Former Leicester City and Derby County midfielder Robbie Savage has criticised Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker in The Mirror.
Former Germany international centre-back Mertesacker has been struggling for form throughout the season and had another poor game against AS Monaco on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old was part of an Arsenal defence that conceded three goals against the Ligue 1 outfit in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie at the Emirates Stadium in North London.
The Gunners lost the game 3-1 and are now in serious danger of failing to progress to the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier club competition.
In the aftermath of Arsenal’s shocking loss on Wednesday, Mertesacker’s performance against Monaco has come under scrutiny.
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Former Wales international Savage has now criticised Mertesacker for not showing leadership against Monaco when the going got tough.
“The lack of leadership and authority on the pitch after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s late goal had given the Gunners a foothold in the tie, was absolutely shocking,” the 40-year-old wrote in The Mirror.
“The kamikaze way Arsenal conceded that killer third goal made me despair that they will EVER learn to shut up shop,” added Savage.
“Who calls the shots? Who takes responsibility? Who’s in charge? Yes, I’m looking at you, Per Mertesacker. And I felt keeper David Ospina should have done better with the last goal, too.”
Mertesacker is not one of the best centre-backs in the world - he never was - but in years gone by he could be relied upon to lead from the back.
While it would not be fair to pile all the blame on the German defender, it cannot be denied that the 2014 World Cup winner should have played much better than he did.
Arsenal lacked organisation at the back against Monaco and, being a senior member of the team, Mertesacker should have seen to that.