Öne-Nil to the Arsenal

Ever since Ivan Gazidis declared Arsenal’s new-found financial firepower, stating that the club could afford players like Wayne Rooney and be able to pay their wages, I have said that we need to judge the Arsenal management team based on this summer’s transfer dealings. And at the end of the summer it looks like it’s Öne-nil to the Arsenal.

For years now we’ve been told that there was no money to spend on players but finally the evidence was overwhelming: the cash on hand in the range of £150m, plus the new (front-loaded) stadium deals which were rolling in, plus the bumper new television contracts, all added up to a warchest that would rival any club in world football. Arsenal had to get this right, they had to signal a new direction for the club, they had to cast off the yoke of the old wage structure, and more importantly, Arsenal needed to show the world that they no longer sell off their star players but rather would start accumulating star players.

Lost in the hubbub of Arsenal’s star signing, which we will get to momentarily, is the fact that this summer’s transfer activity at Arsenal is transformational because we cleared out (almost all of) the dead wood. It was hard work getting rid of players like Djourou, Denilson, Chamakh, Gervinho, and Santos but Arsenal did it and largely finished the job, though it seems that there’s always something (Bendtner, Park) there to remind us of past mistakes.

And with the dead wood cleared out Arsenal set about looking for a £40m player with which to signal their intent. The intent to transform Arsenal from a club that sells star players to a club which buys star players.

It’s clear that Arsenal set their sights on a star forward. Higuain was first up but amid reports that Real Madrid moved the goalposts on his transfer fee, Arsenal switched to what would have proved the bargain of the summer: a £40,000,001 bid to activate a supposed release clause for Luis Suarez. But there was no release clause and Liverpool’s, rather shameful, public posturing made it clear that Suarez would never be sold to Arsenal. In fact, since the fallout of Arsenal selling Robin van Persie to Man U, it seems that none of the top six teams will sell any of their players to each other – all of them refusing to do deals which would have sent players to their rivals.

And so we waited, and waited, and waited, until the very last minute when word got out that Arsenal were going to do a deal for Mesut Özil. The idea that Arsenal would sign Mesut Özil was frankly, unbelievable. I could see a player like Higuain because while he’s a different class to the forwards we are used to shopping for, he’s not in the very elite class of players. Özil is certainly in that very elite class: he has been the best playmaking midfielder in Europe, consistently, for the last four to five years. Signing Özil, flat out, signals a new direction for Arsenal Football Club — we buy star players.

It’s also transformational because it heralds a return to the old Wenger, the Wenger who spent money. The myth is that Wenger has never spent any money in the transfer market. The fact is that in the Highbury-Wenger era Arsenal had just three seasons of positive cash flow in their transfer dealings and the remaining six seasons all saw Arsene spend money on transfers. He also had four seasons in which he spent more than €20m on transfers which brought his net spend in the Highbury era to somewhere around €90m. It’s true that Wenger never really bought established stars (though Henry was very well known everywhere except England) and instead bought rather judiciously.

Since moving to the Emirates, however, the story has flipped entirely. Taking out this summer, Arsenal were a net gain in the transfer market of €50m or so. Moreover, there were only two seasons of negative cash flow in the transfer market; 2009 when Arsene desperately bought Arshavin in January and in 2011 with the infamous “trolley dash”.

Boom, in one fell swoop Arsenal turned around and spent €50m on just one player, erasing the gains of the past, while still leaving a sizeable chunk of money left in the bank. Money, which, Arsenal fans will now rightly ask that the club spend.

This is perhaps the most important change from my perspective. Now that the club have opened the checkbook and started spending on star players, they can’t just stop. Not only does Arsenal have £100m cash on hand still but there is more money coming in and we all know it: the money from the Puma deal is not even on the books yet and other deals from this summer are starting to roll in.

And before the umlauts were dry on the Ö, the calls for Arsenal to spend that money were loud and clear. Tim Payton was and is, and will continue, to talk about the need to spend the money and buy more stars. Before the window even closed, Tim was saying that we needed to spend the £50m remaining in the bank and spend it on a forward.

And he’s right, and Arsenal’s high profile attempts to land a forward (Higuain, Suarez, then Ba) prove that Arsene acknowledges Arsenal’s need for a forward. That we couldn’t land a forward is a bit of a blot on the copy book (that and trying to land Suarez). In fact, some reporters are adamant that Arsenal were so desperate for a forward that they refused the sale of Bendtner because Mourinho denied us Demba Ba. Frankly, I don’t know how much I believe that because I can’t see Bendtner playing for Arsenal again unless three things happen: both Giroud and Walcott are injured and Bendtner somehow convinces Arsene Wenger to play him over Yaya Sanogo. Yes, I am saying that Theo Walcott will play centrally for Arsenal and why not? Arsenal proved that we can sit back, soak up the pressure, and hit them with a quick counter. Walcott is perfect for those kinds of games. Walcott will rotate in for Giroud at least until January.

But the biggest thing that buying Özil does is it energizes the fans and players at Arsenal and sends a signal to the players not at Arsenal that the Gunners are open for business. The Arsenal fans have greeting Özil’s signing as a bigger transfer than even Bale to Real Madrid. The Arsenal players will also be energized because they are mow teammates with Real Madrid’s former #10. And the players who don’t play for Arsenal, yet, have to see this as a signal of intent. Any forwards out there looking for an increase in their goal-scoring numbers will be dying to play in front of Cazorla, Özil, and Walcott.

I know that the transfer market wasn’t perfect. I think Arsene bought well to cover his defense and midfield in buying Flamini (Sagna will play CB when needed), he bought well to cover keeper in Viviano (Szczesny has been playing very well), and he added more creativity to an already creative midfield which should translate to more shots and hopefully more goals. We could have done better and there are still some outstanding questions about why some deals didn’t get done. But for the moment we should all be excited by the fact that Arsenal finally did it: they finally landed a truly big-name player. Right now it’s öne-nil to the Arsenal.


75 thoughts on “Öne-Nil to the Arsenal

  1. Vote -1 Vote +1Matt

    Now that we have an excess in creative midfielders and wingers, maybe it is finally time to play Walcott in the central role he covets. At least in cup games.

  2. Vote -1 Vote +1Beermoth

    As awesome as this is, what happens to our midfield dynamo, Ramsey? I really hope he continues to get game time and continues his progress. By the way, super-fucking-psyched about Ozil’s signing!

  3. +10 Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    When you consider how many payers/clubs were slamming doors in our faces, full credit must be given to the Wenger for staying on target and on message to get the type of player he/we all wanted. My mood was improved by the win and further bolstered when Wenger stated there could be a surprise coming. Of the 3 Real players being bandied about, Ozil was not a realistic hope lo and behold here he is.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Rufusstan

        I think the advantage with Ozil is he is playing in London, with a couple of his Germany (and with Per old club) team mates.

        He really seems to get on well with Poldi as well (Google the 2 names and the first auto-search on the list adds Bromance, which is slightly disturbing, but very positive for us).

        Lastly, we play in a way that suits him to the ground. He may not have thought of coming here, bit I cannot see him being happy here.

  4. +18 Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

    While I fully agree with the notion that the Özil signing shouldn’t be a one-off, rather signal a shift, I feel the AST with its statement about disappointment in not spending 50m more in the transfer market is being a little idiotic.

    Sure, we should spend the money we have. But it depends how you spend the money. Apparently (if you believe the papers – i am sceptical) we bid for Rooney, Benteke, Di Natale, and Pastor (isn’t he an AM?) yesterday, apart from trying to bring in Ba. If, for whatever reason, those transfers couldn’t happen at a decent value (would you pay 50m for Benteke just because you have the money?), despite the need for a striker, I’d rather we go with what we have instead of adding more mediocrity (knowingly) onto our wage bill for the next 4 years. Unless such a striker came very cheap, like on a free (Ciprian Marica is available :) )

    Yesterday signalled a shift for Arsenal that everyone can be happy about. A shift that they had indicated was coming in the summer. A shift that I had faith would happen, and I’m glad that that faith wasn’t misplaced. This is a good beginning. We have started adding star players to the stars that we already have, and hope to produce as well. We’re entering the big leagues with our commercial income. I am confident that we will use it well. That was the plan all along as I saw it. I’m happy today. Though impatient to see Arsenal in action again. Which is a good sign, and hence makes me even more happy.

    I’m happy.

