Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker had decent performance, insists Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger defends his captain's display despite 3-2 defeat by Stoke
Arsene Wenger has insisted that Per Mertesacker had a decent performance despite Stoke City’s 3-2 victory over Arsenal.
The Germany international was heavily criticised for a shaky display alongside Calum Chambers at centre-half as the Potters stormed into an emphatic 3-0 half-time lead at The Britannia.
The Gunners were missing Mertesacker’s long-term centre-half partner Laurent Koscielny, who was left on the bench as a precaution by Wenger following the defender’s recent injury.
While the Arsenal manager refused to talk about individual performances in his defence, Wenger accepted that his back four were not good enough against a resilient Stoke.
“I still think he had a decent game,” said Wenger. “It’s difficult to talk about individuals but as a unit at the back, we were not dominant enough in the first half.
“In the second half I didn’t see Stoke. You come out of the game and you think it’s unbelievable that you come home with nothing out of the game because we didn’t start well.”
Arsenal are sixth in the Premier League and two points behind Manchester United, who face Southampton at St Mary’s on Monday night.