Monday, January 30, 2023

Mertesacker: We’d lost our way

Per Mertesacker admits Arsenal lost their way trying to buy big stars to close the gap on other clubs at the top of the league but he’s optimistic Mikel Arteta has things back on track.

While the Academy Manager didn’t cite specific transfer duds or how far back he thinks mistakes were being made, he clearly hasn’t been a fan of throwing money at players without an underlying philosophy being in place.

Last summer’s business, which included the recruitment of six players aged 24 or under, marked a clear change in policy that, combined with the introduction and development of in-house talent, appears to be laying stronger foundations for the future.

“We are in a state of upheaval and are building a team capable of development, which should be peppered with players from our own youth and professionals from abroad,” Mertesacker told German publication Suddeutsche Zeitung

“In the meantime, we had lost our way. We tried to make the connection to the top faster with costly commitments. We fell on our face with that.”

Mertesacker also praised manager Mikel Arteta for the clear guidance he is offering the young talents coming through the ranks while highlighting the Spaniard’s coaching style is in contrast to Arsene Wenger, who regularly allowed players to make their own decisions.

“It is not easy to find successors who bring good ideas and who at the same time involve club employees,” said the BFG.

“Mikel has a different knit than Arsene, is intense and focused. He tries to be very active as a trainer, to respond to the new generation and to clearly show what is required.

“The current generation needs more requirements, while in my time much more was regulated in dialogue with one another.”

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It is easier to feel hopeful as a fan when you know people in charge know what they are doing.


Love the German frankness..”we fell flat on our face”


Love me some BFG.
He’s a top man. Happy he’s at the club.


Hey Arseblog, big fan of what you do here. I have a small problem with your app—which is my primary means of accessing your content. On some days, it goes blank and gives the message “an error occurred downloading new articles, please try again”. As at now, it’s been close to five days with that same message. Any ideas what the problem might be? Thank you.

Naked Cygan

Have you tried turning your phone off and on, or a reset? Usually fixes most issues.


Try delete and reinstall the app


Will try both options. Thanks Naked Cygan and Arseblog!


I love the clarity that Per brings. He clearly has strong ideas but also humble enough to keep improving.

A leader by example

Well done Arsene. People may call him old or out of date, but identifying and nurturing talent is evergreen


Future technical director?


I still think it’s a bit disrespectful to call Per the BFG. I know this is a footie forum, and as such anything goes, but let’s try to be civil to our own boys. Especially the ones who deserve our full respect for their impeccable conduct over long time


If you read his book, you’ll see that Per himself is quite cool on his Arsenal nickname. 😊

Ray's ice cream Parlour

I still wear my BFG t-shirt for big games !!!

Brady’s bunch

Enjoyed his book myself he has a different outlook on things and knows what it’s like not to be first choice and what hard graft can ultimately bring.

Wrighty’s hats

Didn’t realise he’d written a book! A memoir post retirement from playing?

Brady’s bunch

Yeah that’s it. Worth a read he has spent a lot of his money on bettering himself throughout his career. We’re lucky to have him in the academy

Giuseppe Hovno

Is it possible RistoJ doesn’t have the context of where BFG originates from?


Where’s the disrespect? Do we use BFG as an insult to him?

Maybe you also think “little Mozart” is disrespectful?


Symptomatic of the world we live in now. Being offended for someone else, even though that person is not offended by it at all.

Brady’s bunch

Spot on 👍🏻

Wrighty’s hats

I feel like there’s a difference between (1) people defending others/calling things out when it’s something that people have historically been conditioned to just accept but shouldn’t have to, and wouldn’t need to accept, if only people would stand up for them (thinking typically along racial/gender/cultural lines, with the inappropriateness being tied to power dynamics), and (2) heightism – although admittedly I can’t say I have first- or secondhand experience of heightism as I’m not especially tall or short myself and don’t know of others being offended by remarks pointing out their tall/shortness. Good to hear Per takes to the… Read more »


That’s what Twitter is for. No place for it here.
When seeing the “reaction on Twitter” always remember that a few hundred thousand, self – selected, semi – professional whingers is not, by definition, representative of the population as a whole…


Apparently 10% of Twitter users account for over 90% of Tweets, and the average user tweets only a couple of times a month

Heavy Gunner

Chris- I can see you offended two readers with what you wrote!!

Tomaury Bischfeld

Was going to write a longer response to this it can basically be summarised as this:

*facepalm* + cry of existential despair x 1000

Heavy Gunner

I have a couple of German friends who are football fans, and they love the fact that Gooners called Per ‘The BFG’. And refer to ‘don’t mention the war (or score!) Thus proving that even they have a well developed sense of humour and their boundaries for ‘being offended’ are maybe larger than some of us others. But I myself might get offended by getting thumbs-downed after what i just wrote. Happy New Year, fellow Arsenal folk- and it would be nice to start the year with a good result on Saturday.


Love the honesty. As a club we were repeatedly doubling down on bad decisions, never admitting how bad things were getting until the fans were driven mad with frustration.
We are at the point were you can enjoy watching Arsenal again, and have some hope for the future. Per and the Academy has been a big part of that.


As long as Per is within the club I feel confident in our future anyway. He seems to have so much sense together with wanting to keep the club’s identity and drive. Hard not to like him.


He gives me such hope. We are lucky to have a genuinely good human being who happens to be capable in this position for our club.

A Different George

A minor criticism. Per is translated as saying “we are in a state of upheaval” (in the present tense). I don’t think he believes this. I don’t speak German, but I bet that the sense of what he said is really “we are in a state of transition.”


Auba’s January transfer over Wenger’s objections. That’s how far back it goes.

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