Arsenal star hits out at Germany’s critics ahead of World Cup clash with France

13:26 02 July 2014


Germany's Per Mertesacker


Per Mertesacker has dismissed criticism of the German national team as they prepare for a crunch World Cup quarter-final clash with France on Friday.

The Arsenal centre-back and his Germany team-mates drew detractors for their sluggish performance earlier this week, when they struggled to see off Algeria in extra time.

Gunners playmaker Mesut Ozil, whose overall performance was less than impressive, scored the goal that proved decisive in a 2-1 win to set up the Germans’ last eight meeting with France in Rio de Janeiro.

That is likely to pit Mertesacker directly against Arsenal team-mate Olivier Giroud, while fellow Gunner Laurent Koscielny may start at the heart of the French defence.

A frustrated Mertesacker responded to critical questions by asking: “Would you rather we played beautiful football but got knocked out?

“I don’t know what you want from me – do you think that Mickey Mouse teams are involved in the last 16? All that matters is we’re in the quarter-finals.”

Apart from the German contingent – also including Lukas Podolski, who missed the Algeria game through injury – and the French duo, Arsenal have just two representatives left in the World Cup.

Although club captain Thomas Vermaelen has been a peripheral figure in the Belgian side, Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell – who has yet to feature in a competitive match for the Gunners – has been anything but.

Campbell caught the eye in the Central Americans’ opening game, when he scored once and set up another in their 3-1 win over Uruguay, and has been an important player in their march to the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have announced that some of their first-team players will feature in a pre-season friendly against Conference South club Boreham Wood on Saturday July 19.

The FA Cup will be on display at the game, which kicks off at 3pm.

The Gunners then travel to New Jersey to take on a New York Red Bulls side including Thierry Henry the following Saturday.

Midfielder Chuks Aneke has signed for Belgian club Zulte Waregem after Arsenal decided not to offer him a new contract.

The 21-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Crewe, was one of four Academy players to be handed free transfers by the Gunners last week, along with forward pair Nicklas Bendtner and Ju Young Park.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Sport Stories

Arsenal Ladies' Jordan Nobbs battles with Kathleen Radtke of Manchester City Women (right) during the Gunners' 1-0 win in the Continental Cup

Midfielder Jordan Nobbs is determined to finish her frustrating season on a high by helping the Gunners to regain the Continental Cup.

Yesterday, 16:05
Jordan Grannum (red shorts) defeats William Warburton at the Camden Centre. Pic: Philip Sharkey/TGS Photo

Islington welterweight Jordan Grannum made a successful start to his professional career as he eased to a comfortable points win over William Warburton at York Hall.

Yesterday, 16:00
Highgate Harriers' Andy Maud. Pic: Dieter Perry

Andy Maud stole the show in only his second appearance for Highgate Harriers on Saturday, recording the best time of all the club runners at the National Six Stage Road Relays.

Yesterday, 15:50
Mile End (dark blue) lost 3-1 to Shakespeare in the Hackney & Leyton Sunday League.

Mile End remain top of the Hackney & Leyton League Premier Division despite losing 3-1 against a rejuvenated Shakespeare.

Yesterday, 15:46
Judo player Luca Veras (left) with Sensei Basil Dawkins

Islington youngster Luca Veras claimed his third consecutive gold medal on Sunday since graduating to red belt level in the summer.

Mon, 13:10
Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game against Manchester United

What we predicted

Mon, 07:00
Arsenal's Hector Bellerin and Manchester United's Ashley Young battle for the ball (Adam Davy/PA Wire)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was full of praise for Hector Bellerin after the full-back’s excellent performance in the win over Manchester United.

Mon, 06:45
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gestures on the touchline (John Walton/PA Wire)

Arsene Wenger was pleased to see his Arsenal side put their midweek disappointment behind them with a 3-0 thrashing of Manchester United.

Most read sport


You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Digital Edition

Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder