Mertesacker: That was the last chance saloon for some players


Per Mertesacker says some players have failed with their final chance to convince Arsene Wenger that they’re worthy of a place in the team, following the 4-2 defeat to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.

It’s the first time in the manager’s reign that he’s lost a third round tie, and on the day the Gunners were found wanting from front to back.

The club captain had a difficult day himself, despite scoring an equalising goal, and he suggested there were others who will continue to find themselves on the margins after their performances.

“The manager made a lot of changes, gave a lot of trust to players who haven’t played a lot recently and I don’t think anybody justified their selection today,” said Mertesacker.

“In the first half we played in the park a little bit. We were not precise, especially in the final third. We couldn’t create a lot of chances.

“In the second half there was a little bit more spirit from ourselves, but in the duels you could see that they out-battled us and that little momentum never really changed.

“When we scored to make it 3-2 and when he miskicked the penalty, obviously we expressed it to the ref but he didn’t listen.

“It’s difficult to take because for those players who played today, that was probably a last chance to show up and show the manager that they’re ready to play more games.

“It’s not the case anymore.”

Hard to argue with any of that, and while the players didn’t perform, the buck can only stop in one place and that’s with the manager who buys them, coaches them, and instructs them.

And the fact that Arsenal still have the Carabao Cup and the Europa League to play for was no consolation for the German who has won the FA Cup three times in his Arsecast career.

“But we wanted the FA Cup,” he said. “This feels like we had to defend it, but you couldn’t see that we really wanted to defend it. This round is always the toughest.

“You face a Championship side away and you need to be ready but for the majority of the game, we were not.”

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Strong words from our captain, but 100% correct. No-one turned up today.

We’d better be playing the full first XI on Wednesday. Not a single player from this match deserves to keep their place.

Ayush Jain

Wish we had Lucas Perez and Joel Campbell instead of Walcott and Welbeck.


Totally agree. Both of them contributed with fight and goals.

Welbeck is just too inconsitent and it’s a bit like Henry said about Ox: I really don’t know what he’s good at.


More like Welbeck forgot how to actually shoot as soon as he signed with us. Both him and Wlacott are just tripping over the ball, which is an embarrassment for a sunday league player, let alone someone who makes 100k a week.

Red Cannon

He didn’t know how to shoot when he was at ManU either. That’s why they were happy to be rid of him.

Nice guy. But mediocre football player.

Runcorn Gooner

If the answer to any Arsenal issue is Walcott we have a major problem.
In the words of Gloria Gaynor “Just go,walk out the door,your not needed here any more”

Corona X

And Gnabry instead of Iwobi!

Woolwich Shepherd

Can we recall Campbell from his loan spell? I think we should.


Yeah, we can, but he is injured presently, isn’t he.


Just the way we like it. Get him on a plane now.

KW gooner

Maybe wenger watced english plsyers to be given a chance… he betrsyed his own philosophy with this group


& Gabriel instead of Mertesacker. The FA Cup Final should have been his last game…


He was equally as gash


Gnabry we should have promoted when Chamberlain was refusing to sign on a new contract.

Again another indictment of the poor contract management on hand.

We are too soft on certain players mollycoddlying them. Instead we lose BOTH players.

Jimbo Jones

Shame he couldn’t lead the other 10 players on the pitch by example! Club captain. And next he will pass on our ‘strong mentality TM’ to our next generations.

I love Mert but let’s not pretend he is an Arsenal great or deserved any sort of free pass. He’s captained us during a period of underachievement unrivalled since the early 80’s . He’s a Wenger part 2 man and they all need to go. Lehman is Wenger part 1, Henry, Bergkamp – part 1. Let’s not mix up our legends folks? !


Agree 100%. He’s the Club captain and was the captain on he field. Sort the fucking shit out. There is NO leadership at Arsenal from Kronke to Back office to Wenger to Club captain to on the field.

Reality check

You want chicks to fight cockerels and when they get beat you say chicks never turned up. Our cockerels would roast their cockerels 9 outta 10 but we chose to rest our’s. Fault doesn’t lie with the chicks, it lies with the one who put them there. why did he do it? it’s open for speculation. Mine is he wants to take Europa seriously, as a contingency in case we miss out on top 4 again.


Walcot, Welbeck, Mert, Ospina are experienced players. The cocks in your metaphor. They didn’t turn up. Nelson and AMN were the leaders. Inept throughout.


Arseblog, ‘the last chance saloon’ in the title?


