Wenger gives backing to duo

Arsene Wenger has praised Per Mertesacker for performing well despite not being the most elegant player in the Arsenal squad, while he has backed Olivier Giroud to build on an impressive first season at the club.

Last Updated: 20/04/13 at 11:42 Post Comment

Per Mertesacker: Praised by Arsene Wenger for performances this season

Per Mertesacker: Praised by Arsene Wenger for performances this season

Both players have faced criticism this term but Wenger has been satisfied with the contribution they have made to help the Gunners in their bid for a top-four finish.

He admits Mertesacker may not be as stylish as fellow defenders Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny, but says he is an important player.

Wenger explained: "He combines well with both Vermaelen and Koscielny. They are good partnerships. He is a bit more 'positional play'.

"I have three good centre-backs. I can't be wrong when I make a decision, because all three deserve to play.

"Maybe he is less elegant and the visual impression is less pleasing, but he is efficient and intelligent."

Giroud squandered a couple of good chances in a midweek goalless draw with Everton and has struggled to win over the doubters in his first season in the Premier League after arriving from Montpellier, but Wenger feels he deserves more credit and has the ability to improve next term.

The Arsenal manager said: "He gave a lot until now and for his first season he is doing extremely well because he has a fantastic attitude, a positive mind.

"He gives us another dimension with the physical challenges in the air. He has scored 17 goals in all competitions, 11 in the league - for a first season that is quite good.

"He has good physical potential, Olivier. He wants to play every single game, he has a good basic stamina and he can absorb the games.

"He can absorb the body-to-body contact, because he's a strong guy. I think you will see more from him next season, and there's a lot more to come from him."

Wenger added: "He is very extrovert and has a positive nature. He wants to do well - he is desperate to do well - and is not the one who hides after.

"He stands up for what he has done and I feel he deals quite well with that."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

heyremind me of Utd's treble winning side. Swashbuckling and risk prone. We ha Jaap Stam to paper over the cracks at the back though. Not sure they have their Jaap yet.

HarryBoulton
New Striker Not Liverpool's Priority...

A

lexis Sanchez; too good for Liverpool, Stevie. :)

pires
Suarez 'too good for Arsenal'

T

he solution is to not feel sorry for any of Jabba, Gold or Sullivan. They're all deeply unpleasant and all deserve each other. If only West Ham would sign Barton and Suarez then no one would ever need to despise any other club.

spuzzell
The Strange Idea Of Sympathy For Big Sam

Footer 365

Transfer news: Liverpool look to sign Javi Manquillo and Alberto Moreno

Liverpool are closing on Sevilla left-back Alberto Moreno and Atletico Madrid's Javi Manquillo, Sky sources understand.

Patrice Evra reveals he would have been Man Utd captain if he had stayed

Patrice Evra has revealed he would have been made captain if he had stayed at Manchester United.

Transfer news: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers targets further signings

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is hoping to further strengthen his squad ahead of the transfer deadline on September 1.

Mail Box

Plenty Of Reasons Why Lukaku's Worth It

The mailbox defends Everton's enormous outlay on Romelu Lukaku, while we also have mails on Spurs and Suarez. Oh, and worrying about the new magic spray...

Sterling Stuff And Other Friendly Thoughts

We have one reader reaching conclusions from last night's friendly while we have others discussing Romelu Lukaku's move to Everton. Oh and some swearing...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property