BFG: I’ve still got an important role to play

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Per Mertesacker says he’ll start thinking about his Arsenal future once he’s fully recovered from the knee ligament damage that’s expected to keep him out until the new year.

The World Cup winner, who was confirmed as club captain despite undergoing surgery on the eve of the new season and being in the final year of his contract, believes he still has an important role to play at the Emirates and can challenge for a regular place in Arsene Wenger’s starting lineups.

Speaking to German publication Kicker [translation by ESPN], the 32-year-old also gave an update on his rehabilitation.

“I know that I need to allow myself time. The more time I allow my knee, the longer I’ll be able to play football.”

“I can increase the workload already and I am no longer in pain.”

“I believe that I can reach a level again on which I am important for the team. I have the feeling that this is not the end.”

On the subject of his future, he added:  “I look at the perspectives for me and my family, and I think that I’ll intensify those thoughts from January on.

“That’s also the time when you can listen to other things [offers] when your contract is expiring.”

On the subject of new teammate Shkodran Mustafi, the BFG highlighted how impressed he’s been with his compatriot’s quick assimilation into the Gunners squad.

“I think Musti from the beginning had the feeling that this is the right move for him, he is an open type, inquisitive and fits one hundred percent to us.”

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Mike
Mike

Someone’s got to reach those top shelves.

AusGunner
AusGunner

Per IS top shelf

Trez
Trez

I’d would give him a one year extension. His leadership qualities would still be important in the dressing room and I feel Holding and Bielik could learn alot from him.
One of the guys I hope gets a job at the club when he retires. He’d make a good coach.

Sg_gooner
Sg_gooner

Tony Adams was never the pacey type. Per is more than qualified to be our captain.

lonsdale
lonsdale

He was never too pacey, except for that one game against Everton.

kingso
kingso

I can’t wait to see his back.he’s the weak link in our defence.

Exiledgooner
Exiledgooner

The man has been a model professional, has been as loyal as you could hope for to our great club, helped steady the ship during that appalling period after the Old Trafford debacle, and was a stalwart in the defence of the world champions. He has always been slow, he relies on reading the game and superb positional sense, not to mention his massive gangly legs, and height is sorely lacking in the rest of the team. Show some respect.

Brian
Brian

I love the BFG, but a stalwart for the Germans? He didn’t even start in the Finals…

Roaaary
Roaaary

People forget the importance of players who bring the group together as a unit. Per is one of the players who has always given his all and demands respect. Great guy and glad he is at our club in some capacity

Papas
Papas

who’s gonna collect the dressing room fines when he’s gone? I saw the BFG once on the Great Portland Street and I very nearly gave him a hug…then I thought to myself: you’ll just about manage to hug his knees and make yourself look like a right knob…I was at that Bayern game when Ozil messed up his penalty and we got beaten by that devil-worshipping lot…I’ll never forget the rollocking the BFG gave Ozil for not acknowledging the home fans, at the end of the game…

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

That rollicking was after the Man City game where we lost 3-6, no?

Papas
Papas

you could well be right…it’s all a blur these days…NURSE! can I have my nap now please?

Sam
Sam

Das Captain !!!

Cheesus
Cheesus

*Der Captain 🙂

Ehsan
Ehsan

Der Kapitän

James McLeish
James McLeish

Actually it is “Der Kapitän” or even “Der Mannschaftsführer”.

Arty
Arty

Yeah…can’t wait to see him back either, him and Mustafi are a proven great partnership and he brings a calmness and control that we lack when he’s not there. I reckon we’ll have the best defence in the premiership once he’s back in the squad.

Franzsigel
Franzsigel

Nicest man to wear the Arsenal-shirt for at least a decade or two. Maybe the smartest as well. And should be a valuable influence in the dressing room even when injured.

I’m sure Per will still be a very important player for us after Christmas, and hopefully next season as well. And would love to see him in the coaching staff when he retires. Doesn’t harm to have some world cup winners around the club…

lonsdale
lonsdale

Arsene was a tall, wiry central defender in his playing days as well. Who knows, he could be the heir apparent if Wenger decides to stay on for an extra stint.

Would be quite hilarious to hear Per’s song being sung as the manager, too

Swine flu
Swine flu

“Fits one hundred percent to us”

David C
David C

I’d love Per to stay, but will that mean we loan Holding out? Holding looked quite steady (except for maybe the Liverpool game with Chambers) and ready for the first team.

I think Holding has probably already passed Gabriel in the pecking order. Can’t see Chambers breaking into this team either. All this depth is a great problem to have!

lonsdale
lonsdale

I wouldn’t mind seeing Holding getting a similar loan as Chambers has this year, if Per signs on for another year or so. That would mean Chambers coming back to the same position as he left; do we think room would be made for him, or would he end up leaving?

Personally, I really want to see Calum make it at Arsenal (I just think he’s got something about him), but it’d mean either Gabriel leaving or Per moving on. I can’t guess what will happen here, but the strength in depth is a good problem compared to years gone by!

Jeremy O Dwyer
Jeremy O Dwyer

He might not be an automatic starter when everyone’s fit but I’d love him to hang around for another year or two.

santori
santori

He’s likely in his last season with us as anyone in recent years with the captain’s armband will tell you.

That said, many fans need to appreciate the BFG for what he has brought to our club.

When he was brought in (with Arteta), the club was in sixes and sevens on the pitch, reeling from one key departure after the next. Project youth (Wenger belatedly realised) wasn’t going to cut the mustard but we had yet to re-negotiate many sponsorship deals so money was tight.

BFG brought in experience and helped to slowly regain some confidence and composure at the back.

True he isn’t particularly blessed with pace but all those simplistic comments about “pace’ miss the point.

Positioning is first and foremost at Cback. Composure and experience too.

Pace in abundance (say Gabriel) brings you nothing. Mustafi has both pace AND positioning.

But we must also remember when BFG came in, we were very poor at defending set pieces and were constantly faced with tactics from teams like the old Stoke (Delapidator throw ins, physical bullying, height issues)

The BFG helped put an end to this and he struck a perfectly symbiotic relationship with the more mobile Koscielny.

Currently, Mustafi panic buy has been throroughly justified. YET again the club has been vindicated in staying the course with his pursuit where some people were bleating on about just signing someone-else because of timing concerns.

No. We have to get it right first time round particularly paying for 35m ready made premium.

Wenger knows what he is buying in relation to the players these new boys will have to work with. Ditto Granit.

With Mustafi-Koscielny prospering, Gabriel possibly developing and the very promising young Holding, Per is in his last season.

BUt it should not distract away from the countless times he has saved us in games being at the right place at the right time. Like Flamini and Giroud, he is one of these players whose faults are unecessarily amplified and qualities played down.

Until end of the season, BFG has a massive role to play for us and even when he returns from injury, we never know if we might need him.

A bit of respect for the big fellow please.

gazgoon
gazgoon

Wengeresque smile if I ever saw one…all hail the BFG!!!!

Paul
Paul

I like Per.

Arsene
Arsene

I also like Per.

Frankenbeenie
Frankenbeenie

I too like Per

PGunner
PGunner

I three like Per.

nop
nop

I like Per as well

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Me four

Paul
Paul

My wife also likes Per.

KinG
KinG

My wife likes your wife

Rochester
Rochester

Make it four…

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

You’re five

Vincent Kompany's Forehead
Vincent Kompany's Forehead

I hope Gabriel can kick on too, and hopefully he can speak English now.

Paul
Paul

I wonder if he likes Per?

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Seems like he could probably link up as well with Mustafi as Kos. Kos and Mustafi are pretty similar.

Per and Kos has always been pretty solid. Would like to see him stay.

Dave
Dave

We need depth, and we need experienced players as well. Per fit both criterias, so just give him a contract extension.

John
John

Per is top banana and love having him in the squad ?

RosickyLegend7
RosickyLegend7

Love the BFG and happy birthday Rozza!!!! #Legends

Vincent Kompany's Forehead
Vincent Kompany's Forehead

He’s a good defender, prone to the odd calamity, but I guess you can say that about every defender,

What I would say is that some of the criticism @ him is unwarranted- purely because we play a very high line almost to the point where our CB’s are auxilary Midfielders. This means on counterattacks and against pacy opponents Per can get caught out, and Kos can only put out so many fires with his pace.

If he was in a team that played deeper or where fullbacks didn’t push up as much, his mistake count would decrease.

The beautiful thing about Pertesacker is that he’s always been a slow bastard. So even if he’s 35 his pace won’t have dropped 🙂 But as he ages his game intelligence will increase.

Worth keeping him on for another few years in either case.

Good Omens
Good Omens

You just know looking at that photo that Per has just let go of a really sneaky eggy chuff.

SuchAnArse
SuchAnArse

Sad that some people really don’t understand or appreciate how much per and Arteta were so important to Arsenal at that moment in time.They basically started our turn-around

Snake in the grARSE
Snake in the grARSE

Thumb me down but I don’t wanna see this slow giant anywhere near our first team defence so long as Mustafi is fit. He’s experienced and decent but too slow!

igbo Amadi-Obi
igbo Amadi-Obi

We need to make up our minds if we want nice people or tough performing people. What our team needs now is pragmatism. When a player is clearly no longer able to compete at a level that gives us confidence, he needs to transit. I don’t mind if Per becomes part of the staff, but if there’s no room or he’s not ready to retire, then he moves on. By his nature Per is not pacy. Add 33 years to that and a succession of serious knee injuries and you know we need to make a decision in the best interest of the club. Out of sentiments, Arteta and Rosicky stayed a couple of seasons longer than needed. We made the same soft arguments about niceness and commitment and leadership qualities. Didn’t Arteta walk straight to City’s bench? I see him seated next to Pep these days and I say “Wow, these players are definitely not as sentimental as the rest of us”. I don’t believe in the reasons being advanced for Per’s contract to be extended. We have experience in Kols and Shkrodan. Holding can learn from them. We have leaders in Xhaka and Cech and Santi. I expect an avalanche of thumb-downs, but we need to start thinking the best interest of the club more and more.

Franzsigel
Franzsigel

You don’t become a World Champion with 104 caps for Germany just by being nice.

And Arsenal do need all the leaders in the squad we can get. And the BFG is definitely one of the best.

igbo Amadi-Obi
igbo Amadi-Obi

Per is a great player. I have absolutely no intention of disparaging him. All I’m saying is, as great as he is; as intelligent as he is; as many caps as he has won for Germany: as inspirational a leader as he is; there comes a point where we must say to ourselves that this player is no longer able to perform at a level that will help us achieve our objectives. And I dare say that when a player’s leadership qualities, and his ability to teach and inspire others are the greater values he brings to the team, rather than his ability on the pitch, it is time to be pragmatic and stand him down. Especially when our team is not lacking in players who can match him for leadership and all those nice things. Or does anyone believe that we have desperately missed Per’s defensive skills and leadership this season?

AusGunner
AusGunner

Musti!