Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker talks to Der Spiegel
German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel have published a new interview this weekend with Arsenal centre-half Per Mertesacker.
Mertesacker, who won the World Cup with Germany, has been on the outside at Arsenal for the past few seasons as he approaches the end of his career.
Now 33, Mertesacker has opened up about the stress and anxiety of being a top class footballer.
Mertesacker has also confirmed that his days at Arsenal are almost over:
Some days you realise that everything is a burden, both physically and mentally.
That it’s not about fun, but you have to deliver without a doubt. Even if you are injured.
In the moments before a game starts my stomach turns around as if I had to vomit. Then I have to choke so violently until my eyes tear.
Even if I had to vomit before every game and go to rehab 20 times, I would do it all over again. It was worth it for all of the memories.
My body is finished. Everyone says I should enjoy the last year, to play as much as possible and take everything in, [but] I would rather sit on the bench or – even better – in the stands, and then, for the first time in my life, aged more than 30, I will feel free.
Arsenal vs Watford
Arsenal host Watford at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
With hopes of a top four finish all but gone, Arsenal’s focus for the season as turned to the Europa League.
Contrary to their recent form, Arsenal were brilliant in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 16 tie at the San Siro on Thursday night.
Goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey handed the Gunners a surprise 2-0 away win.
Last weekend Arsenal suffered a third consecutive league defeat, losing 2-1 at Brighton.
Having not played in midweek, Watford will be the fresher of the two sides. Javi Garcia’s side beat West Brom 1-0 last weekend thanks to Troy Deeney’s second-half goal.
Watford have a decent away record this season, although they’ve failed to win any of their last seven matches on the road – scoring just two goals in that period. Arsene Wenger’s side have lost their last three matches at the Emirates Stadium in all competitions.
Watford were 2-1 winners in October’s reverse fixture at Vicarage Road. Per Mertesacker opened the scoring for the Gunners before Watford turned things around through captain Troy Deeney and a stoppage-time winner from Tom Cleverley.