Per Mertesacker, the Arsenal defender, is looking to retire before the next season, to end his career on a high.
The Gunners recently won the FA Cup at Wembley against Chelsea, in a game where almost nobody expected the North London club to come out victorious. Yet, there was an even bigger surprise – Per Mertesacker playing an amazing game to earn himself the man of the match award.
Chelsea were expected to run rampant over Arsenal, as they had recently won the Premier League, and were in great form. Arsene Wenger’s men, on the other hand, had a very tumultuous season, and were very shaky in form. Adding the uncertainty of the French manager’s future at the club, it made for a very serious mismatch despite the big names.
Moreover, Arsenal had also failed to qualify for the Champions League and were lacking serious manpower at the back, and were therefore forced to play the defender, Per Mertesacker.
The 32-year-old German had played only 32 mins in the whole season before being pushed on the starting eleven of the FA Cup finals. And did he do justice to Arsene’s confidence! In a game where Arsenal were forced to play a back three with Nacho Monreal, Per Mertesacker, and Rob Holding, it was a risky bet which worked like a charm.
When speaking to the German media outlet Sport1, Mertesacker indicated his wish to end his career on a high, by stating: “I was extremely lucky with my career and I want to finish on a high. I am motivated, but I cannot play every three days anymore. I don’t want to stretch my luck.
“I recently told him [Wenger] that I am tired, mentally wasted. The first time in my career I thought it makes no sense anymore, that I’ll retire. No matter how hard I practised I didn’t get a chance.”
After spending most of his season on the sidelines due to injury, the player was only just able to regain match fitness to start the finals.
Despite his will to retire from playing competitive football, he still wants to play a role at the Emirates. He justified: “Arsenal want to keep hold of me and there are already talks. It will be in the business operations. I will stand on the other side.”
Written by Srivats Venkateswaran
Sports writer with a long experience of writing in football.Was football team head at EssentiallySports. Still deeply misses Sir Alex and Berbatov at United. An introvert at heart with a poetic hand. Engineer by choice, writer by passion.