Jamie Carragher has openly criticised Arsenal defender and World Cup-winner Per Mertesacker, accusing the big German of poor performances for the Gunners.
The tall center-back looked a shadow the man that helped his national side lift the most sought-after trophy in world football as his side lost 3-2 to Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.
Carragher believes Mertesacker let his team-mates, and in particular his fellow defenders,
down during the clash at the weekend.
"What confidence does that (type of performance) give the young lads around
him?" Carragher said on Sky Sports 1's Monday Night Football, according to the Daily Mail.
"He's got to help these (younger defenders) and protect them and stop them getting asked questions.
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"You're in a game away at Stoke in a tough venue - let your players around you know you're not going to accept what's going on.
"This is your captain on the day. We talk about leadership, character - like (Arsene) Wenger always talks about after the game.
"He's abandoned ship, he's left them on their own and that is not acceptable for a player of that quality and experience. He's abandoned ship. It's just not acceptable."
"He's abandoned ship, he's left them on their own and that is not acceptable for a player of that quality and experience. He's abandoned ship. It's just not acceptable"
Mertesacker a weak link
It was revealed recently that Mertesacker avoided military service as a teenager – by insisting he could not squeeze into a tank. Conscription was compulsory in Germany until 2010, with the majority of teenagers spending time with the services.
The 30-year-old has revealed his disappointment at Arsenal’s start to the season, and blamed his own poor performances on a lack of motivation following Germany’s World Cup win. The lack of motivation may signal a possible exit in the future for the German reminiscent of the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Thomas Vermaelen.