Per Mertesacker; Colossus or Hapless Giraffe Skating On Ice.

We love some BFG

Morning, folks.

I’ve decided that I’m going to blog here and there, every now and then. Keeping things going on a daily basis when it’s just you is pretty tricky and I’ve a personal life as well as a hectic work schedule to contend with.

Excuses, excuses…

Truth is, I can be pretty fu*king bone-idle at times. Often the allure of shooting strangers in the face with a bazooka on GTA5 is too much to ignore and precious time allotted for blogging is quickly eaten into. Other times I simply can’t muster the inclination to waltz my digits across the keyboard.

Today I thought I’d discuss Per Mertesacker.

As an Arsenal player, it’s very easy to go from hero to zero with one poor performance. Olivier Giroud especially seem to spend most of his time veering wildly from one extreme to the other in the eyes of our supporters. One moment, a genuinely world-class striker, the next a meandering carthorse capable of offering nothing more than frustration.

Thanks to what was a breathtakingly sh*t-awful display against Monaco (the less I say about that particular fiasco, the better) our beloved BFG finds himself on the wrong end of animal comparisons and some fans are already caterwauling for his omission from the team and, presumably, the planet also.

It’s amazing how quickly opinion can change. Well… actually it’s not. If you’ve spent any time at all on Twitter you’ll already know hatred, bile and spectacular knee-jerk reactions are all daily occurrences. Even when it comes to a player who’s been an excellent servant to the Club.

There’s no denying Per lacks pace. In fact, it’s far more accurate to state that the difference between his walking speed and running speed is minimal. An Olympic sprinter he is not. His game has never been about the quickness of body to recover from situations; his strength is the quickness of mind to prevent things from happening in the first place. Per is a superb reader of the game.

However, that strength is dependent on others. Per Mertesacker is the type of central defender that requires a quick partner to be truly effective – imagine a team with two Mertesackers at the back and it would be very susceptible to anyone running at so much as a canter. With Koscielny alongside him, he has the perfect foil; someone who’s game compliments his perfectly and enables him to do the things he’s good at.

Most of all, Per’s game requires form, and perhaps there is an element in which he’s been lacking this season. The regular lack of a stable partner certainly hasn’t helped, but many of us have seen chinks begin to appear in his armour. One appalling game certainly doesn’t equate to a player suddenly becoming useless, but over the course of the season I’ve seen reasons for concern.

He doesn’t appear as confident or as solid these days. His decision making isn’t as accurate as past seasons. All players dwindle in terms of ability as their years progress. There will come a time when every member of the Arsenal squad doesn’t have what it takes to perform at the top level. It comes at various times for all players – some lose it at 28, others at 36. As much as I love The BFG, as much as I don’t dispute he has much to offer Arsenal, that time might be on its way a lot sooner that later.

With Gabriel showing signs of being an excellent addition and certainly more mobile, I don’t think it will be long before we have a new partnership that is considered 1st choice.

That’s just my opinion, folks. What the hell do I know? Not much. Why not use the comments below to tell me exactly what you think? I’ll try to reply to a few when i get a minute.

I’ll be back soon with more. Until then, why not listen to the latest Goonersphere Podcast in which Daniel, Sim, Michael and I discuss the recent happenings at Arsenal and cruelly mock one another for cheap laughs.

As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

3 Comments

  1. Jarred Naicker

    Nice article, couldn’t agree with you more, I got to say Mertesacker has had a bit of a roller coaster in terms of form and love from the fans. The debate about whether he was too old, slow and lacked agility started as soon as he joined, I for one always thought his experience allowed him to read the game well but after “that” Monaco blunder (as well as “that” crouching tiger display against stoke) I cant help but feel the way our defence/team play just sometimes is just to his detriment. Why do our full backs fly up the pitch when we have qualified wingers? Shouldn’t someone be Mertesackers designated “legs”, i.e. Kozy used to; at times support the BFG in opposition counters. In any case we need to start keeping our most experienced players there will always be a place and time for time, look at Rosicky. Popping up as a sub and making things happen.

    Reply
  2. Paul b

    Shame as I do like the BFG, but this season he has been woeful, he has lost a lot of his statue as a top defender, but Arsenal play too far up the pitch to suit him, against the oil rags when we didn’t defend too high up, he was great because it was in his domain, it suited his style but when the defence starts committing suicide which they showed against Monaco he was found out, so if we decide to defend not so high, play him, if we decide to defend high up, then no

    Reply
  3. Antique Gunmen

    Hi James.
    I agreed about him. At 30, BFG is entering his dimming days. As a person we love him, but as a defensive element he’s our point of weakness that has been exploit too many times by opponents.
    However, we don’t know how long left Arsene is still use his service. Sooner better than later.

    Reply

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