Confounding the Critics : Arsenal 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0

This is not a match report, its a bunch of ramblings from a very happy Gooner with no real structure.

Lets start as we mean to go on, with a bloody good laugh. Laugh at the media, laugh at Levy’s £109m investment, laugh at AVB sprinting down the touch line to tell Kyle Walker to launch the ball in to the box because he was too thick to realise it was 30 seconds to go, laugh at all those who say Arsene Wenger doesn’t do tactics.

Yesterday our wily old Frenchman won the tactical battle, and the players executed it perfectly. Looking at the line ups it appeared that Spurs had been set up to create a solid defensive unit and to spring counter attacks using the pace of Townsend and Chadli feeding Soldado (I’m glad at this point the teamsheet is there as it indeed shows that they had a centre forward on the pitch £28m worth apparently).

Wenger had a trick up his sleeve, their midfield three lacked mobility, so Wenger set us up not to push too high, their attacking three were isolated and red and white shirts crowded them out and regained possession with relative ease. And when we won possession we had the pace and numbers to look threatening running at the heart of the Tottenham defence.

Wenger was rewarded by his players with a beautifully fashioned goal, at pace the ball was pinged around and players moved with intent, Theo was set free down the right with Spurs defenders not knowing who to mark, Giroud pulled Dawson this way and that before darting towards the near post to produce a deft finish to the bottom corner from Theo’s accurate cross.

giro goal

After the goal we were content to continue the game plan, sitting deep, defending strongly and maximising use of the football when we had it. We were so comfortable that AVB started to change his team pushing Paulinho further forward, which just gave us more room to play forward when we did have the ball.

Despite having very little possession we continued to look threatening on the break, a better pass or a better touch at the crucial moment and we could have had a second.

Just before half time Jack Wilshere was removed feeling unwell and was replaced by Flamini, it wasn’t long before we got to see why it was a “no brainer” for Arsene. Flamini slotted straight in, for the rest of the half and all of the second he was one of the first to press the ball, organising those around him not used to such a battle. Those around him responded, Ramsey, Santi, Rosicky and Theo all prepared to do the more unpleasant side of the game, winning the ball back, fighting for possession.

I haven’t even moved on to the defence yet, they were simply magnificent, Soldado did not get a touch from Koscielny, Chadli and Townsend were kept relatively quiet by Gibbs and Jenkinson and Mertesacker did what he does best, provides calm assurance to those around him and reading the game inside out. And when they did breach the defensive unit Szczesny produced an absolutely top class save.

With players tiring and Spurs throwing more bodies forward it did get a little tense in the last ten minutes. We struggled to clear our lines and hold onto possession further up the pitch, especially once Rosicky and Theo had been replaced by Monreal and Sagna respectively. Giroud had been able to rely on those two for most of the game to be his outlet when trying to hold the ball up, now off the pitch he was looking more isolated but what I think we are all beginning to love about Oli is his work rate, he does not stop competing for his mates. Anyone watch MotD on Saturday night? A certain Mr Berbatov (that player that Arsene should have signed last summer) was sulking around St James’s Park. I know which of the two I’d rather have in my team.

All in all a very good days work, this wasn’t our most fluent display, but it was the kind of performance many of us have been waiting for. So many of my Spurs supporting clients were quick to text me after our defeat by Villa, I’ve kept my powder dry, when should I text, first thing in the morning, or when we’ve announced three super super quality signings?

Ratings:

Szczesny : 9 comfortable handling all game, good distribution especially under pressure and two cracking saves.

Jenkinson : 8 disciplined at right back, considerably helped by Theo occupying Walker

Gibbs : 7 given a bit of a working over by Townsend early on but ordinary service was resumed for the next 70 minutes, not helped by no one occupying Rose.

Koscielny : 9 is he pleased to see us or is that a £28m striker in his pocket.

Mertesacker : 8 leads by example.

Wilshere : 7 not his normal effervescent self but considering illness unsurprising

Ramsey : 9 lead the team in tackles, touches and attempted passes.

Cazorla : 9 the boy is class

Walcott : 8 used his pace to worry Spurs when we had the ball and defended well when we didn’t

Giroud : 9 a great finish, constantly working for his team, goal line block.

Subs:

Flamini : 8 it was indeed a no brainer

Monreal : 7 did what he had to

Sagna : 7 ditto

Wenger : 10 out tacticted the young pretender

Enjoy transfer deadline Gooners bathing in the warm afterglow of a North London Derby win.

