Mertesacker to play one more year, talking to Arsenal about backroom role


Per Mertesacker says he’s going to play one more season for Arsenal, then perhaps call time on his playing career. And the BFG says he’s already spoken to the club about staying on in a non-playing role at Arsenal.

The German admitted he’d found last season tough going, not playing until the final two games, capped with that epic FA Cup final performance which helped us beat Chelsea 2-1 to lift the trophy for a record 13th time.

Speaking to local media, he touched on his injury plagued campaign, and admitted retirement crossed his mind.

“I am motivated, but I can not play every three days anymore,” he said. “I do not want to push my luck.

“I told him [Arsene Wenger] I was tired, mentally drained. I’ve been thinking of my career, there’s nothing to it, I’m going to finish. It didn’t matter how how I’d trained, I did not get a chance.”

And as for the future, it was put to him that he’d play one more season for Gunners after the club took up the option of a year’s extension which will keep him at the Emirates until 2018.

“Then I’ll look at how healthy I am and decide,” he said, before saying his career after playing will “definitely be in the football business”.

“It can happen quickly,” he said. “Arsenal would like to keep me, as there are already talks: it will be in the operational business, I will be on the other side.”

It almost sounds like an administrative, rather than coaching position. Per Mertesacker: Director of Football has a nice ring to it.

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75 Comments on "Mertesacker to play one more year, talking to Arsenal about backroom role"

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Uhtred of bergkampburg
Uhtred of bergkampburg

I bloody love that man! Model professional. We need more people like him in the background

jack jack jack

Definitely. Look at what Ajax have done. Got fucking brilliant football people behind the scenes, in technical roles and in the more business roles. Would love for big Per to stick around.

Stringer Bell

Yep we missed a trick with Adams ?


You got to hand it to Adams

Unlike other ex players and greats, he avoided the easy route in punditry and put his money where his mouth was in management.

That said, he is hardly qualified to weigh in either because thus far, he has been a poor manager.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Adams not even good for punditry. That’s why nobody hires him for it.

Viva la prof

He is a legend but sadly mad as a box of frogs that’s why there is no job for him and reduced to writing a shitty book

The Loon Ranger

Just gotta love the BFG. He’s been a legend since he arrived. One of Arsene’s best buys IMO. I’d be blissed to know he’s working for the Arse.


Adams owes everything to wenger yet talks like he owes him nothing. Arsenal legend sure, just not one you necessarily want hanging around too often.

Reality check

Wenger owes Adams as much as Adams owes wenger. Adams was successful before wenger a brilliant defender and a strong leader. Wenger has always been very thankful of the job made easier by that legendary back4. Adams is a very strong and outspoken character, in the mould of the captain after him the Paddy phukn Viera. Wenger likes nice yes men around him thats why these two legends didn’t make it back into the club. If we had at least one of them we wouldn’t be a pushover that we have been for a decade or so.

Tasmanian Jesus

No…just no
If Wenger hadnt come around, Adams would probably have had to retire 4 years before he did.
Come on man, even Man Utd players are tributing Wenger for the positive and healthy effect he has had on football in England.


Yes Arsene Wenger inherited a brilliant captain and leader, but let’s not forget about Adams’ period when he was rock bottom suffering with alcoholism and had to go to rehab. The changes Arsene made at the club and the way he personally managed Tony Adams’ situation literally saved his life and career. For that alone Adams should forever be in his debt.

It’s sad honestly because when you listen to him speak, he doesn’t necessarily hate wenger like some ex players seem to, and you can just see the passion he has for Arsenal, but I think it’s just him trying to sell a book. He said in his book “Wenger couldn’t coach his way out of a paper bag.” And that was the headline the media used when talking about his book. I think he would have been the perfect person to have in the background but he’s clearly burned that bridge as long as Arsene’s in charge.


i was not born in adams era, U guys say he is the Mr.Arsenal…..but the ways he talks about le profs and the club he left now (granada) i feel an urge to go full voldemort on his nose…i have no respect for that guy,He can fck off….


more like Mr.Entitled

he keeps harping on how the club has ignored him but forgets how he f***ed off when he was offered a chance to work there


I was lucky enough to see Adams play. He was a fantastic defender, and is a man who absolutely loves the club.

Whether you agree with him or not is another thing entirely 🙂


Well said neder. The man is and always will be a legend and to tell him to fuck off is a disgrace.
You need to read a bit more of tour arsenal history mate and watch a few videos to see what the man has done
You may not agree with everything he says but show a bit more respect


“can’t coach his way out of paperback”, mocking le prof live, Being a soar grape for not getting into managemnt…..
read about his confession about his mom’s size and how it affected his sex life today!!!!
i am a arsenal fan since 2011 and i agree i am a newbie but still i just cant stand tony adam’s…Mr.wenger changed his life for better and this is not how u repay him….He is literally using our greatest manager to sell his book…Arsenal great? ..Yes…but not a great human being and definately not a legend….


have you actually even heard, watched or read what he said in full? he has huge huge respect for wenger and said so many times, he just doesn’t see him through rose tinted glasses like many do.
Read what the man said first before becoming a sheep


the only people who are standing up for adams and his recent public rants right now are those who wanted wenger out at all cost, and are actually driven by the desperation of the situation we find ourselfs in…..U don’t spit on the plate u eat from!!!!


With respect thats absolute bollox.
I started going in 1978 my love and respect for Adams comes from watching him play his way through the donkey chants to become one of the best defenders the country has ever seen. Leading arsenal to title after title and staying loyal to the end of his career. Fuck all do with my views on wenger or his.

Reality check

You have no frikn idea who Mr Arsenal is do you?
People defending Adams are probably the ones who witnessed success coming back after decades and Adams being at the forefront of it.
I absolutely love Adams he’s the real mr Arsenal. Fergie begged him to join United, he could’ve been richer and more successful there but he chose Arsenal and i love him for that unlike some recent captains..

Reality check

He didn’t say it live, it was taken from his book. Adams recently said it was takne out of context and admitted as much as that wenger taught him about life and made him a better person. He isn’t abusing wenger merely disagreeing with him or criticising his obvious flaws. You can’t blame him for holding a grudge as Wenger is the one who blocked his way back in the club thats when he started criticising him. Eye for an eye i suppose.


Voldermort. A lot of these Arsenal supporters never saw Adams play. No idea what a true legendary leader he was. Could have gone anywhere but stayed with the arsenal. No need to get upset with them, they are just ignorant little tykes.


If you didn’t know him during his Arsenal career than don’t talk about him. He IS Mr. Arsenal. John Terry isn’t half the player or leader he was. Arguably the biggest legend in our history. That’s what makes this whole situation sad, but I will forever love him and any real arsenal fan who knows what he achieved at our club does as well.

Plus what he’s been saying about Granada is positive. He took over at a club that had no chance of staying up, kinda like someone taking over Aston villa in the last month of the 2015/16 season.


Adams is a legend. But I don’t think many people doubts that Mertesacker is a more intelligent man than Tony A.

Would still loved to see Adams in some role in the club. Unfortunately he seems far too bitter now. And that is really sad…


For me Ian wright is a proper legend!!

Heavenly Chapecoense

Thierry Henry is a legend for Arsenal and world football. He won’t be as a pundit..

Robert Pyres

Who the actual fuck would click ‘thumbs down’ on this comment?!


I think the comments I’ve heard from both Wrighty and Adams his week have been respectful to the club and to Arsene while at the same time being realistic and honest. They both represent exactly what I think about our current situation. Hopeful for change, but experience says otherwise.

jack jack jack

I think ‘dodged a bullet’ is the phrase.


I think Adams problem is that he wears his heart on his sleeve, so what he says isnt very tactful, he is just a bit of a blunt instrument. Like what he said about the junior coaching staff at Arsenal only being on £30K a year when Arsene is on £8M. To which he then said, ‘why doesn’t Arsene take £7M a year and give them all a pay rise?’

