Mertesacker had come out and slammed his team’s performance during their defeat at the Britannia Stadium.
The post mortem following Arsenal’s dreadful first half display in their 3-2 defeat at Stoke City on Saturday afternoon has continued this evening, with Sky Sports pundit and former Liverpool centre back Jamie Carragher adding his thoughts to the debate – and they weren’t words that Gunners central defender Per Mertesacker will be happy to hear.
Mertesacker as the senior man in the Arsenal defence at the weekend as he marshaled a defence that included two teenagers in the shape of Calum Chambers and Hector Bellerin – and Carragher felt that Mertesacker crumbled and “abandoned ship” during the first half, leaving his younger teammates to be fed to the wolves of the home side:
“This is your captain on the day and you talk about leadership, you talk about the character that Wenger always goes on about after the game. He’s abandoned ship.”
“He’s left the young players on their own and abandoned ship. It’s just not acceptable.”
Mertesacker has looked shaky since his regular central defensive partner Laurent Koscielny picked up an injury on international duty with France – and the main man in Arsenal’s defence is still yet to return to first team duty, meaning that Mertesacker will again by leading the pack when the Gunners travel to Galatasaray in the Champions League on Wednesday.
He has largely been solid since joining the Gunners from Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen during Arsene Wenger’s late window splurge some three years ago, but it is hard to disagree with Carragher’s scathing appraisal of his embarrassing display in the Potteries.