I haven’t written anything is almost a year, but it became time to dust off the blog, figure out how to type on a laptop again, and give it a go. It became that time when I read this bullshit, bias article by Kevin Palmer from ESPNFC. It becomes painfully clear that Palmer is trying to convince not only the readers, but also himself, that Arsenal is a small club.
It can either be viewed as an inevitable outpouring of relief or a slightly embarrassing overreaction, yet the tidal wave of PR spin that has surrounded Mesut Ozil’s arrival at Arsenal has come perilously close to giving an impression that these fallen giants of the English game have developed an alarming small-club mentality.
Well it might just be relief there, Mr. big boy britches. Arsenal fans have watched their club fight with no budget for a long time, and now have seen them sign one of the best players in the world. A team like Real Madrid and Barcelona fill a stadium to unveil new signings. Arsenal takes some pictures and have a “small club mentality”. Okay then.
While it is understandable that the supporters are delighted by the prospect of a world-class talent arriving after a period that has seen the club sell off their best players to domestic and European rivals, the euphoria that greeted Ozil’s £42.4 million signing on deadline day has given the impression of a team who cannot quite believe a top-quality player was willing to join.
Or, or….People are surprised that the club actually went ahead and spent the money. No one I know, other than Piers Morgan hahahaha, questions Arsene Wegner’s appeal to big time players.
When Ozil was unveiled as a Gunners player on Thursday, one wag at the news conference suggested Arsenal must have been tempted to dust down their underused open-top bus and parade their trophy signing around the streets of North London as a replacement for the silverware the club used to win. It should not be like that for Arsenal — giants of the game who have for so long been the standard bearers for English football.
Here we go. Only took until the third paragraph to mention that Arsenal has not won a trophy in a while. I’m still waiting for the mention of the fact that they have built a stadium and had to keep the budget balanced and were still a top four club in the toughest league in the world. No? no mention of that? Okay then…
Let’s not forget that major captures signings at Arsenal never used to be the novelty they have become. In the days when they were signing the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Jose Antonio Reyes and Sol Campbell, transfer coups were a regular part of the story for a club who were also regulars on the trophy-winning podium.
He literally mentions players who were signed within 8 years of each other. Now, this was clearly quite a successful time for Arsenal. But before the Bergkamp signing there was a bit of a question about what direction the club was going in. He pointed them north, and Arsenal didn’t look back until they did something that no other team has done. Built their own stadium while always finishing with a positive budget.
Back then, a signing of Ozil’s magnitude would merely have been greeted as a positive step forward rather than the greatest moment in their recent history, but that has been the plotline promoted by all involved in this wonderfully stage-managed transfer.
Yeah, it might be the best moment in the past 8 years for Arsenal (though there was a fucking CL Final in there). And yeah, it’s clear that the management is proud of their signing. But why shouldn’t they be? It shows that Arsenal is turning a corner.
After the initial self-congratulatory statement from Gunners chief executive Ivan Gazidis claiming Ozil’s signing banishes the notion that Arsenal are a selling club, the club’s official website has run daily celebratory stories toasting the arrival of the Germany international.
As a PR tool, run by the club, fucking should. They just spend 42.4 million fucking pounds sterling. Would you like them to not mention it? Come on. It’s PR for God sakes. It is the way the world works. If no one knew, Gareth Bale signed for Madrid. I know, they haven’t mentioned it….
It is all part of the modern spin that goes with this multimedia age, but there is a danger that Ozil’s arrival is merely papering over cracks in a transfer policy that continues to be riddled with holes. An Arsenal midfield featuring Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey could well be the most impressive in the Premier League, but the masterful German’s addition to the mix has merely strengthened an area of their team that hardly needed any improvement.
That is wrong. Plain and simple. Arsenal scored one or less goals in 22 league games last year. Creativity was missing. Had trouble unlocking defenses. Palmer would have to actually do some fucking research if he wanted to know that though.
Instead, Wenger needed to resolve issues that have continued to undermine his team for the past five or six years and, on that score, he resoundingly failed to achieve his goals ahead of this season.
Oh, and you know what Wegner’s goals heading into the season were? Are you sure?
Will Arsenal goalkeepers Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski be inspired by Ozil’s arrival — or that of new backup keeper Emiliano Viviano — and transform themselves into world-class performers? Can Ozil help the Gunners’ long-standing woes when trying to defend set pieces? Is he the man who plugs an attacking gap if sole striker Olivier Giroud is injured for an extended period?
Arsene clearly wanted a striker, but that is the only one of these things that he seemed to think was an issue. Why the fuck can’t keepers be inspired by an Attacking Mid’s arrival. He is a world class player. That should make everyone at the club want to up their game. What is that issue defending again? Finished second last year in goals against. And, save the bull shit reffed Villa game, have started pretty well again. But yes, a back up striker is a worry.
The answers to all of those questions has to be negative, meaning Ozil is in danger of becoming a shining light in a team still undermined by fundamental flaws that a sole marquee signing could not solve.
These flaws are made worse every year by the team being robbed of it’s best players in the summer. Not this year. There is continuity. The team fixed those problems over the last 3 months of last season and should push on now.
Having promised he would bolster his squad with several players in the transfer window, his one big signing leaves him open to an injury crisis, and Wenger has backtracked on his previous comments to insist that Ozil is enough to give him a well-balanced squad for the next nine months.
Jesus Christ. Of course he did. What the fuck do you want him to say. “No, I think we are short in 9 areas and the players I have suck and can’t handle it”. Get fucking real Palmer.
To his credit, Wenger had not added to the celebratory mood surrounding the Ozil arrival and he was calmness personified as he justified his lavish investment in a player he tried to sign before he joined Real Madrid three years ago.
Holy shit, that was almost positive. Well, it wasn’t negative at least. More of this coming?
There can be no doubt that Ozil’s signing is a huge statement of positive intent from Arsenal and Wenger, yet their belief that this solitary signing is a riposte to those who have questioned their transfer policy for the past five or six years is surely misguided.
Nope, not more of it. I don’t understand why Palmer couldn’t take 10 minutes and understand the fucking policy. The money hasn’t been there. For lots of reasons that all Arsenal fans know. Now, with new sponsorship deals in place, the money is fucking there.
If Wenger follows up this coup with further sparkling signings in the next transfer window and the one after that — assuming he extends his contract to stay at the club, of course — this record-breaking deal may well come to be seen as the sea change Arsenal fans are so desperate to see.
So what the fuck is your defenition of a “sparkling signing”? Not a German international with 100+ Caps for 10m Pounds? Not Santi Cazorla, one of the top rated and highest spoken of players in the PL? Not Laurent Koscielny, plucked from relative obscurity to develop into one of the best defenders in the PL? Why not? Because they didn’t cost 40m. Come on man.
On the other hand, this late, late piece of window shopping could turn out to be an expensive publicity stunt for a club that was backed into a corner and forced to pay over the odds to sign a player they may not have needed as they look to take the necessary strides forward to become competitive all over again.
Over the odds for a player, huh? With the money being thrown around, I would hardly say that they money spend on the guy who has the most assists in all of Europe last year is over the odds. And again, if you would watch the team and do a fucking ounce of research, you may come to find that he is quite what Arsenal need.