“This was all a team effort and just for myself to get that trust from the manager and the players was more vital for me than anything else in the world.

“When I get praise from pundits, I take it but I put things into perspective because everyone wrote me off for the previous half of the year.

“Nobody believed in me, so I didn’t really care. I just thought about us and myself being in the position where nobody believed in me other than those within the team and the manager.

“That was amazing for me to feel.”

Read the full interview here, in which he also discusses his final season, taking over as Academy Manager next year, and lots more.

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Arsenal legend, crazy given how little he has played.

The FA Cup Final was sensational given that.


The interview linked to above is worth a read, his intelligence shines through.


He really does seem very intelligent. Wouldn’t mind seeing him in a coaching set up with us once he retires.

Too Drunk To Be Offside

Mertesacker Final it is then!!


He won’t accept that, see the interview. You can argue it out with him. Good luck against the BFG.

Too Drunk To Be Offside

He is just being modest. That final shall hence forth be called the Mertesacker Final.

Non-Flying Dutchman

MertHolding final. Rob telling Diego Costa to use his brain is still there as my screensaver


If you tickle him
He will give in


We’re not asking him. We’ve declared it so


Martin Keown hanging around in the tunnel after the final was indeed very embarrassing. This is the issue with these ex-players who become pundits, they want to have it both ways. If they are now ‘objective pundits’ who have to slate the club and criticize the players and manager when things go wrong because that’s their job, then fine. But then don’t be surprised when the players and manager don’t really want you hanging around trying to act like you’re still part of things when it goes well. Like Alan Smith, who never misses an opportunity to slate the club… Read more »


Well said mate. Of course we can respect what these ex-players did for the club without hanging onto there every word as very well paid pundits. Mert’s disdain for Keown’s comments in the tunnel was pretty palpable and I for one respect that. Perfect team ethos from the BFG


For the record..I have seen the highlights of the finals atleast 3 times since then. BFG was pretty good. Arsenal was pretty good.

David C

I’ve watched the match 3 times. Gets better each time. Rambo was great on the day too!


I love how he doesn’t hold back. Brilliant. Why should he take criticism from some of the pundits who were either semi decent players or shit managers and then pretend that it’s all chummy and happy?! Rip em a new one BFG!


Sorry for the OT, but will there be any way to watch the Doncaster game on TV/online? Seems like it won’t be broadcast at all.


Check out soccer streams on reddit……. or a website called eplsite…..there are always streams there.

Bai Blagoi

The only possible reason not to find any stream would be if there are no cameras on the stadium. 🙂

Crash Fistfight

I found somewhere saying it’s on ESPN3 in the US. If so, someone is bound to be streaming it.

A different George

It is on the ESPN 3 schedule for tomorrow. As are the matches involving Chelsea and both Manchester clubs.


I am really going to miss the BFG when he’s gone. Has been a great asset to the club in his time here.

Another Sam

Love the BFG. Think we should play him more. He’s not going is he – he’s staying on in a coaching position? He has far too much class to end up as a pundit.

Brown American Gooner

I usually don’t disagree with BFG, but it was the Mertersacker final! Class act!

Girouds Lovely Locks

Tough titty Per…it’s the Mertesacker Final.


I can see him as manager if Wenger wins trophies this season and next, and signs on for another two years. At that point I honestly believe Per would be capable of coaching the squad.
If Wenger leaves after next though I want E.H.


What a dude!


People always have deluded views of certain players they like to exaggerate on certain faults. Case in point Per. Sure he “lacks pace” but better positioning than scurrying around headless. Same with Giroud and until recently Welbeck. Other players that always get stick include Ozil and his bromance buddy Flamini a much better player than many rated him. Per has his faults and is an aging asset but the experience is what I believe Wenger has retained him for. In particular with Holding developing (possibly also Calum for the central positions), it makes sense to keep an old head around… Read more »


What a freakin match! The defence was inspirational that day.

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