Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Mertesacker: Arguments and confrontation are good

While many would like to believe all the Arsenal players are super best friends who have table-tennis tournaments and sleepovers together, there’s always tension in any football team, but Per Mertesacker believes Arsenal became a bit too nice at times last season.

In the wake of heavy defeats last season, the former German international feels that more ought to have been said, but that’s no longer the case and healthy discussion takes place in the dressing room in order to correct things that have gone wrong.

“You need that arguing culture,” he said. “We lost that at times. It gets personal, and someone gets upset too quickly, but you have to face the truth and have a proper argument. That was normal 10 years ago and it has slightly changed.

“We lost that a bit, what is the intention of argument. It’s really important, not only in general, but in a footballer’s life.

“It has to get louder sometimes. We need to discuss, to find solutions, to get everyone in one direction. We had to think about how we can play better, especially defensively.

“We slightly changed approach and defended much better at Man City, even at Chelsea, when we lost 2-0.

“We decided to play more the easy ball, the secure ball, to not get exposed that quickly, and to drop off at times, and just be in good shape. You could see that. That was the benchmark for me, at Man City, how we played there. They couldn’t score against us.

“You learn a lot from defeats. As well, you need to learn from victories. That’s even more important, not to drop a single second.”

And with Arsenal’s form much improved from the first half the season, Per puts that down to better relationships between the players.

“Automatisms – when you know players better, especially your partner – are a big part of a footballer’s life,” he said.

“In the first 10 games, we had literally 10 different back fours, due to injuries, and we had to cope with that. It took its time. As a team, we look quite sharp defensively, not only relying on the back four. There’s more team effort, I feel.

“The post-World Cup difficulties were a new experience for the group, so it took us a long time due to injuries, lack of form.

“Everyone who was at the World Cup suffered an injury or lack of form. Now, slowly, as players come back, everyone needs to deliver and I think the selection is good at the moment.”

And let’s hope they can pick up where they left off before the Interlull against Liverpool tomorrow.

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I imagine Per would simply stand right over anyone and win any argument. Schoolground rules.


Flamini’s that shorter kid that even the big guys are a bit scared of because when shit goes down, he starts scratching instead of slapping.

Don Cazorleone

flam is that mental bastard that starts throwing chairs and hitting the teachers

Ramsey's Spirit

flamini is basicly a rabid Guinea pig – man hybrid put on this earth to kick those who ought to be kicked. Look at his face, its there.

Oor Wullie

Yep, we learned a lot of lessons and will not repeat the same mistakes again


Can’t help but feel that we should have sacked that so-called Venga when we had the chance – i.e. at the sweet end of last year. Now he’s only gone and won 14 out of the last 16 matches in all competitions, and will definitely make it 15/17 today. He will go on to retain the FA cup this year and is looking strong for the 2nd place in the PL as well. So what will stop him from winning the league next year and actually extending his contract to have a go at the champions league? The nerve. We… Read more »


Stupidest thing I’ve heard in long time. Right so want to sack the club’s most successful manager for a lack of trophies and poor performance. Yet you complain when he has addressed the issues and frailties in the team and we start winning. We should have sacked him for being s***. Now its too late because he’s actually good and we hopefully will win another trophy. Typical Wenga. So you don’t want us to win the FA cup or the league next year because Wenger will stay longer. Fans like you give us a bad name go support Chelsea you… Read more »


Thanks for letting me know, rage.

So he’s never won the beer cup due to prioritizing higher profile trophies? Does this indicate yet another case where his choices have been spot on, and thus another reason for him to stay?

I’m crying my eyes out here, mate….


Guys isn’t he just being sarcastic

“He will go on to retain the FA cup this year and is looking strong for the 2nd place in the PL as well.

So what will stop him from winning the league next year and actually extending his contract to have a go at the champions league?”


Need a lil bit of German Steel Balls.


It’s all ball bearings nowadays.


Automatisms? If he conducted this interview in English his language skills are better than mine


He is (or rather was, oh dear) something of an oddity in the German NT, as he’s been known to, would you believe it, read books when they are in training/tournament camps, which does not seem to happen to most of them. Apparently they had a book lending circle which included Oliver Bierhoff and himself and no one else.


Good info, thanks 🙂 I like Per more and more each time I read something new about him. I can see Wenger and himself in big leather chairs by a roaring fire whilst reading Dostoevsky and discussing it afterwards

The Gun

So more like a book line than a circle?


Good story, thumbs up, though Bierhoff retired in 2002 from international football and Per started in 2004.


Bierhoff is in the team’s management. Got his World Cup medal and everything.


Stand corrected!

Ancient Gooner

The manager of the danish national team – Morten Olsen – has been using that word for years (automatism) and we were all wondering which language he was speaking. But he never seemed to care and its spreading apparrantly 🙂

Little Mozart

Antagonism is essential for progression.

Stringer Bell

And there’s me thinking you were just a wonderful composer of music!

Gnobdy gnows

I can’t imagine getting everyone in one direction is going to help much


Well, they do need to replace Zayn.


Arguing between themselves or with the manager? Wenger said he asked the players what they thought before we played City. Makes you wonder.

Bendtner's Ego

I honestly feel that out of all of our players in the squad, Per will be most suited for management when his career is over.


Agree that Per seems like a natural but Arteta also has great potential me thinks. Hope one of them develops well enough to lead the Arsenal bench one day. Per would also break the trend if he makes it, there seem to be very few German international players that become high caliber managers, unlike Spain, France or Italy


He’s said in interviews that he’d like to do something in a club in that direction, yes, not coaching probably though.

He’s also said that he doesn’t want to become a perpetual talk show guest retelling anecdotes from his career, particularly as he doesn’t think interesting ones happen any more.


unfortunately, he can’t be Arsenal manager and German Chancellor at the same time

Gooner planet

Rosicky will also be suited for management…. Music management. COYG COYLM.


He certainly showed his per-sonality in the interview.
*gets coat*

Stringer Bell

I like the big German. Reads game very well. He becomes a liability if we are chasing game and defending from half way line. His lack of pace is easily exposed then, think Monaco. In those situations we could bring on Gabriel. Tactical sub me thinks they call it. He is an easy scape goat when we lose. On a side note, it’s so annoying hear all these dopey English mangers (Pulis surprised me with some intelligence) backing that moron Greg Carpet Muncher. As for the letter from ex England managers trying to excuse the abject failure…. Well, I will… Read more »

palace gunner

Pers has a big say amongst arsenal fc team, he was right to say when all players returned fron world cup duty they had to pick themselved up and about the teams first ten games with different players through injuries, the one form that has hit arsenal fc team for a few or more seasons now. A good recovery gunners second half of prem matches and better than last season coyg, look at raheem on todays sun haha


I feel you, Per. But for tonight’s game I don’t want any argument, I want celebration. 3 points, that’s all we ask. You feel me, Per?

Arsenal's Legend

Per is not just a leader but also a role model. wen he speaks a lot of intellectual on display.


Only Arsene would sign players that use the word ‘automatisms’ in interviews.


Who needs speed when you are already there.

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