Arsene Wenger’s recent teams are known for two things: free-flowing attacking football that’s easy on the eyes and defenders, particularly central defenders, who are simply not up to the physical aspects of the EPL. So Wenger’s transfer deadline solution? Bring in a centre back who seems to be a conscientious objector to tackling. A player that has seen fewer yellow cards than Stevie Wonder. Per Mertesacker.
Tossed into the cauldron of a north London derby against Spurs, here’s how Mertesacker did in the tackling department compared to Spurs centre back Younes Kaboul.
Not too well. Maybe it was a bad day. How about the previous game against Bolton?
Hmm. Blackburn before that?
I have always enjoyed watching Arsenal play and I think Wenger has done more to advance the game in England than any manager in the last ten years. But to persist with the idea that you don’t need a central defender that gets stuck in and make opposing strikers think twice when the ball comes to them is doing this team no good.
Mertesacker is the last thing Arsenal needed. Younes Kaboul attempted ten tackles today and won all of them. Mertesacker has ten attempts in his last three games combined and has only won four of them.
Sadly, it looks like it’s going to get worse before it gets better for Arsenal.