Arsenal fans react to Per Mertesacker's performance

Per Mertesacker was given a rare start for Arsenal on Sunday and, well, it didn't go brilliantly.

Southampton took the lead within three minutes of Arsenal's trip to the South Coast when Charlie Austin broke free of the Gunners' defence and prodded past Petr Cech to open the scoring.

An out-of-position Mertesacker, playing in the absence of the injured Shokdran Mustafi, fell over when trying to tackle Dusan Tadic, who played in Austin.

The towering German centre-back, who turned 33 in September, looked relatively shaky throughout the 1-1 draw and plenty of Arsenal fans used the same word to sum him up on Twitter afterwards: "finished".

It was reported that the World Cup winner would hang up his boots at the end of last season after a knee injury had decimated his campaign and saw him make just one appearance.

But a depleted defence saw the fit-again Mertesacker start Arsenal's 2-1 FA Cup final win over Chelsea and the former Werder Bremen man was nothing short of outstanding on the day.

His heroics at Wembley convinced him to have one more season, but his struggles on the South Coast this afternoon might well make Mertesacker regret the decision to delay his retirement.

Still, he's been a superb player for Arsenal for the most part following his £8 million arrival from Bremen in 2011.


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