This is a team with absolutely no organisation, no desire, no commitment and no accountability. All of which has, and continues to, come from the manager.

Nobody can say Kroenke hasn’t put his hand in his pocket recently. If anything results have got worse the more he’s spent. That is a worrying correlation if ever there was one.


Kroenke hasn’t put his hand in his pocket, we spent money we had.


Some fundamental issues will not go away even with more spending. But some acute spending on quality may mask them a bit. We are so derelict in creativity without Alexis and Ozil. You’d think we would nip in for Mahrez before Liverpool. 50m is nothing in today’s market and the summer will only get more complicated with the world cup. Wenger is working on an old model which is unrealistic. BUT defensively Bould has been as useful as Rice to Wenger. Fundamental skills not drilled into young players like Chambers or Holding who keep heading the ball into the middle.… Read more »


I’m just throwing this out there: If both Rice and Bould as defensive players and good ones at that,couldn’t/can’t instill some technique and defensive zeal in our defense, maybe Wenger’s dictatorial grasp on everything in the club and his “I have never been wrong in my life about anything” attitude might have something to do with it?


Is there any definitive evidence that Bould actually has any defensive coaching input? Surely, if he’s the defensive braintrust at the club, then he’s a catastrophic failure. If he’s a silent assistant to Arsene, then he’s been a roaring success.


Kroenke won’t spend his own money, he’ll try and spend someone else’s.


Yeah it’s a sad state of affairs. The squad players are good damn awful but to be fair there’s not really a game plan and there hasn’t been one for a while. Side to side with no real game plan. Plus we don’t have the players to enable us to mix it up when we play like shite, we have one forward that can reliably head the ball. I mean in the two games I’ve seen Wellbz play he’s shouldered the ball twice. Seems like nice guy and is a worker but he’s looking awful right now. Iwobi is a… Read more »


Last “the chance” saloon…

David C

wow, you know he’s including himself in those statements. Will make a fine coach!


Lots didn’t turn up, Per included.

Mr Fandango

I don’t think he’s arguing


He[s probably regretting not stepping down last summer after his epic effort in the FA cup final.

This is one season too far for even Per to manage given the woes in the team.

There’s only so much he can do.

Crash Fistfight

It’s very easy for him to say that about himself – he knows he’s going to be retired at the end of the season anyway. It’s a good sound bite, though.

Faisal Narrage

He knows it about himself.
Welbz are done.

Holding and Iwobi should probably go on loan before they learn more bad habits from the Arsenal first team coaches and regress like many other young players have done as soon as they get into the first team.


Genuine question: about which player who’s with us for longer time (2 seasons and more) can we say he undoubtedly made progress in his game over those years? Over past couple of seasons, I feel like whenever there’s a new player coming in, be it from a different club or from our own academy, he instantly brings something very characteristic onto the pitch, which is eventually drained from him once he settles – and his style of play suddenly starts to resemble the style of everybody else around him. From top of my head – be it Bellerin, Iwobi, Coquelin… Read more »


This is an observation I have shared for a a while now. Generally those who refuse to succumb to the “programming” are the ones who most excel and desire to leave as soon as possible.

Faisal Narrage

Yep. We’ve lost good academy prospects for the same reason. Wellington Silva was apparently too individualist in his style of play for Wenger.

I have it on good authority (ex Arsenal academy players) that on his first academy session he was instantly sent to the first team because the coaches felt they was nothing to teach him. He was that good at academy level).


So what? thats all they are, prospects. You act like we’ve lost out on the next potential Messi? KDB? Ozil? Ascensio? type of players. I can’t even think if any of them have made any impact.


Elneny is rubbish.


Elneny was excellent when he first joined. Tidy, energetic, can support the attack. Well known for his shooting outside the box. Pulled off a beauty against Barca. But as Yen said, they succumb to mediocrity.

Jimmy jump

The term is “Wengerized”


I also heard he was better then Salah before joining Arsenal. Look at him now.

SMH Elneny was nothing more then a squad player.


I think this a lot too. I think the only two current players who have improved upon their first couple of seasons are Koscielny and Monreal (and maybe Giroud?) and even they seem to be in decline now. It’s got to the point where I can’t get excited about youngsters like Maitland-Niles, Nelson etc playing well in the first team. Chances are in a couple of years time they’ll either be stuck in under 23’s / loan purgatory or playing like shit in fleeting appearances for the first team. And I don’t feel like that’s a reflection on the talent… Read more »


See ya Theo!


Walcott & Debuchy out


Don’t forget Welbeck.