Gooner in Exile

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273 Responses to Confounding the Critics : Arsenal 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0

  1. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I am not going to rush this post while I’m busy.

    I shall return later and savour Exile’s work with a light garnish and drizzle of truffle oil.

    Can’t wait :-)

  2. deejay says:

    these are good player rating as every single member of the team performed. I was hoping we might have gone in for Ben Arfa…

  3. Shail609 says:

    This should serve as yet another reminder for the noisy neighbors not to count their chickens before they hatch. (The only one they’ve got stands on a basketball)

  4. chas says:

    Fantastic, GIE.
    Truffle oil at its finest.

    I love you being ‘a very happy Gooner with no real structure’. From what I’ve seen structure is something you do not lack. :)

    Will give the post the time it deserves later. Off out golfing, which is a fine way of avoiding one of the craziest days of the year.

  5. kelsey says:

    Superb GIE ;)

    Even Levy can’t hijack our signings today despite trying the old lasagna trick on Sagna and Wilshere. Has the man no morals.

    A lot about Ozil today. Do we really need him?

  6. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. This could be your best post match effort yet. You sum up the game perfectly.

    Ratings? Well, If players can’t get high marks after such an All for One, One for All performance then when can they?

    I was worried early on by the way Jenks was getting turned by Chabdi but he quickly learned not to get so close to him. Jenks will have a sparkling future if he continues to learn and adapt as well as yesterday.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. I ask the same question about Ozil. My only thoughts are that either Theo is going to play behind the striker or that Ozil is two footed and can play on the left.

    Or that AW recognises how damaging an injury to Theo could be and is looking for insurance. Though Ozil is a very expensive bench warmer.

    We are desperate for more thrust and pace on the left

  8. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning again.

    Kelsey many think we do need him, I guess back up for Santi/TR7 or chance of changing shape with Theo playing up with Oli.

    I think what we need more than anything is options, Ozil is definitely an option, we can change shape as it gives us that extra creative spark out wide. Allows him Santi, Theo, Rosicky to interchange…..basically I won’t say no :D

  9. fatgingergooner says:

    GiE,

    Great write up of an absolutely brilliant and tense game. Still glowing from the result, and also the Stella coming out of my pores! :)

    Going to enjoy the TDD now in the knowledge that we only need 1 or 2 players to have a very strong squad. Injuries aside, we have a very strong unit both mentally and in quality. The attitude between the players is something we haven’t seen since the Invincibles and I can understand why Wenger keeps saying this is a special group.

    We may not have as many quality individuals as other sides, but we do have more quality as a team and a unit than any other PL team.

    Fingers crossed we can keep enough men on the field to have a great season! :)

  10. kelsey says:

    “We are desperate for more thrust and pace on the left”

    speak for yourself Raddy, I need it left and right.

    Still not convinced about Ozil.. Podolski was carrying an injury towards the back end of last season, had some treatment and now this. What I like about him is his power in his left foot and he is quite well built.There was a rumour he might be off, hope not,but cover for him would IMO be a better bet.

  11. fatgingergooner says:

    Ozil isn’t really a RW. He is more a CAM but was pushed out there by Mourinho. I would bet he would play behind Giroud and have Cazorla out wide, or vice versa.

    Just being picky GiE but it was Theo occupying Rose and Gibbs with Walker.

  12. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all.

    Excellent write up GiE, as you rightly say, Wenger’s tactics confounded AVB’s attempt to out power our mid-field and left the Spud’s new boys floundering.

    I hereby admit that I was more than a bit doubtful about re-signing Flamini, but I’m happy to have been proved wrong he was terrific, his energy was phenomenal, not only did he boss the mid-field but he also bossed the rest of the team, ordering them around and getting things organised. just what we have been lacking for quite a while.

    We can forget about the Spuds until March now and concentrate on incorporating our new signings into the team, whoever they may be.

    One that won’t be coming is Kaka, he’s gone on to AC Milan.

    The skinny chicken plucked again. J.

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Still nothing, apart from a second division Italian GK on loan.

    We remain, 3 players and 10 million to the good.

  14. Thanks for the write up GiE – a win is a gazillion times more joyous a task to report on than a defeat.

    I refrained from texting the Spud who gloated after the Birminghan Villa defeat but, fair play to him, he actually texted to congratulate us albeit saying we’d only won the battle not the war.

    I would also like to say I’m seeing something in Wenger I have accused him of not being able to exhibit in the past – tactical flexibility.