  5. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1YankGoonerMD

    I know some are still not happy or at least still focused on the lack of a world class striker signing. If you listen to Wenger’s criticisms of the Spuds, he doesn’t like to add too many to the squad at once. We now have Flamini and Özil who will be regular contributors and will need some time to settle in. Giroud is on Fire! Let’s hope that will continue at least through Jan or at least until Ox, Poldi, and Arteta are back healthy so that we have some options to move the squad around. Theo will get his shot, at least as 2nd choice CF for the moment, but expect the squad to use a rotation of some variation of this until the injured come back.
    Giroud (theo)
    Cazorla (rosicky), Özil (jack), Theo
    Ramsey (jack, flamini, nacho, rosicky), Jack
    Gibbs (nacho), Kos (sagna), Per, Sagna (jenk)
    Szcz (Fab)

    *hope I didn’t leave any healthy ones out

    I think only having Özil and Flamini adjusting and Sanogo learning the ropes as a true understudy to Giroud, we will maintain the excellent form we have seen in the last 4 matches.

    Hopefully, we will show the world how strong we are now and the world class strikers wil start lining up to have a go for the HFB’s job. Having another world class striker who, perhaps has been knocked out of Europe, isn’t happy where they are, etc (Dzeko?, Aguerro?, Lewandowski?) will add another round of refreshing excitement for a run in where we will hopefully still have 4 trophies to be playing for.

    Last thing (not entirely AFC-related). I’m a bit ashamed I don’t know Özil’s game that well. I definitely coveted him when he orginally caught the world’s attention and moved to RM, but I don’t waste too much of my time with the 2-team-league and am usually disgusted by a bad hair cut and some CR7 diving and switch it off. What do you think this says about him and what does this say about RM letting their #10 go? I know RM has a new coach, a new L-foot version of CR7, and new spanish armada of youngsters comprising their future core, but was letting Özil leave hard for them? Was it just a $$$ balance issue, making up for loads spent earlier in window? Are these new youngsters really up to task of replacing Özil? Any opinions, comments, knowledge of him or RM’s new direction in letting him go would be appreciated (if it’s not totally off topic here).

    1. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

      I don’t watch much La Liga either. Most clubs’ attitude when taking on the two giants seems to one of lets just get this over with while avoiding a demolition, and it doesn’t make for very entertaining football.

      But maybe, it is a combination of two things. One, finances. It seems ridiculous to say about a club that just broke it’s own world record transfer fee, but I think they have more issues than they let on. Selling Ozil is one thing, because maybe there isn’t space for him, but they also sold Higuain, leaving them with only one established striker. Kind of like what we have with Giroud :) They also seemed desperate to shed some wage bill with giving away Kaka on a free, and Coentrao was all set to join ManU on loan.(heh)

      Of course, they will claim it is because they are wanting to bring through the next generation of Spanish superstars, to challenge Barcelona in that regard. Partly it might also be true. Like us going British core, they are going Spanish core. Isco, Illaramendi were bought. Jese and Morata will be given chances as backups to Benzema. Nacho was used at CB last year. So yeah, an element of challenging Barca’s dominance over the Spanish national team might also have something to do with it.

      Either way, politics rules the roost. The Bale signing was a political statement. Barca sign Messi-lite in Neymar, so they must sign Cristina-lite in Bale. Barca have La Masia, so we must have young Spanish talent in our team. Once this political thinking is done, they rely on their coach to find the best system on the field. At least, that’s how I’ve always viewed the Madrid process, which is why I never liked them.

      But that posturing on the galactico front with Bale might come back to bite their president. The Madrid fans are not happy at losing Ozil. A lot of them believe Ozil is what made Ronaldo so effective. Which is a good sign for us. Especially if we can add a high quality striker in January or next season.

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +11NiltotheArsenal

        Don’t worry, we’ll get CR7 next year to rejoin his team-mate and score 40+ goals for us:)

      2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        Well he seems upset enough. And maybe Ozil can do what Henry wanted to but couldn’t. Get the world class players to join Arsenal instead of leaving to join them at other clubs. :)

        Apparently there’s been a 12fold increase in shirt sales since the Ozil deal was announced. I just hope Arsenal get a share of the proceeds rather than just going to Nike. Either way though, that kind of excitement is worth the entire transfer fee, and if he’s on 140-170k wages (I’ve read anywhere from 115-200k. German media said 200keuros), he’s well worth it. I mean Adebayor is apparently on 170k at Spurs!

