Per Mertesacker was placed on the bench and saw his team-mates pick up all three points against Everton at the Emirates in a nervy 2-0 win.
Gabriel was picked ahead of Mertesacker to play alongside Laurent Koscielny, and many believe it was because of the German’s performance against Monaco in midweek. The lanky defender had an absolute shocker of a game against the Ligue 1 fatcats, which left me questioning his future at the club come the end of the season.
After a rocky start to life at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger placed faith in Mertesacker and opted to play him beside Kos last season. What Wenger got was a composed and organised pair in the heart of his defence, and the Frenchman stuck with them despite then Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen being fit and selectable. So good were the pair that last summer Vermalen was sold to Barcelona and Mertesacker is now a regular in the side.
However, this season the 30-year-old World Cup winner has gone back to his old way. Last term, Mertesacker read the game superbly and is Koscielny wasn’t able to do his job effectively, the German would be there to clean up and visa versa. But his decision-making and positioning has been simply awful – combine this with his lack of speed and you have a pretty useless player. And after his latest game against Monaco, it seems to me his time well be up, and perhaps Wenger knows this as well by bringing in Gabriel from Villarreal over January.
Mertesacker now has a fight on his hands to reclaim his starting role in the side after another composed and professional performance from the Brazilian defender. But I think many of the Emirates faithful will be happy to see the German on the bench rather than on the field after Wednesday night’s display.
I don’t think Wenger will look to sell Per over the summer but maybe the centre-back will have to consider his future if things remain the same for him.