GUNNERY: Derby day high and Arsene's surprise signing

Giroud-Spurs-2013-2You couldn’t have asked for a better performance of grit, flair and doggedness. The fabled ‘mental strength’ came to the fore, as each and every player posted a MOTM display. There is really something special about this group of players, who game after game keep giving their all and coming up with the goods. They have shown that the Villa performance was a one-off. Even though they are down to the bare bones, it doesn’t matter who plays, the commitment is the same. That is all I can ask of my football club. I am always confident that we can beat any team if we give our best and even when we don’t, I am happy we gave it our all.

The game has been hyped to new levels, especially seeing that Spurs had spent in excess of 100m GBP and Arsene Wenger exactly the opposite – 0 GBP on new signings. They were coming to lay down a marker and the press were creaming themselves over their new signings. Everyone outside diehard Gooners wanted to see a Spurs win, so they can beat Arsene with the ‘spend some money’ stick. To be honest, a defeat would have ignited a riot.

The patience of the fans has been stretched to the limits, even though results since the Villa debacle had bought Arsene some time. Charged as it was, our already depleted squad was dealt another blow when Sagna only made the bench due to a bug he caught. Wilshere also had the same but he was able to start. A look at the two benches defined the meaning of ‘depth’. Yet as long as the game of football is being played by 11 vs 11, then everyone has a chance.

Our 11 men were sheer class. They matched their heralded guests toe to toe. After some initial ‘gra-gra’ from Spurs, Giroud continued his impeccable start of the season by scoring a sublime goal. The finish was world class and it eventually was the only goal; it was worthy of winning any game. Spurs had the most possession, but as we all know as Arsenal fans that doesn’t mean jack, if you don’t use it and we coped with all they had. Wilshire succumbed to his illness and Flamini showed us what we have missed with an all action display. Monreal was also brought in to shore up the defense and Sagna came on to close shop as Arsenal went 6 at the back in the last 10 minutes as Spurs tried to get an equalizer to save their blushes. Szcezney made a fantastic save to deny Defoe and there was an almighty goal mouth scramble right at the end, but we hung on.

To be sure, Arsenal had the best chances especially as our ever increasing strength on the counter attack. The Spurs goalie was their best player and that says something of the pressure they were under on the counter. Walcott was a constant threat, Cazorla is such a supremely talented player that there are really no words to describe him and Ramsey put in another 5 star performance. Around the 70th minute it was obvious that the team could do with someone coming in to help them as players started cramping up. I can’t bear the thought of anything happening to Olivier Giroud. Our lack of transfer activity is catching up with us we are picking up injuries and losing players at an alarming rate. To make matters worse, there are World Cup qualifiers coming up, fingers crossed we don’t lose more players to injuries over the 10 days.

After the game, Arsene asked the press not to delay him as he had work to do. He also mischievously said there may be a surprise in store for us. He admitted that they had been working all night on Saturday. We are getting news of a 42.5m Pounds deal for Meszut Ozil from Real Madrid, as they bid to recoup some of the money they wasted or were robbed of by Daniel Levy for Gareth Bale, whose move was confirmed this evening. I must say Ozil and Carzola in the same midfield is the stuff of dreams. It is as good as any club can boast of in the world. He is a player I wanted along with Khedira after the World Cup in 2010. His stats are amazing; he will set up many goals, give us a new threat on set pieces and share the creative burden with Carzola. If we do sign him, it would go a long way in helping the team. I hope the Germans in the team can help him settle in. There is also a loan deal for a Emiliano Viviano from Palermo which was making the rounds this morning. That leaves us with the need to buy another striker. I don’t think Arsene will sign anyone in the midfield after Flamini and I believe Sagna’s performances at CB, have also closed that door especially with Verminator on his way back. People must remember that we have a lot of 1st team players out injured and they will be like yes ‘new signings’ when they make their ways back.

If we conclude these deals and find a decent striker (not Bendtner please), it will still represent good business even if underwhelming at the end of it all. As we wait for all the madness to come to an end at 11pm Monday, 2ndSeptember, 2013, I am going to bed with the image of Ozil in the red and white of Arsenal and on the high of Giroud’s sublime finish.

Well played Arsenal. Over to you, Arsene.

Written by Abdul Malik Mahdi

Follow @Mrabutpires

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Adeyemi Adesanya

Sports Business Consultant and Football Intermediary; Risk Management & Due Diligence Consultant; Freelance Football writer & Pundit on Radio & TV and Man.Utd Fan

http://www.halftimeng.com

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