Wenger recognises issues raised by Mertesacker


Arsene Wenger says Per Mertesacker has built his career by being ‘totally focused’ and believes the former Germany international will miss playing football when he retires despite his recent comments to the contrary.

Last week, in a frank interview with homeland publication Der Spiegel, the World Cup winner opened up on the physical and mental strain he’s endured during his football career and why he’ll be glad to put such stress behind him when he swaps playing for his new role heading up the Arsenal Academy.

“I think that will go very quickly,” Wenger told his pre-AC Milan press conference when quizzed on Mertesacker’s assessment that he’d rather not play again.

“Once you stop, after a few months you’re ready to play again. Of course, he has had a very long career. Per puts pressure on himself in every single training session.

“He never plays one minute without being totally focused. That demands a huge amount of effort and it’s why he’s made the career he’s had as well.”

On Mertesacker’s assessment that some of his recurring injuries were psychological and that combating stress has been a regular issue, Wenger went on: “How do I respond to that? I know that. It’s not a surprise to me. To be a professional football player is about facing a huge level of expectation.

“First of all from yourself because these players are at the level that they are because they’re very demanding with themselves. That creates stress of course, and the huge expectation level from the environment also creates the stress.

“To play at the level they play at today, you need to have a huge resistance to stress. Somewhere you’re a little bit dependent on your body.

“To express what you want to do, you always need your body to be at your service and that creates stress because you never know how your body will respond, how well you will feel, how much your reflexes will be there in a game. It’s always an uncertainty that creates the stress.”

All in all, very supportive from the boss. Mertesacker hasn’t played for the first team since Arsenal’s FA Cup third round exit at the hands of Nottingham Forest.


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7 Comments on "Wenger recognises issues raised by Mertesacker"

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Billy Bob

Is Wenger saving per for the European cup final lol so that he can prove the doubters wrong one last time – as he did against the chavs in the FA cup final

Danger Mouse

Mertesacker’s comments make me appreciate the guy even more. He may have been inwardly bricking it in last years F.A cup final but still he gave the the most assured, confident and cool as ice performance you’ll ever see. He was a brilliant addition to our squad when the team was in need of a steadying influence at the back. A damn fine servant of Arsenal.


Man Ure yesterday xD xD xD


I love per and no disrespect to him At ALL, but people are moaning about Jack wanting a decent wage and has passion and wants to play but per doesn’t even like playing because it’s so stressful and no one bat’s an eye about his wages.
Just pointing it out because I’m fine with both.

Yolo Toure

Who said Jack wants to play? Convenient he’s fit for every game now it’s time for a new contract 😉

This is a joke by the way!!

Spanish Gooner

I think this is exactly what makes Per agreat choice for the head of the academy. It’s important that they have somebody who will prepare them emotionally and mentally for the world of football and give them the advice they need to cope when they have their first rough patch of form, and I’m sure Per can do exactly that


I think this topic of conversation shows what Arsene constantly refers to as the ‘values’ that are maintained at the club.