The S*n had a nice big piece trashing Per Mertesacker for attending a basketball game instead of an Arsenal youth match, but they’ve got so much wrong it makes my head hurt.
Not only did the S*n get it all wrong, the Daily Mail, couldn’t wait to jump on the bandwagon and start trashing the BFG as well, quickly followed by TalkSport before the Mail on Sunday got involved.
Arsenal academy boss Per Mertesacker skips mini-derby with Tottenham for NBA London game https://t.co/pb9uhVHhuz pic.twitter.com/m48koB20X9
— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) January 17, 2019
Oliver Holt, the Fail’s chief sports writer, who is supposed to know what he’s talking about, threw a dig at Mertesacker, writing in his Arsenal v Chelsea match report as he gleefully listed all the problems at the club, ”Oh and the academy manager Per Mertesacker chose to watch a basketball game instead of Arsenal v Spurs in the FA Youth Cup last week.”
But that wasn’t enough or him so he had to editorialise about it too:
And take to Twitter:
One other point: imagine if it had been a BAME academy coach who didn't turn up to Arsenal-Spurs in the FA Youth Cup, rather than Per Mertesacker. BAME coach would have been condemned as lazy, entitled and much worse. Mertesacker? 'Oh, it's okay. Let it go.'
— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) January 19, 2019
I’m not even going to start on Holt’s comments about how a BAME coach would be treated differently in this matter for a few reasons. Firstly, there are so few of them we can’t possibly know that. Secondly, the only people to treat BAME coaches as ‘lazy, entitled and much worse’ are people like the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday and Holt’s comments betray how his mind works.
It’s almost like they are trying to force a problem into existence and it has worked. Many people are attacking Mertesacker and questioning his suitability for the job.
Let’s break this down for the right-wing simpletons.
100% correct; Pers role is at Hale End where he is responsible for U9s to U16s, not Colney or the U18s upwards, though I’ve seen him at some matches inc U21 & U23s but obviously not all; he isn’t in attendance of all Academy matches, it’s impossible! https://t.co/FSVqn5iHSk
— John Williamson (@willow1886) January 18, 2019
Per Mertesacker is Head of the HALE END Academy which deals with the kids until they are 16.
London Colney is where they then go and it was the UNDER 18s who were playing Tottenham.
The under 18s are not considered part of the Academy.
Mertesacker is not the u18 manager, coach or mascot. Unai Emery would be more likely to be picking one of the u18s than Per, given their age and his remit.
Are we to be angry at him for not being there too?
Probably best I don’t give Holt and his chums any ideas…