Per Mertesacker abandoned the Arsenal ship, claims Jamie Carragher
The Liverpool legend is heavily critical of Per Mertesacker's performance at Stoke
Per Mertesacker abandoned the Arsenal ship during their 3-2 loss to Stoke City, according to Jamie Carragher.
The Gunners were trailing 3-0 at half-time after a poor defensive display which allowed Peter Crouch, Bojan Krkic and Jonathan Walters to score.
He’s left the young players on their own and abandoned ship. It’s just not acceptable
Arsenal captain Mertesacker started alongside inexperienced Calum Chambers, whilst Hector Bellerin was making just his second Premier League start.
And Liverpool legend Carragher felt World Cup winner Mertesacker lacked leadership at Britannia Stadium.
“When someone’s shooting, you try to make yourself as big as possible,” Carragher told Sky Sports.
“He’s making himself as little as possible by turning his back. That is not acceptable for a player of his quality and experience.
“This is your captain on the day and you talk about leadership, you talk about the character that Wenger always goes on about after the game. He’s abandoned ship.
“He’s left the young players on their own and abandoned ship. It’s just not acceptable.”
Carragher added: “If you look at the back four and the goalkeeper – Mertesacker’s experience, the games he’s played and the caps he’s 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.”