Tag Archives: Per Mertesacker

The Fabric of Football | The Arsenal: This is Home

“When you start supporting a football club, you don’t support it because of the trophies, or a player, or history, you support it because you found yourself somewhere there; found a place where you belong.” – Dennis Bergkamp

There are many different routes to becoming an Arsenal fan. Whether you were born into it or they were your local club. Whether it was because of Kanu or Thierry Henry. Or whether one day you were watching the 1991 FA Cup Semi Final on TV and decided to support the loser.

Regardless of how you become an Arsenal fan, what is important is that you found a place where you belong. You found a home.

As part of the new Arsenal kit launch, Adidas have produced a short film giving an in-depth look at the identity, community and values that make the club so unique.

Fabric of Football: This is Home calls on the experiences and insights of club legends, current male & female stars, hopefuls of the future, as well as fans to explore what makes The Arsenal a global club with local community at its heart.

The film – the second in the Fabric of Football series, following a similar look at the values of Real Madrid CF  – celebrates the progressive and inclusive mentality of Arsenal, with club legend Ian Wright speaking with typical candour and passion about the role of the club in his experience growing up in London.

As well as Wright, Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi, Mattéo Guendouzi, Vivianne Miedema, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Leah Williamson, Jordan Nobbs & Per Mertesacker, all reflect with pride on their own journeys with the club so far.

This is that film



The Truth: Mertesacker’s “absence” and Manchester United’s ticket allocation

First thing to do this morning is nip something in the bud quickly.

Per Mertesacker went the NBA London Game on Thursday night rather than to Arsenal v Tottenham in the FA Youth Cup.

This decision has led to huge criticism by many uneducated members of the media and fans. Most are looking for easy hits or RTs on Twitter.

Mertesacker is the Academy Manager.This means he oversees the operation at Hale End – where members of the Arsenal Academy train.

The U18s are not considered part of that academy. Once you reach U18 level, you move across to London Colney to train with the first team

You can not expect Mertesacker, Unai Emery or whoever to go to every game, every time. They have other things to concentrate on, and are allowed a life outside of work.

Going to the FA Youth Cup does not fall within Mertesacker’s contract parameters.

Now he might have gone out of interest, or to see how an U16 performed if they are stepping up a level, but on this occasion he decided to go to a basketball match.

A huge basketball fan, the NBA London Game is a once or twice a year thing.

So let’s just ignore the white noise and fake news surrounding his “absence”.

In other news, Arsenal are set to donate around 600 tickets for the FA Cup fourth-round tie against Manchester United. This after a dispute between the clubs over ticket allocation.

FA rules dictate that home clubs must make 15% of tickets available for the FA Cup. This is 9,000 tickets at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal have given Man U just 5,000 tickets, citing safety concerns.

Every club must get a safety certificate for every game. They must have this signed off by the local council and the police. In the past (when we play Tottenham in a mid week cup game, for example) the police have stopped us giving away the full allocation as they can not guarantee the safety of all fans.

Whether the council or police are behind the drop in allocation, or Arsenal are just hiding behind Health & Safety is not clear.

There is also a bigger story at play here. One which is rarely written about. And that is the fact that Manchester United never give visiting teams a full allocation for cup games.

The FA have approved Manchester United to give visiting teams a lower allocations for FA Cup ties at Old Trafford, where around 11.7% of the 76,000-capacity is handed over to the away team. This usually happens without much comment from the media.

This is potentially tit for tat with Arsenal. “We do not get full allocation when we visit you, so why should we give you full allocation”.

The same happened against Tottenham in the League Cup.

Spurs never give Arsenal their full allocation, yet a lot of fuss was made when we failed to give them theirs.

One problem with the 9,000 tickets is they are then lower and upper tier, with club level and executive boxes filled with Arsenal fans in between.

In the past when away fans have got upper and lower tier, there have been stories of those Arsenal fans in the middle tier being spat on, coins thrown and urine poured over them. This is clearly unacceptable and Arsenal’s first priority is the protection of its own fans.

Back in 2014  Everton (a club with a reputation for throwing urine) only got 9%

The FA responded to complaints stating the 15% was “subject to the local Safety Advisory Group (SAG) agreeing to that ticket allocation number.

“The SAG is made up of services such as the local council, police, fire brigade and the club amongst others and issues the stadium’s health and safety certificate.

“In regards to the Arsenal v Everton Sixth Round tie at the Emirates on Saturday 8 March, the local SAG has chosen to allocate just under 9% to the Everton supporters.

“Although we appreciate the disappointment in the SAG not granting the full 15% allocation, it is nearly double the amount of tickets that Everton would have received for the Premier League fixture at the Emirates back in December.

“The FA does not have any input into the decision of the SAG and cannot change it as this is a matter of health and safety.”

So here is an idea. If you want to have 15%. Stop throwing coins, spitting on, or throwing urine at fans below you.

Today is Chelsea. Not much to say except we need 3 points.


What happened to Arsenal’s 2015 FA Cup winners?

Three years ago today, Arsenal 4 Aston Villa 0.

It was certainly not as stressful as what happened at Wembley 12 months previous – when Arsenal found themselves 2-0 down with Kieran Gibbs heading off the line – but it was equally as satisfying.

Arsenal were in complete control from the first minute against relegated Aston Villa – who did not have a shot on target.

What struck me was the goal scorers that day. Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez, Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud. Who would have thought all four would have departed just 3 years later.

That day Santi Cazorla was named Man of the Match. He joins the goal scorers by leaving Arsenal this summer.

These little snippets then made me look at the entire match day squad from 2015, and investigate “where are they now?”


For Wojciech Szczęsny, the FA Cup Final would be the last time he would be seen in an Arsenal shirt. what followed was a 2 year loan to Roma before he joined Juventus as the eventual replacement for Gianluigi Buffon.

Captaining Arsenal that day was Per Mertesacker. He retires this summer. Also leaving the club this summer on a free is Santi Cazorla.

In January, we saw a quadruple of exits. Francis Coquelin went to Valencia, where he joined Gabriel Paulista  who returned to Spain in the summer of 2017.

Three of the goal scorers that day also left in January. Olivier Giroud joined Chelsea in a massive merry-go-round of players and Theo Walcott went to Everton. Alexis Sanchez joined Manchester United,

Kieran Gibbs, who saved the day with a goal line clearance the season before which would have seen Arsenal go 3-0 down, went to WBA where he got relegated.

Thinking the grass was greener, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain went to Liverpool in a big money move in the summer of 2017. Inconsistent performances and injury showed that sometimes it is the player, not the manager.

Finally, Mathieu Flamini Went to Crystal Palace and became a billionaire.

With the futures of Hector Bellerin, Jack Wilshere, David Ospina and Aaron Ramsey in the balance this summer, Arsenal could be in a situation where just 3 players remain from that victorious team 3 years ago.