Wenger: Podolski must improve, Mertesacker best defender in the world?

Per Mertesacker

In an interview with German broadcaster ZDF Arsenal’s manager said about Per Mertesacker: “In my opinion, he is one of the best defenders in the world today.”

Germany is hyped up.

In an entertaining victory last week the German national team beat Sweden 3-5 and the superb performance by the Germans playing abroad was finally for everyone’s pleasure on TV. This Tuesday with Borussia Dortmund vs. Arsenal FC being the top Champions League match every German fan is able to watch Ozil and Mertesacker again. But this time for a full game with their new side. A rarity and in a clash of this calibre. No wonder the German media is going nuts.

In a detailed documentary report by German public service broadcaster ZDF a TV journalist tried to explain the spirit of Arsenal to a German audience. In an interview with manager Arsene Wenger some interesting topics came across.

Wenger on... himself and Arsenal

After a period in which it didn’t went so well, Arsene Wenger said, “we are back in a position where we are able to keep pace with every other club.”

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“Why did you stay in Arsenal?” Wenger was asked. “[…] you don’t have to transfer to develop as a manager.” He stayed in London, because he got all the freedom he want and all the freedom to push through his philosophy, the Frenchman continued.

“What’s your philosophy?” “To play football based on mobility, technique, creativity and speed.”

Wenger on.. Podolski

Lukas Podolski is “super talented” and has “super power.” He is able to score a goal from everywhere on the field, Wenger added.

“But he could develop better. With Lukas Podolski you always got the feeling that he is 80%-90% on the pitch. But you want the 100%. The 100% are world-class.” Arsenal’s manager hopes that there is more. Podolski’s goal for the future would be, to get the 100% out of himself.

Wenger on.. Mertesacker

“Super attitude. Very intelligent. Is getting a lot of respect from others. Very professional. He developed very well, technique-wise and tactic-wise too. In my opinion, he is one of the best defenders in the world today.”

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Wenger on.. Ozil

Mesut Ozil is a dream.”

Wenger said that the attacking midfielder has natural-born talent. “Everything he does is marvellous. It looks very easy. He works very hard [and has a] very good physical quality, too. A born world-class player.” Wenger thinks that Ozil’s goal in the next years will be to get recognized as a “top-, top-, top-class” player in the world.

Wenger may have thought about the fact that Real Madrid ditched Ozil for Gareth Bale and Ozil is eager to prove Real Madrid’s management wrong.

 Wenger on.. Gnabry

 “Super potential. I have strong faith in him.” Gnabry earned a lot of trust, Wenger said. “He can play behind forward, can play winger, can be crucial, can score goals, can dribble, has a lot of power and very intelligent too.” Gnabry’s next goal will be in Wenger’s mind getting a permanent place in the team. “I think he can make it.”

Wenger made up his mind about Gnabry because the young German was linked to his home town club VfB Stuttgart last summer. As reported Stuttgart will watch him closely. But it seems that the 18-year-old winger has a bright future in London.

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It will be interesting to watch how Gnabry will progress when Podolski is back. Obviously Podolski won’t shy away from the competition: “The left wing is my position,” he said.

Wenger on.. Eisfeld

It seems like the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder is more like a project. Wenger said: Thomas Eisfeld is a very talented player […], very intelligent, […]“

Arsenal’s manager added: “I think he will develop very well in the next two years, because he is a little bit behind with his physical abilities […].”

He emerged in the last six month and every time he played, “he played very, very well”, Wenger said about Eisfeld’s potential.

Does it surprise you too that Wenger thinks that except Mertesacker every German player at Arsenal could improve?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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