Mertesacker In Team Of The Week (16/10/17)
Arsenal are represented in the latest Premier League team of the week that has been selected by BBC pundit Garth Crooks.
Actually Garth is now down as a 'Football Analyst' these days, a posh term for a pundit then!
The performance by Per Mertesacker in the two one defeat by Watford at the weekend at Vicarage Road was enough to earn them a place in the side alongside the other, in the opinion of the former Spurs striker anyway, most impressive performers in the topflight over the latest weekend.
I think we'll already know ourselves, and not just based on the latest performance, why Crooks, we'll also not argue with it, selected Mertesacker as part of his team but explaining his choice he told the BBC.
'I don't often select defenders on losing sides, but this week I have to make an exception. During the game at Vicarage Road, I saw the most exquisite ball played from Arsenal's central defence to send Alex Iwobi away on the right. It was such an composed pass from the defender, I craned my neck to find out who it was. I was amazed to see it was none other than Per Mertesacker who was responsible for such a sophisticated ball. I don't know why I was so surprised, the 'Big Friendly German' is set to head Arsenal's academy next season, so such erudition should be par for the course. I was also shocked to see Mertesacker starting the game, and with the captain's armband. It was like rolling back the years to the days when he used to appear regularly in my team of the week! This defender is clearly very clever. He never overextends himself and appears a model professional. His headed goal against Watford was like taking candy from a baby - what a mismatch asking Tom Cleverley to mark Mertesacker on a set-piece. That's like asking Ryan Giggs to fight Mike Tyson!'
It's always good to see the club represented in this way, and well played to Mertesacker for his recognition, but the most important thing about the weekend was of course the win and Arsenal failed to achieve that.
David de Gea (Manchester United), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Tom Cleverley (Watford), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Troy Deeney (Watford), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace).