What has happened to our Big F*cking German all of a sudden? Yes, we have always known he is not the fastest; that he is not the best jumper in the league; and that he turns on his axis slower than an oil tanker stuck in the Thames, but he compensated for most of this with his ability to read the game so well, his organisational skills, and the calm he brought to our defending at the back.
Per, was ist los mit dir?
What has happened to our cool and controlled German warrior? I have always been a big fan of Mertesacker, as I feel he adds something to our defence that all our other defenders and our GK need, and at the same time lack themselves; calm, organisational skills, extrovert motivational skills, and ability to read the game so well.
But recently, especially since his return from sickness during the Christmas period, he has not looked himself anymore, and has regularly been all over the place in our defence.
Without Per finding back his form and composure again, und sehr schnell bitte, Arsenal will be in big problems. In an ideal world, I would like Arsene to find a Central Defender with the organisational skills of Mertesacker, and Vermaelen’s physical abilities – mean tackling, speed, and force in the air: we need a new Sol Campbell so desperately!
But these sorts of players are notoriously hard to find, and other than Vincent Kompany at Man City, none of the current PL top teams can boost a world-class central defender in their teams at the moment. Terry at Chelsea and Vidic at MU still have their moments now and again, but they are spent forces going forward.
There is a minute chance that Arsene will still buy a quality CB before the closure of the TW, but whoever it might be, he will take time to settle in and make a meaningful difference during the remainder of the season.
I am not giving up on the BFG just yet, but I feel strongly that the rest of our season will depend on him finding back his form as soon as possible: if he doesn’t, I reckon we are doomed. TV and Koz are too similar to be our CB-pairing and neither of them have been in consistently good form themselves.
Our strike-force is hitting form with on average 2.5 goals per game since Theo has fully returned to our first-team again, and Ollie is starting to find his feet properly in the PL; but they cannot compensate enough for the incredibly poor defensive performances of late.
Arsenal effectively gave away all three games in the first half of each one of them, against fellow Top-Four contenders; ManCity, Chelsea, and now Liverpool. After those awful first half defensive performances, it became an uphill struggle, which we failed to complete successfully each and every time.
Although, in hindsight, our draw against Liverpool was not as bad as it first looked, given Chelsea’s and Spuds’ drawing their games as well, and at least keeping Pool three points behind us for the time being.
If Arsene is not able to find a quality CB before midnight, we can only hope he will be able to buy the beast of a defensive midfielder most of us have been crying out for. I have written so much about the need for such a DM that I am not going to spend one more word on it today.
Come on Arsene, add some steel and organisational skills to our defensive positions before it is well and truly too late!
Written by: Total Arsenal.