Harry Redknapp claims he can’t understand why Per Mertesacker was benched against West Ham, as he believes the giant German would have been the perfect counter for Andy Carroll, as reported by The Telegraph.
We were absolutely destroyed by Andy Carroll, with the Hammers forward bagging a hat-trick far too easily. He dominated Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel Paulista in the air, and Redknapp doesn’t understand why Mertesacker wasn’t called upon to counter the threat the Englishman posed.
“I was amazed Per Mertesacker did not start for Arsenal at West Ham, and Andy Carroll bullied Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel at Upton Park,” he said.
“Carroll is almost unstoppable when the ball is crossed into the box, and he could definitely be an option off the bench at the Euros if Roy Hodgson wanted one.”
While many have been calling for Mertesacker to be dropped this season, some poor performances from Gabriel have seen some change their tune.
Arsene Wenger has a habit of finding a team that works and sticking with it, rather than adapting in order to deal with specific opposition. This game against West Ham was a perfect example, as the manager ignored the need to deal with Carroll.
- [Player ratings] Arsenal 0-0 Crystal Palace: Flying save earns Gunners a drab point
- [Team news] Arsenal line up vs Crystal Palace – ‘Special’ star returns
- [Team news] Arsenal line up vs Newcastle – Two major returns in FA Cup
Mertesacker’s main problem is his complete lack of pace, but in terms of aerial ability and anticipation he’s generally an excellent defender. This is something we really could have used against Slaven Bilic’s side.
Andy Carroll is far from a world class striker, yet we made him look like Robert Lewandowski. He was allowed a free run at our defenders, with West Ham putting ball after ball into the box for him to throw his head at.
Arsenal transfer news
While Gabriel should probably be starting ahead of the World Cup winner in most games, there’s a time and a place for Mertesacker to be called upon. Wenger really needs to learn to adapt a little more, rather than relying on finding one tactic that will beat any team on any given day.