    2. +10 Vote -1 Vote +1jop

      The Madridistas are pretty furious at this sale, the vitriol on their various social media has been effusive. They’ve wanted to keep him, and for good reason.

      Allegedly, Ancelotti was told by Perez he could only keep one of di Maria and Oezil after all that spending. Remember the president runs the show in Madrid, and what he says goes. Having got Bale and Isco in maybe he decides Isco can become the new #10? With di Maria able to cover either wing in a triple pronged Ronaldo-Benzema-Bale attack. We can only speculate, but that won’t be far wrong. In any case, Oezil, annoyed and eager to move, becomes available… you’ve got the rest.

      From Oezil you can expect excellent close control, pin-point distribution, long-passes that dissect opposition defences and through-balls so refined they’ll turn your viewing experience into pure titillation. He produces goals and chances at a rate similar to that of Mata. He’s closer in style to Bergkamp though.

      P.S.: Don’t get overly hung up on why Madrid would let him go, and whether he’s good. Madrid are not your ordinary club.. When a man like Perez gets elected they are full of pomp and ego — two states of mind that are not on easy terms with rationality

  6. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1jop

    Biggest single fee in of the window for a Prem team is not something I’d ever thought I’d associate with the Arsenal. Feels… well… it’s melted away all that negativity.. 14th can’t come soon enough!

  7. +8 Vote -1 Vote +1Bunburyist

    I’m actually okay with us not signing a defender or defensive midfielder, especially if Flamini does what I think he’s going to do (based on what I saw against Tottenham), which is turn out to be an excellent transfer. We should also remember that Arteta will return this fall. That takes care of our holding / deep-lying role, in my opinion. And Vermaelen is a great third-choice CB. Actually, I can’t think of many clubs in England that have that good a third choice.

    But yeah, the striker thing…

  8. +8 Vote -1 Vote +1charybdis1966

    A definite change of tack for AFC with Õzzy’s signing and the pick-me-up the Gooner community needed. I can’t wait for our next home game where I hope to see Õzzy’s debut against the Orcs on the 22nd and you folks on here will get to read about it in my match report.

  9. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Zeddington

    I was hoping to get my hands on some tickets to the stoke game. Clearly that’s not going to happen anymore. Thanks a lot, Ozil! *tongue firmly in cheek*

    1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim

      You can always tell a high-class pair of jeans when they have the color worn down on the legs and paint splattered all over the front.

  10. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    Okay, okay, I know we are all euphoric right now but don’t let this little news item slip under the radar: Podolski is now out for 3 months. So he went form 3 weeks to 10-11 weeks to now 3 months out and counting. This confirms my suspicion that he had a grade 3 hamstring tear and that is now confirmed by the German team doctor’s prognosis. Damn. We should hire that doctor.

    1. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1GoonerNC

      I had read 10-12. Isn’t 12 weeks basically three months? Didn’t we really already know this? (I’m not picking, I’m just trying to see if the information has actually changed.)

  11. +14 Vote -1 Vote +1nycgunner

    Hi Tim, how did it feel waking up this morning?

    I wrote this last night, so any similarity with your article is purely coincidental:

    Last season after the loss to Spurs in a sad display at WHL, many supporters had enough of Arsene. In truth he had started losing supporters some time ago but that game seemed to have been the final nail in the coffin for many. For my part, I began to have serious reservations regarding his ability to take the club forward in this new era. However I told myself one thing: that I would hold back all judgment (as much as I could anyway), until the transfer window for the summer had closed.

    If reading the comments on this blog and a couple of other well know Arsenal blogs is any indication, coming into the transfer season, most of the fans seemed to want the same things:

    1. Clear the deadwood
    2. Sign a CF/winger
    3. Sign a DMF
    4. Sign a CB
    5. Sign a GK
    6. Make at least one those the above signings a marquee one.

    Now that the window has finally closed, we can finally truly judge how our management have fared.

    1. Clearing the deadwood: It’s clear that the first order of business was to trim the excess fat, something I wish Arshavin could’ve done. The final number, including the youth level players, amounted to over 30 players I believe. I never expected them to fully clear out all the unwanted players but they exceeded my expectations. TGSTEL remains an Arsenal player but moving him on was always going to be the most problematic because he seems so perfectly happy not playing any football – I actually think he might even prefer it so he can focus on his true passion: making women’s jewelry. I’m not sure what’s going on with the great mystery that is Park Chu-Young. Last I heard St. Etienne was interested in taking him on loan but they drank some smart water and decided against it. Overall, I think the club did an excellent job of clearing most of the so called deadwood. Grade: A

    2. Sign a CF/Winger: The less said about the Higuain/ Suarez saga, the better. We all pretty much know what happened since we were stuck in the same bathroom as Suarez & Co., smelling their stink, while they were taking a massive dump on our transfer plans. The player we did bring in is a talented but untested 20 year old French youth. With time, I believe Sanogo will come good. It matters absolutely zilch that we got him on a free but what does matter is that he isn’t ready to back Giroud up. I hope that doesn’t come back to bite us and that his development happens sooner than later. Grade: D

    3. Sign a DMF: We got Flamini on a free and his first game back was the NLD where he showed why we liked him in the first place and played like he had never left. While I would’ve loved to see Bender, I think the experience and versatility of Flamini goes a long way. Again, I don’t give two shits that we got him on a free. Grade: B

    4. Sign a CB: We didn’t sign anybody in this position and this is an area that slightly concerns me. However, signing Flamini gives us options as he can play full back if Jenkinson and 2 of our first CBs are out. This would allow Super Sagna to cover at CB. While this isn’t ideal, this is something that could work. Besides, I’m not ready to give up on the Verminator. Grade: C

    5. Sign a GK: Emiliano who? I can’t say I have a deep knowledge of Serie A and have no idea how good he is. However, if he’s good enough to back up Gigi Buffon, that’s good enough for me. The way I see it, the signing in itself should be a motivating factor for Szczney who I still have faith in. Speculative Grade: B

    6. Make a marquee signing in one of those positions: We got mother fuckin Ozil in the mother fuckin Grove. When Cesc left us, I thought Ozil was the only player who could replace him. I didn’t ever dare of dreaming to land him because – well let’s face it, he was above our pay grade. Fast forward two years and he’s now an Arsenal player. It’s beyond my wildest wet dream. Arsene said it wasn’t a position that really didn’t require reinforcements but they couldn’t pass the opportunity to sign him. I agree completely. I was disappointed, sad and angry a few weeks ago when I thought we would break our transfer record on a low life like Suarez. Ozil represents the exact opposite of that. He is an even bigger signing that Pipita, who I still love. Grade: A

    My overall grade for the summer is B. We are still short in one or two key areas but the signing of Ozil is probably carries the most weight among all the different things we had to do. The assist king should provide more opportunities for Theo and Giroud to score. He is also the kind of player who would be the perfect mentor for Wilshere, Ox, Gnabry, Zalalem and probably others. Most importantly, the signing of Ozil has reinvigorated the current players and the fan base. Not only do the fans believe, once again, that Arsenal can get it done when push comes to shove, but we now have two bona fide play makers in the team (and hopefully more in the pipeline) that any class striker would love to link up with. I mean if Benzema does go up for sale next year and Perez tells him: Hey Karim you can either go link up with Fellaini, Carrick and Moyes or with Ozil, Cazorla and Wenger, who do you think he would pick? I know who I would pick. You can’t put a price on something like that.

    Lastly, a word about Wenger. I think he made some bad decisions (some out of necessity it must be said) over the last few seasons but at the end of the day he’s been able to push forward with the development of this team. There can’t be any doubt that one of the reasons we were able to sign Ozil was because of him. In his own words, he singled out Arsene as the number one reason why he came to be a gunner. In my mind, this puts to bed any notion of him being unable to move us forward. We may hurl our abuses at him when the chips are down, but he still commands a hell of a lot of respect among the players. Just take a glance at the summer United had. Hahahaha. I hope Amy Lawrence is right and this is the dawning of a new age at Arsenal. The future is looking bright once again.

      1. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1YankGoonerMD

        Come on prof! give us a little extra credit for world class quality !!!! Özil – gotta be worth at least 3 extra credit pts. in my book –> B
        HONOR ROLL mutha f***as !!!

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Rufusstan

      Good analysis. All I’d add is that on the striker front, Ozil adding to depth in midfield allows more freedom for other players to play wide, which in turn gives us the option of Theo and Poldi upfront.

