The Arsenal defender hopes to start against the Netherlands after having to watch the opening game from the substitutes bench, and feels his knowledge of Dutch striker will help
Manager Joachim Low opted to start with Holger Badstuber and Mats Hummels in central defence in their opening game, and the Arsenal defender says he must adapt to a possible bit-part role, adding that knew there was going to be competition for the places.
“It was clear from the outset that there were going to be tough decisions to be made. The fact is that I didn’t expect it. It's obvious when you give everything from the outset in the preparation. So the surprise was great," Mertesacker said in an interview with Express.
“I have noticed that it was not easy for him [Low] to tell me that. But clearly, this is a new situation for me, one that I have to accept as quickly as possible.
The defender does not see this as the final point of his international career though, adding that he will continue to train hard and make Low consider him for a starting berth later on in the tournament
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"It is as it is always in life: It is a random indication, where you have to do the best thing possible for yourself. Every decision has something positive in it. Maybe I will figure out someday what it was with this one."
"I will continue to work. Just because the defender is sitting on the bench, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t play a function in the team anymore. On the contrary. Due to yellow card or injury, a lot could happen really quickly,” the defender said.
The 27-year old might yet play a role in the Germany side if his experience of Arsenal team-mate Robin van Persie is taken into account.
Low’s charges take on the Netherlands on Wednesday, with the latter desperate for a victory after their shock 1-0 defeat to Denmark in their opening round and Mertesacker believes is knowledge of the Dutch striker will aid his team.
He added: “He [van Persie] is an instinctive player who always finds an answer. Maybe he does the same thing again and again and is predictable. He is a world class striker that reacts to what defenders do. That he was a wonderful left foot, the coach [Joachim Low] already knows. Still, I can advise to my colleagues on what to do.”