Per Mertesacker Reveals 'Baffling' Reaction Arsene Wenger Had After 8-2 Manchester United Defeat
Per Mertesacker has revealed that he was surprised to find there was no anger after Arsenal's famous 8-2 loss to Manchester United, in fact the game 'wasn't discussed by the players.'
In August 2011, with the transfer deadline just three days aways, the Gunners were embarrassed at Old Trafford by their fierce rivals in an 8-2 thrashing.
Whilst most would expect a six goal loss to a side's rivals would result in screaming and shouting from the manager, Mertesacker, who arrived days after the loss, explained in his new book, via the Daily Mail, that there was no tension following the game, saying, "There was no feeling of tension, let alone crisis. Any negativity was blocked out - literally - due to the fact that London Colney - Arsenal's training ground - didn't admit fans or members of the press.
"There is no normal interaction between players and people in the streets, which means you're hardly ever confronted with different perspectives, you never get to witness first-hand how much the club means to people, and only rarely do you have to speak to journalists."
As well as that the former centre back revealed that upon arriving in north London three days after the loss he found a 'relaxed atmosphere' around the team.
According to the German, who now works at the club as a coach, none of the players talked about the loss in the days after and there was no inquest into what had gone wrong.
Mertesacker was also left 'baffled' that the intensity in training wasn't turned up and the players weren't made to do extra work to make up for the result, and instead 'ran a few laps, did a few passing exercises and went straight back to the dressing room,' ahead of their next game against Swansea City.
Following the loss to United the Gunners signed Mertesacker, Mikel Arteta, Andre Santos and Park Chu-Young on deadline day, in response to the loss.
The 34-year-old also revealed the club used to send out more 'boring' players to press conferences saying, "At Arsenal, things were completely different. They didn't want everything to be focused on a single player. Instead, they preferred to send someone who might be less interesting to the media."
Looking at United right now it's hard to imagine them scoring eight past anyone, even Arsenal, though their former fierce rivals are the only member of the 'big six' not to have won at Old Trafford since 'Fergie's' retirement.
Can Arsenal end their winless run?