      Its also worth mentioning that with the idea of a loan for Ba or using TGSTEL in the short term, there may already be plans for a striker in Jan — after all we have around £45 mil left and still have well over 200k a week freed up from the deadwood in salaries left.

      Plus the nice bonus that in 4 months we can talk to a striker and point out just WHO will be feeding him assists.

  12. +10 Vote -1 Vote +1GoonerNC

    In some earlier post, I said that if I could have one of the three discontented players at Madrid, I’d give anything to have Özil. I even said that if we were willing to pay so much for Suarez, why couldn’t we just use that on a non-racist, non-diver in Özil? I’ve loved him for years and it’s not like I’m a genius for that. He’s one of the best players in the world. I never thought in a million years that we’d sign him. Never thought it was at all feasible.

    Now? WE SIGNED MESUT FECKING ÖZIL. WE ACTUALLY SIGNED HIM. I CANNOT BELIEVE IT. Yes, yes. We are short on strikers. I would have loved a proper defensive midfielder. But Flamini played on Sunday in a way that reminded me why he was my favorite player for a couple years. He’s a real bastard. AND WE SIGNED MESUT ÖZIL.

    I cannot get over it. I love it so much. I don’t care how flawed we are. I can’t wait to see him and Santi and Ramsey and Arteta and Jack on the pitch at the same time. That will happen at some point, if only for a few minutes. And we will have 100% possession. I love our bug-eyed magician. I love that he’s playing with our magical imp.

    So yeah… it worked out okay, didn’t it?

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1JakeInOz

        It’d be interesting to see, maybe for a match we’re leading 2-0 and Giroud & Walcott need a rest;
        Rosicky, Özil, Wilshere
        Arteta, Ramsey

        I’d imagine there’d be an insane amount of one touch passing and movement. If Jol was complaining about the interchange and movement of Rosicky, Wilshere & Ramsey.. this would take it to a whole new level.

        It might fail badly except against the deep defending teams but still, could be entertaining for 10 minutes.

  13. +10 Vote -1 Vote +1Teampossible

    I loved Ozil ever since he dismantled Argentina in the World Cup.
    And even though we all know that this was the least important position we had to fill, I’m more than thrilled to have a player of this caliber.

    And someone yesterday made a very good point on twitter.
    When you sign a player like Ozil, you raise the bar.
    To go around now saying 4th is a trophy would be an insult to everyone.
    Now we are setting new parameters, and with one or two additional players coming in,
    I can’t see a reason why a team like this can’t fight and dominate the league.

  14. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1nijwm

    i don’t want to sound conspiratorial, but here’s what i think might have happened. gazidis and wenger agreed they need a marquee signing and got ozil (boy that was one marquee signing), but they might have relegated the signing of a striker to the lowest priority. or that, they wanted to make any signing- maybe even rooney. but they struck gold with ozil.

    the deal with demba ba looks ridiculous with hindsight. mourinho is a cunning but more importantly a paranoid and vindictive cunt. he didn’t want to sell damba ba specially with the knowledge that cazorla, ozil, wilshere, ramsey would spray through balls to make john terry eat shit all day.

    but all in all, i’m delighted with ozil. let’s pray giroud stays fit at least until january, when we get at least a back up.

  15. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Scott Von Gooner

    Ozil! What a great grab. Things are looking up. Imagine the how much this will help the growth of Zelalem and other young mids training with Ozil.Invaluable.

  16. Vote -1 Vote +1goonamerica

    It is said. You build teams, you buy players.

    Arsenal is a team which has been built without the former frailties we become all too aware of. This team is different. The squad shows numerous different talent sets which can be drawn together depending on the opposition we face. That being said, the squad selected for europe is not the same for saturday afternoon EPL with Stoke. I am hoping Ozil flourishes in Europe for us. Ozil playing in that central playmaker role will allow Wilts, Ramsay Cazourla, Walcott and Giroud more space. Movement into gaps will become more key and there are few players in world football who have the vision and skills to take advantage. Giroud has not yet been given the credit he deserves for his performances dating back to last season. 4 goals this early in season? Backup for him? not really we change our system and attack differently thats what great teams do. Great teams can play differently. The invincibles beat teams in many different ways. The Fab years saw us get rutted in our attack in particular. Ozil yes but alongside cazourla or wilshire or Ramsay. Gibbs overlapping and finding space. The ability to beef up a defense and hold a team in an important match in the last 20? that’s the team we have and the squad we got now.

