Giant defender made two howlers in the build up to Charlie Austin scoring after just two minutes against the Gunners and the supporters have been quick to vent their frustration
ARSENAL fans voiced their anger at defender Per Mertesacker after a double cock-up gifted Southampton a goal.
Mertesacker was back in the Gunners back line at St Mary’s with Shkodran Mustafi out injured.
But the World Cup winner looked like Bambi on ice in the early stages as he was ripped apart by the Saints attack.
The 33-year-old made two howlers in the space of a few second to allow Charlie Austin to fire Saints ahead in the lunchtime kick-off.
First he made a hash of his clearance with his left-foot, mis-cuing his connection and passing the ball straight to the opposition.
And then as he desperately tried to scramble to cover his ground, Mertesacker could only succeed in tripping himself up over his own legs and was left sprawling on the turf.
Austin seized on the wide open gap in the Arsenal defence to latch onto Dusan Tadic’s pass and lift the opening goal past Petr Cech.
And the role Mertesacker played in the calamity was not lost on frustrated Arsenal fans.
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@MitchJHurley wrote on Twitter: “You won’t see Joachim Low put Mertesacker CB in the World Cup, this is because he is the definition of useless, so why has Wenger decided to play him?”
Mertesacker was finally put out of his misery on 63 minutes when he was hauled off by Arsene Wenger and replaced by Danny Welbeck as the Gunners ditched their three-man defence.
And fellow Gunner @ElNnenyM added: “This is Mertesacker’s last season of playing football and he’s defending like it’s his first.
@KB3471 said: “What is Wenger’s obsession with a back 3? Playing Mertesacker is suicidal when he turns slower than a cruise ship. You can’t play old legs against pace.”