    Again, credit where it’s due.

    Kelsey, I was at the last home game of the season in May and when the players were walking around the ground post match in the “lap of appreciation” I noticed how totally shattered Santi looked, for that reason we need a player like Ozil to give him a rest.

    Santi is such a gem that the temptation is to overuse him and put him into the “red zone”(Raspers – I hope that’s not a banned Room 101 phrase).

  15. Rasp says:

    Excellent GiE. Great team performance. Hopefully the events of today will mean that we can rest players because I don’t think we can maintain that intensity over 45+ games without some squad rotation. The good thing is that everyone understood what we had to do and put the graft in.

    I’m now a 100% convert to having the Flamster back :P If he keeps producing performances like that, he may keep Arteta out of the side.

  16. And anyone looked at the League table today ? We are top 4, the Spuds 6th and ManUre 7th – happy days.

    And it’ll stay like that for 2 weeks. :)

    Ave it !

  17. fatgingergooner says:

    BR,

    He is an Italian International though and played at all ages for his country.

  18. This guy’s pretty reputable ?

    David Ornstein, BBC SportOZIL TO ARSENAL

    “Arsenal have agreed a 50m euros deal with Real Madrid to sign Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil.

    “The 24-year-old has agreed personal terms and will now undergo a medical.

    “The medical will take place in Germany, where Ozil is on international duty.”

  19. evonne says:

    lo-ve-ly ramblings :) thank you GiE

    I didn’t think we managed Spurs with ease, not really, but you know much better, so I succumb – it was an easy win.

    If the game was a cake, then the post game interview with Le Boss was the icing :) I love it when after a won game Wenger starts flirting with the media, his mischievous twinkle in the eye trick, what a great guy

  20. Sav from Australia says:

    David Ornstein is legit, usually. I was trying to post that quote but ended up putting it on the old post lol.

    Does anyone know if Ozil will fit in with the team, personality wise?

  21. Sav from Australia says:

    Nice review of the match.

    “Koscielny : 9 is he pleased to see us or is that a £28m striker in his pocket.” Lol

  22. Sai says:

    I’d give Koscielny a 10. But a great write up GIE. Thank you..

  23. evonne says:

    Peaches thinks that Ozil looks like a pug. I love pugs, mini rottwailers

  24. JanMan says:

    http://www.kicker.de/
    Above link is for the German Soccer magazine Kicker who are reporting the Ozil deal is done pending the medical at the German National team training ground this afternoon. Both clubs have agreed the fee and personal terms between Ozil and Arsenal have been completed.
    I think Ozil who is both right and left footed will bring many options to the team set up and will prove to be a very valuable asset.

  25. JM says:


    “2013 Mesut Ozil interviewed by kid (ENG SUB)”

  26. JM says:


    “MESUT ÖZIL | Goals, Skills, Assists | Real Madrid & Germany| 2012/2013 (HD)”

  27. fatgingergooner says:

    This Ozil thing is actually looking like it might happen!

    Think I will explode if we sign him! He is world class and brilliant to watch.

    Seems a likeable lad so don’t see why he wouldn’t fit in.

  28. Sai says:

    Ozil story drags on. It ain’t done until its on official site. There are twists and turns reported every minute.

    If he does join, that would make us fans go ecstatic. Watched him in awe during Germany’s world cup pusuit.

  29. JanMan says:

    Sky News Germany reporting that Ozil and Arsenal have agreed terms of 800,000 Euros per month, exactly 100,000 Euros per month more than he was earning in Madrid.

  30. Rasp says:

    Blimey, that vid is mighty impressive. I know a YouTube compilation can be deceiving, but I didn’t know Ozil was that good …. best not get my hopes up yet. He is a true left sided number 10

  31. kelsey says:

    800000 euros per month !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Are we buying the entire German national Team

  32. kelsey says:

    He is a practicing Muslim. He recites the Quran before his matches. Talking to the Berlin-based daily Der Tagesspiegel, Özil said, “I always do that before I go out (on the pitch). I pray and my teammates know that they cannot talk to me during this brief period.”[62][63] He observes fasting during the Islamic month of Ramadan however he has admitted that: “Because of my job I cannot follow Ramadan properly. “I do it only the few days I can, only when I have a free day. But other than that it’s impossible, because you have to drink and eat a lot to stay at peak fitness.”[64]

    In 2010, Özil received the Bambi award for being a prime example of successful integration within German society :)

  33. fatgingergooner says:

    Ozil is THAT good!

