Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has criticised Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker for his performance against Stoke City on Saturday.
The Gunners conceded no fewer than three goals at the Britannia Stadium and suffered a 3-2 defeat in the Premier League encounter.
Arsenal were actually 3-0 down at half time following one of their worst defensive performances this season.
One of the players who failed to step up against Stoke was Mertesacker, who has now been strongly criticised by former Liverpool defender Carragher.
“Typical Arsenal at Stoke,” he told Sky Sports. “Schoolboys against men… Nothing was right, but if there was one man I wanted to look at was Per Metesacker.
“If you look at the back four and the goalkeeper – Mertesacker’s experience, the games he has played and the caps he has won, stands out.
"There are two teenagers there. I’ve been a young player and you need help but I’ve also been the older player, the experienced player trying to help young players.
"When you go into games like that you know before the game you’ve got to play your own game on auto pilot but you’ve got to play half their game for them.
"They’re young lads. They’re coming into the team at a difficult place in the Premier League away at Stoke. You have to help them but he didn’t. You can see it throughout the goals on Saturday.”
Carragher’s criticism is justified, and Mertesacker indeed looked an average defender at best against Stoke and not a World Cup winner.
But then again, anyone who has watched the 30-year-old centre-back in recent years would know that he is simply not world-class, not anymore anyway, although his failure to lead from the back against Stoke was staggering.
Slow and often mistiming his tackles, Mertesacker is simply not good enough for a side trying to win the Premier League and the Champions League.
Oh wait, Arsenal are not trying to those competitions, are they?