What he said wasn’t untruthful, he has a point, but maybe he just shouldn’t say it? Or if he feels the need to make a point like that, say it in a different way or behind closed doors directly to Arsene.. because it just does come across as if he is taking an easy pot shot at Wenger but I think in reality he is just saying what he thinks because he maybe is friends with some of the junior coaches at the club.

So I do like him, but he is just full throttle the whole time, theres no middle ground. Hence its probably why he’s struggled as a coach so far. But its probably why he was such an amazing defender.

Alton jarman

Adams was a great player but his latest whingeing rant shows he is very bitter. He has not set the football world alight elsewhere which probably means he is not good enough

Godfrey Twatsloch

It’s a sad thing to see a man of such stature so bitter be that justified or not. But it has fuck all to do with BFG’s future at the club.


No we didn’t. One of our greatest players but has failed badly as a coach and manager.


Stick him on the board he won’t take no shit


Oh my. Can you imagine the continual mess in the papers?!

Stuck on repeat...

For an article on our BFG, there are a lot comments about other former players. Love our BFG, & regardless of everyone else, can we again all agree with the original comment that the man has been a model professional. As for how he played in the Cup final…damn he was good. The man’s still got it, perhaps not every week, but always useful to have around.

Reality check

We let Lego hair go, can’t afford another treasure of a man go. Adams and Viera were no fun but Per is a joy and he can turn it on when he needs to (2014 ozil, for not cheering the fans after losing).


Hopefully he can keep going for longer

a different George

Perfect. If we play a three, he can play in the middle when Koscielny needs to rest his Achilles. I don’t think the FA Cup final was a one-off: I think he can put in those sorts of performances regularly but, as he says, not every three days.

He seems exactly the right kind of leader on and off the pitch: confident but not showy; thoughtful but not subject to self-doubt (Ox and Ozil); unselfish.

David C

and we need him to continue to train Rob Holding in the ways of the BFG!

An Ox-sized Coq

Operational business…administrative…hmmm… quite possible that he is taking his fine system to the board and Gazidis.


BFG DOF has a ring to it. Need more football people involved in admin & board. Arteta, Overmars, Bergkamp,Henry & Viera too


Per will continue in accounts receivables.


Great news. Hopefully he will have a great season and retire as a bone fide league-winning legend!

And would love to see him continue working for the Arsenal. Who wouldn’t like to have a world cup winner with 104 caps for Germany around?

The BFG seems like a very smart guy. Well respected and hugely influential both at Arsenal and the german world cup winning squad. And also probably one of our most likeable players the last 30 years. Not too many of those around in the era of multimillionaire players…


He certainly looks like he has the temperament and maturity to cut it as a manager. Maybe there is a bit of grooming involved here to by Wenger.

Clive St Helmet

He’s a PAM: Proper Arsenal Man. I’d love to see him continue at Arsenal in some capacity​.


I have immense respect for BFG and Arteta. Always gave 100% on and off the pitch.


Tony Adams is going to have a fit…


He would’ve at some point anyway.
That’s with all due respect, of course, it’s just that’s how it is.


Per doing coaching badges and then taking over as Wenger becomes Director of Football?

His tactical overview of the game would have no equal i the Premier League…

Godfrey Twatsloch

“Per Mertesacker: Director of Football has a nice ring to it.”

Has a fantastic ring to it!


Director of Football is nonsense.

Wenger did not need a Director of Football to sign Rob Holding.

Besides, in that role you need to know the market. A Grimandi or Ben Wigglesworth (The ex-Leicester head scout we signed last summer) would be far better candidates.

Wright on the money

Great player and a top quality defender his pace isn’t great but height, position and tackling fantastic.

Him and holding together were fantastic Costa didn’t really look in the game in the FA Cup.

I would play him in a back three on the Europa league with Holding and Gabriel.


Pace is useless without timing and positioning.

All these people calling for ‘pace’ frankly do not understand the game.

Its the same for Giroud up top.

