Per Mertesacker was obviously unhappy with those who didn’t turn up for his farewell match over the weekend, seeming particularly disappointed in Miroslav Klose.
Arsene Wenger and Mertesacker reunited on Saturday for the German’s farewell game in Hannover. The former Arsenal manager took to the dugout for the match, with a number of ex-players coming from all over to take part. All proceeds from the day went to the Per Mertesacker Foundation, helping socially disadvantaged children through sport.
However, some of those invited didn’t turn up. Klose preferred to go on holiday, and Michael Ballack cancelled because of flu, among others. German outlet Express wrote that Mertesacker seemed less than pleased with Klose.
“Those who did not come, do not deserve Hannover,” the former defender said. “I have to think twice if I have to delete one number or another. Such cancellations hurt, it doesn’t reward what is behind the organisation. Especially when you know that four people have been working for this day for months.”
Overall, the defender seemed happy with the way the day rounded off his professional career though.
“That’s something that will stay forever,” he said. “I think people appreciate what I stand for. Maybe I’m a small role model, I would be happy [with that].”
Mertesacker is right to be annoyed at anyone who didn’t turn up without good reason. After all, he’s only going to have one farewell game in his life. It’s not as if they can make it up to him by coming to the next one.
The likes of Klose spent roughly a decade on the pitch alongside the Arsenal Academy manager for Germany, one more day isn’t much more to give, especially for a good cause.