One player that we’ve always respected, despite the fact he wasn’t really in his prime during his time with Arsenal, is Per Mertesacker. The big German has always been an intriguing defender within the ranks of world football, and was viewed as one of the most intimidating defenders of his generation – and rightly so.
We always felt like he enjoyed his time with the Gunners and while that may be true, the man himself has taken the time to reveal some home truths about one player in particular: Mesut Ozil.
“First of all he loves playing football. It doesn’t come across so often,”
“He is a genius in terms of what he can produce with the ball, you can see that in every training session. Once he gets the ball, he’s rested. He thinks he is playing in the park. He can deliver the ball that no one else can deliver. He has got that magical sense.”
“But he is not the kind of guy who approaches people and says, “You need to do this, that and that”.
“He’s a different character and sometimes I struggled with that. ‘When I approached him and said “this is not what we do here”, I thought that sticks with us longer. For him it’s: “No, that’s OK, I accept that we move forward”. I was really p*****, for days and weeks. But he relaxes in those moments and he is fine with it. He delivers magic moments for us and also moments where you thought he can go to another level.”
“I think that connection got lost, definitely,’ Mertesacker added.
“It was difficult. You feel almost responsible. Responsible for the lack of success and probably that Wenger might have to leave at some stage because we’re not delivering what everyone wants. I always felt really, really bad when a manager was sacked.”
There was also a bit about Wenger at the end, but you get the idea. Mesut Ozil isn’t the easiest character to figure out and never has been, and that’s probably one of the many reasons as to why some Arsenal supporters have such a problem with the guy. Alas, it’s kind of hard to push back against the content of what Mertesacker is putting forward here, mainly because we weren’t actually part of the changing room.
Plus, it’s kind of difficult to imagine Per would lie.
What are your thoughts on Mertesacker’s statements?