Mertesacker had an arsecast career? I must have missed those episodes.


Those were big episodes!


Spot on, and obviously he was not speaking about the youngsters.


Jan 5 “Wenger wary of ‘most difficult’ round of the FA Cup”

Jan 7 “Arsenal ship 4 to managerless Forest ”

Do me a fucking favour. Who are you kidding here?


Debuchy, Theo and maybe Elneny should never play for Arsenal again. Welbeck and Iwobi need to start improving too

Adam Guillette

Not ready to write off Elneny but I’m so damn tired of Welbz. Dat guy is a great footballer except for the dribbling and shooting part.

Ayush Jain

Welbeck and Walcott should be sold to Southampton for 40 Million and instead of them we should get Dusan Tadic 🙂 #InMyDreams


You would be lucky anyone would buy Walcott (considering exorbitant salary), Welbeck, Debuchy or Elneny.

The problem for us is they are hard to get off the books because frankly they have been rubbish.


Why would Walcott want to go anywhere he gets paid exorbitant amounts of money with no consequences when he doesn’t or just can’t perform. Is he using bricks for his football boots?


You trippin


Elneny is cack.

Symptomatic of the sort of half arse fix we should not be doing in market now.

Write off.

We need a better midfield. If we want a jack of all trade, Coquelin is minimal standard, not Elneny.


Welbeck Just has to go. He’s had his chances. Theo outclassed him today.

And I’m not saying that to compliment Theo.


I feel like Nelson and willock are the same type of player as Iwobi and that Iwobi should be sold on, just doesn’t have the confidence of the decision making skills to play at the too level


“In his Arsecast career”. Excellent little touch there. ??


Can we fire Kroenke already? He’s the one that really needs to be replaced. If we had the finances of a team like Man City, we would do well under Arsene. I’m not saying that coaching isn’t an issue, but our ownership is what is sorely lacking in commitment and has led to the gradual decline of our illustrious club.

Faisal Narrage

Why do we need money like City? When Wenger just a few seasons ago refused to buy any outfield players with the budget he had (much to Gazidis dismay)?


That I agree with. Why he didn’t bring in another attacking talent that summer is utter stupidity.

Why he doesn’t use the money that he has to make us stronger is insane. To say we are good enough is a joke. Not because we aren’t but I want to be more then good enough. I want to bring in players if we have the budget to improve our squad. One of AW weaknesses is he has blind loyalty and doesn’t want to bring in players that are going to bring in competition.


Clubs like Leicester , Tottenham and Southampton are able to find good players on a budget. Sure, they don’t always have the same expectations as Arsenal but we’re in 5th/6th? Tottenham’s sitting higher in the table for a while now, and Leicester aren’t too far away this season while also winning the league recently. In the transfer market, we’re stuck at “Oh the great talents cost too much and we cant spend that kind of money” which while it is true, was never our approach. We bought previously unheard of players with a lot of potential. We had the setup… Read more »


We’re finishing 6th this year, mark my words.


Optimist! 😉


It was never our approach because we were never like that to begin with. With all the revolutionizing AW did at the club and in England expectations changed. Footballing changed. There is more money involved now. What he has created at Arsenal has lead to bigger expectations from us and rightfully so since the club is grown in value. Its just a shame we can’t afford the top talent and we refuse to pay extra for emerging talents. The days of just using a scouting network are over. Players get exposure everywhere now and AW can’t sneak in a acquire… Read more »


We’ve spent a lot of money recently on players who’ve not been up to scratch. We’ve got the scratch I just don’t think AW can make the decisions now. Sad!


Didnt get up to watch the game live caught the replay this morning instead, was a 45 deg C day here in Oz and was still 30deg at 3am, so opted to sleep instead hah. Glad I didnt get up. WTF kinda performance was that? No heart or ticker today. No effort to atleast try and defend the Cup. As for Arsene, the longer he stays the more negative his record looks. Last season finished 5th first time in his Arsenal career, this season out of FA Cup at the first hurdle for the first time in his career. Could… Read more »


What again worthy of being said? This is just the bitter truth. From our defence to the striking departments, we were found wanting. Nottingham asked to many questions but we failed in our responses. So many things have to change in the team. Bring in more passionate players, we are seriously lagging behind. It’s getting too much for my darling club.

