Per Mertesacker Highlights The Chemistry That Makes Arsenal Special


Arsenal has always been a unique team in this day and age with the way that they were built. That loyalty is paying off, according to Per Mertesacker.

Loyalty is dying in sports today. Players go where the money is and they go where they are guaranteed wins. It makes many teams today more of a collection of individuals than an actual unified team. But that does not mean that there are not unified teams out there. Fortunately, Arsenal is one of them.

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In a recent interview with Arsenal Magazine, Per Mertesacker spoke about the chemistry that this team has.

“It’s not about me or anyone else, it’s about the club. We want to dedicate our lives to that club, and that means more to me than just performing well individually.”

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This comment is incredibly telling in regards to the philosophy that Arsenal has that not every team out there shares. Arsenal is a team built, not bought. While they obviously make purchases, just like everyone else, they make purchases for the long-term. Arsene Wenger did not go out and buy Mesut Ozil, give him a year, and then sell him because he was not satisfied. Wenger knew when he bought Ozil what the plan was. And he followed it. Look how well that worked out.

The fact that these Arsenal players are putting the team’s success above their own makes them all the more effective. It is rather obvious, but a player that is playing for himself and his own gain is far less effective than a player that is playing for his club’s legacy and his team mates. That is what makes Jack Wilshere so effective. I do not think that Wilshere would be nearly the same player if he were to ever leave Arsenal. The team is in his blood. It’s what he lives for. You take that out of him and you take out a significant part of his game.

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You do not get this same kind of chemistry and team-first attitude when you are bringing in players from all over the globe on a yearly basis. You may get temporary success, but you have to keep the door revolving, bringing in new, overpaid athletes every year lest the old ones get complacent or start to demand more. It’s hard to establish a team identity in that avenue. Plus, it makes the game all about money and not building something. Call me old-fashioned, but isn’t building something so much more fulfilling than buying something?

Arsenal’s identity as a team is clear. They are built to last, they have chemistry to last, and when they do have to go make that rare purchase, that player is bought to last. He is bought to come into the team and be a part of the culture, not just a fill-in until something else comes.

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How many teams out there could have stayed relevant through the decade-long trophy drought? Paying off the Emirates drained the team of their funds and of many of their star players. Yet every single year Arsenal was in the top four. I am convinced that no other team out there could have done this.

But that is what happens when a team is built.