Tuesday, December 5, 2023

BFG: We need to look at ourselves, not listen to others

Per Mertesacker says he’s not listened to the criticism that has been directed at Arsenal since the 2-1 defeat at Watford because he knows all too well that he and his teammates need to do better.

The Gunners’ attitude was criticised by every pundit under the sun following the second half collapse at Vicarage Road on Saturday but also by the Hornets’ captain, Troy Deeney, who claimed that Arsene Wenger’s squad lack ‘cojones’.

Asked for his thoughts on the stinging criticism from his fellow professional, Mertesacker told Sky Sports:

“I don’t know what he said. I don’t pay attention. Anyway, it was after the game I think so I didn’t watch it.

“We should concentrate on ourselves first and foremost. There are so many guys involved in the game [as pundits] now, so many opinions, which is fine, but we need to focus on ourselves and learn lessons from that, definitely. I agree totally with that statement.

“If we start to listen to too many people here it’s not worth it, honestly. I need to look at myself and ask what I could have done better beforehand.

“Afterwards, it’s easy to judge, it’s easy to say words and think we’re lacking something.

“I think we have to concentrate on ourselves and think what we can do better to provide better performances.

“Especially away from home where it matters the most when it gets tight and when we’re faced with difficult situations and the other team puts more pressure on us.

“That [conversation] is all going on here. I’m not in favour of listening to other guys, I’ve not done it in 15 years [of my career] and I’m not going to do it in the last year.”

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Sorry Capt. We have been doing that for ages now and we know ourselves. Sadly the others know us too.


Someone says you don’t have the balls to compete with a mid table team (at best) and your response is I don’t listen to outside criticism? I almost smashed my TV just listening to Troy Deeney and our captain doesn’t even have a response? Really!?! I’m in love with the BFG and I’m not taking a dig at him here but come on, show some fight, show some character show anything! As a professional footballer how can this not be an insult to your pride as a footballer!?!? It’s about time Wenger left! He’s 70 years old, you can’t expect… Read more »


Do you really think ‘Simeone’ would sign up for a load of tossers like, Kronke, Sir Chips etc. He’ll want a club with ambition at least as his next destination methinks.


Ok ask yourself this. Does a manager with a strong dominating character like Simeone want employers who will pressure him, have a say on and question his decisions, or would he prefer a board that gives him the freedom to bring in the players he wants, and work without pressure? For a manager looking from the outside Arsenal is an attractive project. The club has a great history and massive fan base world wide, financially stable, and hasn’t been successful in the last 10 years so expectations won’t be that high, despite the pressure faced from the media. Simeone is… Read more »


At this point I wouldn’t mind a horrible cunt I’m charge of us. Not Mourinho, there’s too much history with him plus he’s a classless cunt i.e. the wrong kind of cunt.

Please Bergkamp, send is a right cunt who will inspire us to put fear into opponents again!


I’d never take Mourinho at Arsenal. Even disregarding how negative his football is and what a cunt he is, it would be too much of an insult to Wenger. Despite Wenger not being at his best in recent years, he still remains the most successful manager in our history and should be respected because of what he’s done for our club.


If Mourinho ever came to Arsenal (as unlikely as santa being real I know) it’d be enough of an insult for me to go on hiatus as a supporter.


Per mate – talk is cheap. And we’ve been here so many times before. Every single person in that dressing room knows the reason why that’s the case. So ultimately nothing is going to change until those that know something is wrong actually opt to do something about it. Just incase there is still confusion with what I am getting at. The first of the many issues surrounding our club at the moment is as follows: The manager is not good enough anymore. His coaches are not good enough anymore. The pre-match preparation isn’t good enough anymore. That has translated… Read more »


You sound like your every day “slit your wrist because Arsenal ain’t winning” type fan. Maybe the teams who have abused FFP, who use illegitimate means to buy the best players, who are offering ridiculous sums of money for players are why we are not as great as we can be? Everyone wants to blame and laugh at Wenger and Arsenal because we refuse to break the rules, we refuse to overspend, we refuse to sell our souls. I tell you what. If Arsenal hired a Mourinho and started buying players like Lukaku for 90 million, I would probably stop… Read more »

David C

that should have this quote pinned in the Arsenal dressing room the rest of the season! How can you ignore this and not use it as motivation going forward?

poor decision, El Capitan



Alexander Pleb

blah blah blah

Dave M

Exactly, just another example of the lack of accountability that exists around Arsenal because of Wenger babying his players and never publically challenging them to stand up and be counted and stop playing like a pack of geezers!

I read about half of these Arsenal quotes then the rest is literally Blah, Blah, Blah…like you said and move on to the next spineless performance.

Alexander Pleb

I really like Per & to be fair to him he has always given his all, but statements like this after years of hearing people like Theo Walcott giving statements along these lines have just become white noise to me.

The Wenger philosophy works a treat if you have a very self motivated group of players, but the majority of this lot need fireworks up their backsides & he has been struggling to consistently light them up for years now!

Wenger, please prove me wrong & turn this ship around! I assume you’re reading this…


Sadly captain ?‍✈️ this is no longer working. Youve done a lot to get to where you are now and it can keep you there but you need to do more to improve or even move to the next stage. What you’ve always done can keep you in the same place: which is where we are as a team now; stagnant!!! And captain don’t lie it’s insulting because I’m sure you’ve seen the comments from Troy and frankly I think he’s said this so you can improve. He’s said what many of us would like to say but with no… Read more »


Elneny has played pretty much every game in every competition this season, even the league cup game. Give the guy a rest now please.


I think you mean Xhaka

Public Elneny Number One

This team does so much “looking at ourselves” now that i think it’s time we were renamed Kardashian F.C.


It was completely classless by Deeney but it’s hard to argue with what he said. Perhaps our players should listen to what other professionals think of them..::It’s a damning indictment but a worthy one. Springboard this humiliation as fuel not to be so complacent and soft because one things for sure…our coaching staff aren’t getting the messsage through…same same


Why shouldn’t he say it? Wow a sportsman with an opinion! Nice not to have the media trained ‘we need to learn from this’ bollocks

Luckily he said it on such a platform that the players and manager can’t hide from it

Kwame Ampadu Down

Yeah, what’s wrong with what Deeney said ? Most footballers interviews are like listening to emotionless clones. Let’s not moan about him : let’s moan about why our lads make it so easy for people to say things like that.


Response to Greg and Kwame: What’s wrong with it? For me, I consider its unsportsman like. Perhaps in the age of the likes of Facebook bloviating, any idiot tweeting whateverthefuck they want, and the world of avatar (i.e. alias) posters, people have gotten the idea that expressing whatever they think, whenever they think it, is just fine. But it’s really not. I’ll caveat that by saying Deeny expressed himself well and it didn’t come off as offensive. But, look at it the other way. How about this scenario: Arsenal hold on for the 1-0 win and when asked at the… Read more »

NickyB52 - the bomber

Couldn’t have said it better myself Homer! A supposedly impartial platform like BT Sport, providing a Player the platform to ‘play pundit’ in the derision of a defeated opponent, without course for reply, is at best unprofessional – at worst disrespectful. I’ve never seen such practice. And such a thing is permissible, I believe, because it supposes the pervasive MSM narrative: ie ‘Arsenal don’t like it up ’em’. Anyone with any sense of pride would be smarting after such comments from a fellow professional and I’m sure the BFG is no different. But he’s right, the solution is internal. That… Read more »

Dave M

The only thing you could say is that its a bit sexist, because I know a helluva lot of women out there that tackle life with more spirit and tenacity than some of our current squad and the meek manager


I was disappointed with the defeat but I was really pleased with Deeney’s comments. It makes the club, the manager and the players look really bad and not hide behind stupid comments about how the ref cost us the game.

While the players sit at home in lovely mansions with their lovely paycheck I hope that for once their feelings are hurt by someone questioning their manlihood.

Crash Fistfight

What with all the lessons the players have to learn every season, the Arsenal curriculum book must be like an old Yellow Pages.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

It’s e evident that Per has been designated to speak as he holds more respect from the fans but even him can’t convince anyone anymore…


Yes, the players need to seriously check if they have “cojones” or not.


If you listen Very very carefully you can hear the echo of Carlos Vela and Podolski lugging still at Ozil “attempting to score.


You keep on repeating the same lame “we need to improve and take lesson” bullshit. You guys never learn any lesson, and never near improved performance. It’s time for all of you to start listening that you are all pussies! Get that into your thick skull.


Anyone want to play post-defeat Bingo…?

I got caught speeding a little while ago, and as a result I don’t speed any more – I’ve learnt my lesson. It wasn’t hard, I just stopped making the same mistake I did before.

It’s not fucking difficult you morons.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

The more appropriate metaphor would be that you and your ten friends were caught speeding, so you guys slowed down too much then got rear-ended, and then nobody knew how fast or slow to go and nobody had the balls to say, “let’s stick together”, and a few wackos went off on ramps for glory stunts, and I could go on but you get the picture. It’s actually quite difficult, and that’s why they get paid quite a bit. So yeah agreed they should know better, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.


Not listening to criticism is exactly what Wenger and his players do all the time which is why we are what we are. Go have another one of those team meetings/clear the air meetings we’ve all heard solve the problems. Bah, rinse, dry, repeat.

Dave M

nailed it


Why can’t they ask why aren’t you learning these lessons as they keep on happening?

He’s as bad as everyone we else. He let deeney bully him


Per is starting to sound exactly like Wenger. If he keeps talking like that he will be our new manager in two years if Wenger decides to hang them up.


He only got the academy job because he won’t rock the boat

Crash Fistfight

I love Per, but I can’t understand how you could give a role of such importance to someone with zero experience in such a role.