Woolwich Shepherd

Its a damning assessment of the team. And I believe that Per has the decency to include himself among the guilty parties. I assume from his comments that there must have been a formal ultimatum placed to the players before the game: “perform well today, or your future is in doubt”. It’s no secret that Debuchy wanted a new team this month. After that performance, he won’t get any phone calls. Same for Theo. Why would Southampton want him? I was sad to see Elneny’s performance today. He looked like he had a lot of potential when he came in… Read more »


You know I couldn’t understand why we played Debuchy he’s been want away for a while. Why not put a youngster in there with something to prove like Berereton did for Forest. I think Iwobi needs to be dropped from the team l, just doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing sometimes. I also agree Bouldy is not looking good, but stories persist that AW controls everything and that the coaches don’t get to do much. Team is too comfortable and AW for all his trying and huffing and puffing can’t make it work anymore, hope things improve, but I… Read more »


Lol can’t understand why Debuchy was in there today???

WTF??? I’m sorry for this comment. Majority on this board wanted Debuchy playing ahead of Hector for 1-2 games in the Prem. Now with this horrid play can’t wonder why he was even on the pitch???


Last chance salon is probably more accurate given the state of some of those preening little ponces.
I have a bottle of champagne that has sat there for a while with no reason for opening. If Arsenal lose that soppy little melt Walcott this January that fucker is getting popped like an F1 winner.

Faisal Narrage

Let it be acknowledged that Joel Campbell, maybe not being as good in end product (but better technically), came into the first team, worked his butt to add balance to the team and protect Bellerin, and outperformed Theo. And what was his reward? To be shipped away on loan, whilst Wenger tried to figure out a new way to force Theo into the first team (and he did). Let it also be acknowledged that, even though he probably isn’t all that, Lucas Perez came here for £17m and was more productive in the short time he played and brought balance… Read more »

Fireman Sam

Totally agree. I think most of us do. Perez and Campbell were treated very strangely. It’s something AW will one day reveal in his autobiography maybe buy until then it will make him look like a blunderer


Many more before that. Park Chu Young, Podolski, Gabriel, Gnabry, even rosicky in his last two seasons was hardly utilized when fit.

Faisal Narrage

Ah gnabry.
Injury problems. But we sent him on loan because Wenger felt he had enough options at RW. Gnabry himself said he wanted to leave because he was convinced he wouldn’t get chance due to competiton.

And who were his competition? Theo and Ox. The latter we didn’t even offer a new contract to and the former has been limited for years.

In the end, we’ll lose all 3.


Campbell just isn’t good. Perez I’m sorry just kept getting hurt when chances arose for him to have a run of matches.

I agree with the playing favorites. It sucks but all managers do it. We notice it more at Arsenal because we obviously are fans. This isn’t just AW doing this all managers do it.


Admitting ‘we weren’t ready’ realy shows how well wenger prepares his teams! We’ve herd other things like ‘ they wanted it more’ and now this. The thing is you couldn’t argue against any of these statement’s. it’s clear to see all is not well at our club as we continue to stumble from game to game litered with indecision, mistakes and general confusion, some players today looked completely lost like they were unsure of their role and what was expected of them.i was hoping for a couple of players in January but after today I kinda feel like any players… Read more »


I think a lot of the old guard were able to take care of some of the prep stuff and organization themselves and that this freed up AW to mess around with other stuff. Having said that it amazes me that a World Cup winner like BFG and a championship winner like Cech can’t do that now


Problem is: with the huge wages those bunch earn, who would take them off us? And they won’t drop their demands to play elsewhere.


Add the manager to that last chance saloon….


If all else fails BFG at least has his Aesecast career.


No accountability, no responsibility, no consequences for anyone. The erosion continues and nobody seems to care except the fans. It’s so sad.


I hope we play better next week….. the vulchers will be out in force if we lose

Malaysian gunner

Thanks to Wenger Arsenal have forgotten how to defend or don’t practice defensive drills.This could be the last chance saloon for some guys.
This sort of performance /loss cannot be tolerated and it wouldn’t surprise me if the fm walks away or is pushed out.
Btw,MD has apologized for giving the penalty.The FA shd take immediate action against such errant officials by erasing them of the refs list.
When this is done the other mo aint going to be so arrogant and risk perverse.


No, Dean hasn’t apologised. The cheat Riley has said that Dean has admitted he was wrong. This is not the same thing and smacks of arse covering.


Good to hear.

If they needed reminding…one Armand Traore plies his trade with the mid-low table championship bunch of teenagers that beat us. He even won a penalty.


