"Arsenal are embarrassing and Per Mertesacker is a rhino" - Szczesny’s dad

Wojciech Szczesny's father jumped to his son's defence and took aim at Arsenal's 'disastrous' rearguard after the keeper was lambasted following their 2-0 New Year's Day loss to Southampton.

A former international goalkeeper with seven caps for Poland, Maciej Szczesny let rip in an interview with Polish sports newspaper Przegladu Sportowego.

Germany centre back Per Mertesacker's agility was compared to that of a rhinoceros by the senior Szczesny, although it's widely recognised that the Gunners keeper was at fault for both goals.
'He made a mistake for the first (Southampton) goal, coming too far from the goal, but please look at the Arsenal defence - how these guys are playing is a disaster, but for some reason, nobody pays any attention to it.

'Laurent Koscielny should immediately have run (back) to protect Wojciech, and Per Mertesacker should have stood in the goal,' said Maciej.

'Unfortunately they did not do that and gave him zero support, and in that situation Mertesacker showed the agility of a rhinoceros.

'Wojciech is often paying for it (the mistakes), and that he really cares. He needs someone who will critically analyse every game with him, but also remain positive.

'Someone should support him but the coaching staff at Arsenal are not doing that, meanwhile the entire defence this season is an embarrassment.'
For the opener Szczesny made an ill-advised charge and left his goal unattended, allowing Sadio Mane a chance to convert from a tight angle.

For the second, he toed the ball straight to Serbian midfielder Dusan Tadic in another manic moment.

It's yet to be revealed whether the 24-year-old will start when Arsenal host Stoke at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday after David Ospina played in the FA Cup against Hull.

Maciej also said he had yet to speak to his son about the dressing-room smoking incident that led to a £20,000 fine but insisted Wojciech 'isn't dumb enough' to do such a thing.

Credit: Michael Gadd/SportsMail