  17. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    Physio room has Vermaelen back 9/14 and with Sagna being superb cover, I can understand not bringing in another CB.

  18. Vote -1 Vote +1andres

    With Ozil assiting those long balls he used to feed Ronaldo, i think Theo is in for a treat. I also think we are going for Benteke in Janaury, Wenger is waiting to see if he was a one saeson fluke, which apparently he isn’t.

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1JakeInOz

      I hope we set our sights higher and slightly to the left (henryesque/aguero with movement, pace & finishing please)

  19. +1 Vote -1 Vote +11NiltotheArsenal

    Still smarting at the shambolic summer we’ve had, my first reaction to this most improbable of last-minute signings was that it was “glorious bullshit”, in that the club dragged us through weeks of disappointment, anticipation and frustration before finally signing at the death. Having slept on it now, I would like to make a small amendment to what I posted yesterday: It is glorious bullshit, except for the the bullshit part.

    It’s absolutely, unpredictably, pulling a rabbit out of a French beret, downright glorious!

    Yes, we have no new DMF or DB or striker, but we have in one fell swoop, hours before the deadline, unarguably the greatest signing of the Premier League summer transfer period, one of Arsenal’s greatest signings ever and arguably the best player in the league.

    Our midfield is absolutely unmatched anywhere in the world (I’m looking at you Barcelona) – it quite literally does not get any better than this.

    In a long, proud history of great # 10s, this one is special and right up there with a certain Dutch god from Ajax. If he can match and/or surpass those heights along, it will be another classic era for us.

    No one knows what September 14th and onwards will bring, but right now, gloat and gloat well people – we surely deserve it.

  20. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Kevin Sweeney

    Aaaaaaahh this is what I love about football. Getting excited about Higuain and furious over the Suarez distraction (an early missed chance), the devastating low after Villa (1-0 to the opposition), cruising past Fenerbahçe to secure the CL spot (1-1), beating Spurs after their spending spree and our £0 (2-1 to the Arsenal), and finally landing Özil after he was dislodged by the ludicrously high Bale deal (Ade got a red and now we’re 2 ahead!).

    What a summer and can’t believe I have to wait over a week for our next match.

    Love this sport. Love this club.

  21. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Nikki

    When Ozil arrived, I can’t help thinking about the mouthwatering duels between Arsenal and Dortmund in CL. I believe it’s going to be the most exciting ever, more than Arsenal vs Barcelona or Dortmund vs Barcelona. Both team plays more about attacking then keeping possession. Before Ozil (New Arsenal Timeline), I’m sceptical about us beating Dortmund, but After Ozil, we’re going toe to toe with them. I’m so buzzing that I just can’t wait for Arsenal to play.

  22. Vote -1 Vote +1Scott Von Gooner

    As for our transfer ending like a bad novel? What an ending!!! I loved it and made the read worth it.

  23. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Scott Von Gooner

    Call me crazy and I know he is a bit off but NB52 if used correctly could be very useful this season. I just hope Wenger doesn’t slide him out to the wing again. He is not a winger. He has talent but he really needs to shut up, not drive his car and play. Stranger things have happened.

    1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Jax

      Exactly. Can’t see him being used in wide positions again. What was that all about anyway? I think he could still make a “decent” premiership striker, and will be a good fit with us, but will never be a fan favourite.

  24. Vote -1 Vote +1NW

    The front problem is not good but isn’t that bad once the players recover from injury and they have a Ozil.

    Ozil will be filling up the center and each position in the mid field has two players and some players can play in more than one position. There is no way to have Chamberlain to play in the mid field and he will share the right attacking post with Walcott.

    Also, Wenger did experiment / train Ramsey on the right wing before he got into the current form. Will Wenger do that once a while to give the team more option and try to improve Ramsey? Don’t know. When Wilshere and Arteta recover… or even Diaby, he certainly can.

    Cazorla will play on the left more often than last season so when Poldolski is back the position will be shared between them.