There’s a whole heap of difference between coaching (which I think Per would be excellent at) and administering a whole system from top to bottom that includes hiring and firing coaches, talent spotting, maintaining a coaching philosophy across all age ranges and the management of youth ins and outs.

Donald\'s Trump

Classic Arsenal. Focus on what we do and not what the opposition do.

Then turn up unprepared and get embarrassed by Troy fucking Deeney. What a time to be alive.


We have been doing this introspection for a long while now and it has not worked. Momentary improvement, a run of say 13 wins and then an implosion. No one believes the team can learn from its mistakes. No one believes Wenger can address the faults because he is stuck to his stubborn non interventionist approach. But he hasn’t bought enough quality from market to afford this approach. His thinking is fraught with flaws as both oil funded clubs and redistribution of income from tv means the rest of the team have caught up with us technically. …that edge for… Read more »


We need Mustafi.

How Wenger could even contemplate letting Gabriel go and instead rely on young Holding is beyond me.

How he could even risk selling mustafi is even more insane.


They are both mediocre. Mustafi was a panic buy and its showing. He’s been exposed as the season went forward. Only reason he was brought in was not when BFG went down but when Gabriel went down right before the season. That pushed AW into buying someone like Mustafi.


I don’t know games any fans have seen to be sad Gabriel left. Yes, he shows commitment in every game but he was always a mistake waiting to happen and had very poor technique. I cant remember him ever having two decent games in a row in his whole time at Arsenal.
As Arsenal fans we have a tendency to remember injured or sold players as world class (excluding Santi who actually is world class).

I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject

The one thing Gabriel didn’t do was lack effort or pride in himself and the shirt. Yeah he wasn’t a world-class player, and he had bad games (some of which were when he was played out of position, much like Chambers), but in this situation where it’s so hard to find players on the team that are willing to stand up and be counted, his tenacity stands out as something exceptional compared to his ex-teammates. Losing would be a lot easier to take if we were actually getting beat fair and square. Then we could say it was just down… Read more »

Spot on Professor.


The other player I’d like to see come in is Chambers.

All this nonsense on HOlding, frankly he hasn’t been great. Chambers deserves a look in.

Either at right of back 3 or if not even as a wing back.

Again all this talk about ‘lacks pace’ is simply ridiculous. Calum impressed as a Rback for Soton which is why we bought him in the first place.

Now that we do have Holding as well to develop, we can role Calum back to his original intended NATURAL position.

And what of Debuchy. Where he?

Kwame Ampadu Down

You do talk some utter shite santori. Chambers would be roasted alive at wing back. Ridiculous stuff.


You mean the person who kept yakking about the shrewd buy of Holding is wrong?

Yes, again Chambers is hurt. He’s been hurt since I believe Doncaster. So there is no conspiracy why he ins’t playing.

SB Still

Play badly and bad result, couple of injuries, media lock down, lessons learnt message, play with more grit, get some results as expected, big match coming – repeat from the beginning.

Jack Kelsey

‘There are lessons to be learned’? That mantra has been trotted out so many times over the past decade. If we had really learned all the lessons we should have in that time then by now Barca, Bayern, Real, PSG et al would be left floundering behind us.


On a lighter note how about Sakho’s backheel against Chelsea. That might be the best thing I’ve ever seen in a game. EVER. Simply unreal



Did you not see Xhaka’s attempted back pass to cech against Liverpool?


Seems a bit passive from the BFG would be nice to here him ripping xhaka a new one and demanding no more fucking nose picking at any time ever on the pitch or arse picking. I guess their OK for ball scratching as apparently they don’t have any!

I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject

Keep in mind that he could be saying and acting otherwise in the privacy of the locker room or training pitch. This is all sterilized media speak, so he could either be being honest or he could just be saying what the club expects of him in this position.


nobody is prepared to say it as it is (apart from Troy Deeney!)
the local asswipes have just been to the home of the best team on the planet, and got a point………we just have too much sloth all over the pitch.
I actually admire the asswipes over the road, cause they care about their club and their fans.
Vote me down and youve missed the point.


Deeney must have a very short memory… I couldn’t much evidence of his “cojones” when we slapped them 3-0, 4-0 & 3-1 (granted we lost the FA cup 6th tie in there). Performance on Saturday was dire still but he started all those matches I’ve mentioned.


Imagine what Rooney will be saying if Everton beat us up there. It’s a big game for our big players to hopefully step up cup final style.


Arsenal don’t have that guy who can unite everyone at the club. The last time we were united was when we signed Ozil. We then went on to win our first trophy in a long long time.


Well perhaps you should listen, as captain you should be screaming at the team, they and you should be embarrassed by troy deeneys comments, because as a fan I was screaming and embarrassed, show some passion and fifgt for a win

He\'s got no hair but we don\'t care...

I love the BFG but PLEASE stop trotting out this nonsense, it makes us look like a laughing stock.

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