It is hard to believe that the world of make believe would come to influence the career of Per Mertersacker in such dramatic fashion. The central defender was only a two year old when Roald Dahl’s children’s favourite The Big Friendly Giant was published, the story of a giant who captures and distributes good dreams to children.

Fast forward twenty seven years and with Arsenal winning their first trophy since 2005, after the dramatic 3-2 extra time win over Hull City, from Aaron Ramsey’s winner, the Arsenal fans have certainly warmed to their own BFG. The word Big remains, in their chant.

For Giant read German, and for Friendly read, shall we say an expletive that rhymes with plucking? The chant however was all that Metersacker needed after his induction to life in the Premiership.

” That was their idea to chant my name in a different way, it wasn’t my idea! They tried to get on with me, I had a hard first season but they always encouraged me. I have to give them credit no matter what happens, especially in the first season, they always encouraged me, they always backed me and that bit of confidence that you need as a player.

” I was frightened at the start. The F word, you can’t say that on TV or something else, so it was always a bit weird, but a German journalist told me that they quite like you, so that was my first impression, not good but finally I got it, ” he laughs.

So entrusted by Arsene Wenger and seen as one of the leaders in the dressing room, Mertersacker is so enjoying his BFG monicker, he has his own line of BFG t-shirts which aid his foundation.

” It’s good to have a manager who backs you up in difficult situation, but as well from the crowds not getting nervous when you get the ball, they’re just chanting you all the time. That’s the difference it looks like we like each other.”

” I think the fans like when you play, in your way, in your honest way, not going to do anything stupid,anything else which I’ve learned in my youth. I just kept going with my style of play. That’s what I like as well. It’s not all only the skilful players who came make the difference in the game, as well the players who try to stick to their qualities and give absolutely everything, ” said the 29 year old who finally won his first cup final winners medal at Wembley last Saturday.

The German international grabbed the Gunners their vital leveller in the semi- final against Wigan Athletic earning his side the penalty shoot out which Arsenal won.

At their victory parade in North London, Mertersacker wasted no time in declaring his allegiance to the red and white of Arsenal, as he took to the microphone in a euphoric if not exactly tone correct way. But who cares, Mertersacker was a winner!

At six feet and six inches, and during the FA Cup final, Mertersacker’s visibility and vocal command proved to be vital to Arsenal whose dream of cup glory, had a happy ending. With the help of their very own BFG of course.