Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker has questioned the central defensive pairing of Arsenal FC, insisting that they wona t win the title with Mertesacker in the team.
Per Mertesacker, who recently captained Arsenal to another FA Cup win, has been one of the first name on the team sheets for Arsene Wenger, since his arrival in the summer of 2011. Per Mertesacker has already made 171 appearances for the London club and has brought in a sense of leadership in the defence. But since his World Cup winning campaign with Germany, Mertesackera s form has waned a bit. Fatigue has played a role in that, and he faced a lot of criticism during Arsenala s form run of form at the start of last season.
Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker believes that Arsenal wona t win the League title with Mertesacker at the heart of their defence. The former England international has labelled Mertesacker as a a liabilitya and pointed out his lack of ability to recover once he is beaten.
“I don’t think you can win the title if Per Mertesacker is in your starting XI.
“With or without the ball, he is a liability.
“Mertesacker isn’t comfortable on the ball and looks uneasy under pressure when he has to move it quickly.
“Defensively we’ve seen how many times people get in front of him at the near post; when he gets caught out he has no chance of recovery.
“You are asking a lot, for a team who wants to have a lot of possession, to have to rely on someone who doesn’t have a lot of pace. His positional sense is quite poor as well.” a Parker said.
The Englishman has also slated Laurent Koscielny for his knack of giving away penalties and rash tackles. He firmly believes that the London club are in need of new defensive pairing to challenge for titles.
“He makes a few errors, he gives away a lot of penalties and gets booked for rash challenges.
“I’m not sure about Arsenal centrally at all but if you are going to replace one then it has to be Mertesacker.
“We don’t know enough about Gabriel just yet, so a new signing is essential if Arsenal are to address probably their biggest weakness.
“I wouldn’t like to pick a name out of the air – there’s a different one in the papers every day – and no one sticks out right now.
“But if you play at centre-half for Arsenal, you have to be good on the ball.” a He added.
Parker also expressed his doubts about Wilsherea s place in the team and felt that his performance for England, against Slovenia, has been overhyped.
“I still don’t know where he fits into the Arsenal team.
“Everyone is raving about his performance for England but that was against Slovenia.
“Even though he scored twice it was a game England were expected to win.”
Parker does not shy away from blasting Arsenal attackers either. He added: “I like Olivier Giroud but they need someone with attacking nous, which Theo Walcott cannot provide. Jackson Martinez wold be a great signing.” a He said.