Pace pace pace with Welbeck but he times his run into the 6yard slow and he misses sitters.

Giroud by contrast knows he hasn’t got the pace but over last couple of seasons, he has worked on it and times his runs better.

Which is why he got to that ball on the wing for the cross to Ramsey or for that matter for that scorpion kick goal.

Incidentally, slow as mud Giroud scored a hat trick yesterday for France, the first for a French striker since 2000. It’s 16 goals in 16 starts for France for the “Plan B” striker.;)



I’m surprised he isn’t stepping down somewhat but that said, could be a little to do with Gabriel.

Per (along with Arteta) has been critical in Wenger’s rebuild following key departures of Fabregas, Nasri, RVP etc.

They brought more maturity into the squad.

lovely arse

I like this news. Very much.


The other thing considering this season is 5 Cbacks is clearly a minimum for Arsenal (and injuries)

Kudos to the gaffer last season for keeping Per just in case.


I do hope it’s a position of substance for Per – not just a title that means absolutely diddly squat. Didn’t Arsene offer Arteta a chance to coach in the academy, when City offered him a first team coaching position under Pep? I would hate to see: Per Mertesacker – Assistant equipment manager, or something equally horrid.


Agree about the position of substance, but he should start in the academy away from the spotlight and hone his skills. Progression to first team should be earnt just like if he was still playing.


That’s a bit of our problem, unfortunately. Everyone starts in the shallow end and progresses, slowly, whilst others are thrust into the limelight. He’s our Captain, and a World Cup winner. He should not be of the same consideration of one that’s like 18 and needs to find his way, he will be 33 when he retires. As I used in my example, Arteta was given a first team opportunity at City, but only an Academy position at Arsenal. Why? IT sure doesn’t look like Citeh are regretting their appointment of him.

Ol\' Granny Xhaka

I’d love to keep the BFG around. He’s one of those players who actually “gets” what it means to those of us in the stands.

Original Paul

I’d like to see him in the dug in some capacity out after one more season.

Original Paul

*dug out

Original Paul

Per Mertesaker > Steve Bould.


I called this in the comments a couple of days ago.

Robert Pyres

Sod ‘Director of Football’ – Per has the sort of name that befits a position on the board in my opinion!


He could collect the fines when The Kroenkes or Sir Chips does something stupid…:-)


I have nothing but love and respect for our BFG and I’d like to keep him at Arsenal for ever, so this is good news indeed.

Canuck Gooner

No matter where BFG ends up when his playing days are over, I will never forget his performance last weekend. I still can’t wipe the smile off my face.


If he did retire, then he’d retire with Costa, Hazard and Pedro in his back pocket.

john rambo

Anything which keeps Mertesacker longer at the club is a good thing

Tasmanian Jesus

Per Mertesacker: Director of Football has a nice ring to it.

It really does!
Smart man with all the experience u can expect from a football player.
Sign him up!
But let him be backup for 2 more seasons…we need his calming presence in the squad right now.


Per as a Sporting Director (he would be so good in that role since he’s very ethic and politely and has a good vision for everything. He’s similar to Edu, and just look how good Edu is in this role now) and Arteta as a manager (learning the best things from both Wenger and Guardiola) in two years time. I would f***** love that.

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

I’d love Per to have a role at the club when he retires, there’s a calm level headedness about him and a genuine love for the club. However I think if were looking to promote a former player to a ‘sporting director’ role without any experience, I feel Pires is possibly a better choice. I get the impression Bobby has been doing a lot over the last couple years to be best equipped for such a role, you often see him schmoozing with football big wigs and appears to be making contacts worldwide.

Actually the more I think about it, that suaveness of Pires might be better suited to Dick Law’s role…


If you were a prospective signing, what would impress you more; a team led by BFG DoF, or Dick Law? A well-liked and widely-respected World Cup winner, or Dick Law? A former club captain with great football knowledge and experience, or good old Dick Law? I know what I’d prefer (Hint: it ain’t Dick Law)