    I still think Wenger will try to train Poldi for the lone striker row. He might not be the best to deal with all the situations but he can be used in some of the games. Now we got Cazorla and Ozil playing balls towards the goals, would that help him?

    That means when most of the injuries have recovered, they can play Giroud, Walcott and Poldi. Each of them are very different and suit different type of game plan. Let’s see what happens then.

    Of course, Wenger might have started the search for his next target up front already.

  25. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1DanSchulof

    I saw this thought-provoking comment on arseblog (made by “Aamir”) and thought I would share it here in case any of you missed it:

    “I also love how the €50m/£42.5m was our own hard earned money. No benefactor involved. Considering Madrid and Barca have their governments and monopolies and how every other big team has wealthy owners, this is the highest transfer fee paid by a self sufficient club.”

    I guess I don’t agree with all of the factual specifics of Aamir’s comment, but I do agree with the general point about how impressive this MONSTER move is for a self-sufficient club, particularly one competing directly against two sugar-babies and ManU for only four UCL spots and one that just completed a stadium build like ours. And I too take A LOT of pride in this. For me, it is a HUGE accomplishment to build that killer stadium and then pull off a deal like this so shortly after its completion.

    Look at it this way: If at the time that we made the Emirates play you had told any interested party that (1) benefactor owners with bottomless budgets would buy four major European clubs over the coming decade, inflating an unprecedented bubble in the global transfer market, (2) we’d still qualify for the UCL every year through 13-14 although we wouldn’t win any major trophies, and (3) by September 2013 we’d have the squad that we have today plus L100m or so in cash reserves and the global brand platform that we have, with AW still at the helm, they would BITTEN YOUR FUCKING HAND OFF for that result. With the benefit of hindsight, we’re all geniuses. But, judged prospectively, that would have been considered an incredibly good outcome.

    When the results don’t pan out, I get as caught up in short-term-ist outrage as the next guy. And I’m embarrassed to admit that my faith in AW has wavered on occasion. But when you step back and look at what the decision-makers have done to this club over the past 10 years, how can you not salute them, particularly with all the second-guessing and criticism to which we constantly subject them?

    (If you answer that rhetorical question with a snarky “they’ve actually achieved nothing” then you’re really not fit to manage a hot dog stand.)

  26. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1McNabber

    How Wenger got his groove back. Really. Remember his gentlemanly swagger back when he had real weapons, I bet he looks an inch taller next match.
    And Germany is the new France.

  27. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1GunnerArchitect

    He mentioned clearly he wants to work with Wenger. Jack said the same thing a while back. If things start rolling, i am sure almost all players would want to work with Wenger. I don’t think Jupp Heynckes is coming out of retirement. Jürgen Klopp? He is setlled. Jose? Yuk! Rest are all blah. Carlo Ancelotti? nah.. Wenger is the current top coach-manager in the world right now. I hope he sticks around for a long time.

  28. Vote -1 Vote +1Tee Song

    I have to admit that after the Aston Villa game, I was absolutely ready to give up on Wenger. With the seeming inability to close a deal throughout the summer and with the club sitting on a mountain of cash, the loss to a Villa side which will be happy to avoid relegation was simply unbearable for me. But I’m as happy as anyone that we got Ozil, while mindful that we’re one Giroud injury away from some difficult times.

    This is going to be an interesting season. If the transfer window was any indication, Moyes has a thing or two to learn about managing at a marquee club. ManUre was unable to address their one glaring weakness from last season and that’s midfield creativity, they’re central defenders are aging and injury prone, and other than Rooney and RvP, they’re a very functional side. ManShitty had the strongest squad on paper last season and this summer they’ve added players who give them even greater depth and tactical versatility. Will Pellegrini be able to do what Mancini couldn’t, build a cohesive team from all those egos? Chelski look similar to us, all creative midfielders and question marks at striker. Eto’o is 32 and while you can never take away his skill or eye for goal, he’s a player who was very dependent on his pace. I just don’t know if he’s the answer for them. We know that Torres isn’t and Ba doesn’t seem to be held in very high regard by Mourinho either.

    With the addition of Ozil, this squad is significantly better than last season. If TV5 ups his game to give us three interchangeable central defenders (with Sagna as emergency cover), if Flamini proves to be a good squad player and gives us fifteen or so good games, and if Szczesny continues his improvement, then this squad is a striker away from challenging for silverware.

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