There are some events one never forgets; your wedding day, birth of a child, graduation etc. The day Arsenal Football Club signed Mesut Ozil is one of those days for me and many a Gooner. I cannot put into words the feeling of joy and relief I got when finally after 64 days, with 30 minutes to the close of the transfer window Arsenal announced that Ozil is a Gunner. The last time I felt like that was when we signed Sol Campbell from Spurs, but I will come back to that. Make no mistake about it, Ozil is a major signing. His fee is only 2nd to that paid for Torres by Chelsea and it shatters the German transfer record making the most expensive German player. One just has to go through the testimonies and tributes paid to Ozil over his short career by his fellow professionals, Coaches and journalists to understand that Arsenal have got a special player. If on the other hand you know your football then you don’t need any introduction. The Real Madrid fans almost turned Gareth Bale’s presentation yesterday into #occupy Perez protesting the sale of Ozil whose mind boggling stats are the best in Europe and better those of Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas combined.
This deal is a signal of intent on the part of Arsenal. It finally lent credence to the bullish comments made by Ivan Garzidis at the beginning of the summer that Arsenal can compete in the transfer market. This is because of years of savings and new commercial deals. It also confirms stories that indeed Arsenal matched bids made for Eden Hazard and Mario Goetze. Some have likened this signing to the that of Dennis Bergkamp in 1995 as the beginning of a new successful era. I was not an Arsenal fan then and for me the last time Arsenal made a signing like this was Sol Campbell. It gave us 3 FA Cups, 2 Titles and 1 Champions League final. That is the impact of World Class signings on good squads. We have hopefully began the rebuilding last season with Podolski, Giroud and Carzola. With Ozil on board, we hope this trend of quality additions will continue in every transfer window as we seek to regain our lost glory. It is also important to note that no player considered important left us. We must now give new contracts to our star players like Carzola, Koscielny and Sagna well before the World Cup to continue enjoying the gains of stability, which in the long run is the only way to begin winning trophies again.
I am happy to say that Wenger was right and that the market has a domino effect. Once Bale joined Madrid the deals began to move for us. There was a suggestion that Daniel Levy deliberately delayed it to stop us from getting deals done with Real. This signing does not mask the challenges and sometimes down right ineptitude of Arsenal when it comes transfers. We could have and should have made more signings earlier in the window. We have a squad full of injuries, but still Ozil is Ozil.
We also signed Almunia again. Okay I kid, we signed Italy’s number 2 keeper Emiliano from Parlemo on loan with an option of a permanent move. He will compete with Sczesny for the Number 1 spot and this is a good thing for all concerned. We tried to get Demba Ba but Chelsea were always going to be c**ts. So we ended up with a GK, a DM, a AM and a rookie CF. Not bad especially considering the fact that Wenger says 3 is max.
I know we are all apprehensive on the lack of options in CF as we only have Giroud there. Well, that is not completely true as we still have Nicklas Bendtner, NB52, The Greatest Striker that Ever Lived on our books. We tried to shift him, even payed him off, he was at Crystal Palace yesterday but ultimately our inability to get Demba Ba meant we can’t sell the only other senior striker on our books. I believe this is the best chance for NB52 to finally prove himself to the world. He will definitely get a chance in his favourite position with players like Carzola, Walcott and now Ozil giving him assists. He will get the chance to play champions league football and in a world cup year put himself in the shop window if he still wants to leave Arsenal. He is very much a back up to Giroud, yet he has a chance to convince Arsene who let’s not forget found him at 15 that he is still the real deal and not a Sunderland or Crystal Palace player. I think he should consider himself lucky as fate has given him a 2nd chance (with Flamini). He has to grab it with both hands for the sake of his career having wasted 2 years of his life already. He should call Hleb and Bentley for advice. Let’s hope that for the sake of Arsenal, NB52 knuckles down and plays football. Lest we forget, he is a very good footballer.
I am very optimistic that in spite of everything we will have a good season. There is light at the end of this dark tunnel we have been in for 8 years. The thought of the quality Ozil will add to our already good play is tantalising to say the least. I can’t wait for the interlull to end. Long may this feeling continue.