I think Welbeck is on final notice. If form doesn’t pick up, he’s out in the summer or at least relegated to third or fourth choice. Walcott we need to sell. One trick pony. FFS get Mahrez. Instead Liverpool will pay the 50m quid and grab him (not much for current prices). We are so short on technical depth. Elneny is really mediocre. If we need a jack of all trade back up, Coquelin is about the right standard. Elneny is a step below. Insipid is the word that comes to mind. Iwobi Wenger is playing in the wrong position.… Read more »


how many times will you bring Mahrez into every post???

Does he have stock on the market or something?

Evans would be a serious upgrade on Mustafi if that would have happened this past summer.

All last season and summer you were defending what a shrewd buy Holding was for what 2M? Greek kid is younger and at the same price for potential.

How things change with you


Why on earth Per decided to stay one more season is beyond me. …he should have left on a high following last FA cup final. He’s brave I give you that. BUT its symptomatic of our transfer strategy. Rather than retain a fast improved Gabriel, we sell him and then conspire to sell one of our better defenders Mustafi. Instead the rational is to rely on Chambers and Holding (two young half baked products) to improve us. Or push Monreal into a back 3 which created its own problems. And then we go into market and buy another young ‘potential’… Read more »


Some rumour that City will put in 25m for Alexis.

I say take it.

We aren’t their rivals anyway.

BUT if we sell Alexis now, we should be buying 2 replacements.

Mahrez and Draxler.

One will not be adding us any qualitative depth we need.


Thank god another Mahrez comment


Per Mertersacker has got some nerve,, most of the players he is laying blame are young learning their trade and only just got into the team. He on the other hand is a clumsy oaf who should have been thrown out of the club years ago. The amount of times cocked up can’t be counted, he must go along with Wenger and the rest of his failure’s


That’s about as honest of an answer you’ll ever get and I appreciate him speaking up.


Any way the manager can keep his place? His place being a permanent seat in the stands?


The one constant among all the players is every single one was signed by Arsene Wenger and every single one of them is coached by Arsene Wenger. Sorry, but that’s where the blame lies. You don’t end up with a whole 2nd team that’s crap and have it not be the manager’s fault. One or two or three crap players…that happens. A full Crap XI? That’s on the manager.


While he is the captain and soon to take over the academy, what I find most striking about this is how different it is from Wenger’s common way of deflecting criticism away from his players. It makes me wonder if this is an indication of how Per will coach. Both have their merits and I’m not advocating or commenting on either one per se, more reflecting on the different tone and curious about Mertesacker’s future, which I’m quite excited about.


Mert, I hope you are speaking for yourself too, plain and simple I don’t care how well you play. You aren’t physically up to playing professional football at this level anymore, ain’t even about last chances for him, he shouldn’t be in the squad, end of. As for the others, agreed, but likes of Ainsley, Reiss-Nelson, Ospina, Welbeck didn’t blow their chances for me. Elneny, Willock, Holding, Walcott, Iwobi to an extent really were really shit. Really. And Per at the top of that pile of poo. Yet tactically we didn’t approach it right, surely a tape of Brereton would… Read more »

Teryima Adi

Spot on, Mertesacker. You guys bottled it.

Sean Juba

Love BFG but retirement is deffo the right move as he was awful today. Theo can go. He was the senior player on the pitch today aside from BFG and he was invisible. There is so much deadwood and mediocrity on that pitch today. Elneny. Ospina, debuchy, walcott just awful. And then of course there’s the deadwood sitting in the directors box who should also do the right thing and go immediately.


who,s he talking about, the whole team, wenger wont get rid of any of them


Does anyone else feel completely detached and disillusioned with the state the football club finds itself in? Over the last few years I started to get angry, then found the situation amusing (from a ‘am I losing my mind, am I actually seeing this’ perspective?’) and now I’m almost completely non-emotional. I will still renew my season ticket ect and support my club but I just feel helpless. I don’t blame the players. I blame the board for putting zero pressure on Wenger and Wenger for not knowing when to go (unlike Sir Alex). We’ve become a laughing stock but… Read more »


last chance saloon for some player ahem THEO ahem. ooo my sore throat…


Is mert hunting at Theo?


How many more nails do we need to hammer into that coffin?
Wenger will always be loved and revered at Arsenal. But we need a change- or am I talking out my Arsene?


I’m sure there are those who will disagree, and that’s fine, but I’m so over Welbeck and Iwobi. The former simply can’t shoot to save his life and the latter’s decision-making is atrocious. With Iwobi, he always seems to make the wrong decision, whether it’s passing to the wrong person, shooting when he should pass or vice-versa. I hope they prove me wrong, but I just don’t seem them turning it around – ever.