    Out of all the Madrid players we’ve been linked with he would probably have been last choice position-wise. But if it was down to quality, value etc he would definitely have been top of the list.

    I hope we get it over the line.

  34. JanMan says:

    Below text from the Kicker German soccer magazine live update.

    Mesut Özil soll beim FC Arsenal zum bestverdienenden Spieler werden. Die Nationalspieler soll ein Gehalt von 800.000 Euro monatlich in Aussicht. Bei Real Madrid kassiert Özil aktuell 100.000 Euro weniger.
    Der Wechsel des Spielmachers auf die Insel steht unmittelbar bevor. Laut der ‚Bild‘ absolviert Özil derzeit den Medizincheck bei Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt in München, da er sich bei der Nationalmannschaft aufhält.

  35. Rasp says:

    Translated =

    ….. Mesut Ozil will become the best-paid player at Arsenal. The national team is a salary of 800,000 euros per month in view. Real Madrid Ozil currently collected 100,000 euros less.
    Changing the playmaker on the island is imminent. According to the ‘image’ completed Ozil is currently the medical check at Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt in Munich because he is staying with the national team.

  36. Rasp says:

    800,000 euros = £680,000 a month = £8.16m per year = £157k a week

  37. Tristan, are we talking Marty ? So he can have a big bug eyes competition with Ozil.

    Ah, I was responding to a troll.

  38. fatgingergooner says:

    The good thing about those clips is the majority of goals and assists were counter attacking. He would fit in brilliantly with the likes of Theo, Santi, Ramsey etc when launching counters.

    His passing ability is outstanding. I’m actually getting excited about this deal!

    Apparently we still want Di Maria too but can’t see both happening.

  39. kelsey says:

    That’s wages of approx 36 million pounds a year.

  40. JanMan says:

    Well done Rasp :-) Sorry I did not provide an English translation. I figured anyone who was interested could copy/paste to Google translation.

  41. Shard says:

    Thank you for the post GIE. I almost glossed over the team ratings though because I was just too proud of all of them to even attempt to figure out ratings. It was so much fun to spoil Spurs’ party, and Levy’s plan to announce the Bale signings after demonstrating a ‘power shift’. Even the media were more cautious in that regard compared to seasons past. There is something special in this team, and Flamini looked like he fit right in there. Add a few more players of quality (Ozil!!!!?? Wow!) and with our players returning from injuries Arteta, Vermaelen, Podolski, Ox, maybe even Diaby… with a couple of youngsters, who will be fare better surrounded by better players, and we are looking like a squad that can truly start to challenge, and hopefully our ‘support’ will now become our 12th man. Fingers crossed the signings we want happen.

  42. JanMan says:

    Kelsey, I guess you were not very good at Math in school :-)

  43. Shard says:

    Still cheaper than Adebayor, Rasp. :D

  44. JanMan says:

    Rasp. The German sports news channels are all over the Ozil transfer, presumably due to the fact he is a German National player. Apparently Poldolski was a big influence on the decision as Ozil and Poldi are good friends.

  45. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. It’s just bit less than a months rent on a big house near Hampstead Heath.

  46. JanMan says:

    Why was my previous comment removed? Since when have we had censorship on this blog?

  47. JanMan – sometimes comments just randomly end up in spam somehow – nothing sinister; usually one of the administrators are around to fish them out.

  48. JanMan says:

    Thank you Chary. Just a bit strange that’s all. Kelsey had posted a comment referring to 800,000 Euro being 36 mil pounds a year and I simply replied in fun (with a smiley face) Kelsey you were not very good at Math in school. Strangely both the Kelsey comment and mine were removed. A bit mellow dramatic don’t you think.

  49. JanMan – I think the wordpress spam regulator goes funny for a few moments and spams everyone, as happened to both of you as you posted at similar times; I’ve taken them out of spam now.

  50. Rasp says:

    Thanks guys :P Kelsey, your maths is about as good as Daniel Levy’s :lol:

    Ozil is predominantly left footed so I can’t see why we’d need Di Maria as well. He looks a far more complete player than monkey boy so if we get him at half his price that looks like good business to me.

    So for the next 8 hours, keep everything crossed, because he’s exactly the sort of player manure need :(

  51. RockyLives says:

    GiE
    Superb report – well played Sir!

    The warm glow is still glowing and I feel there will be more surprises to come today.

    Thinking back to the game, that really was an impressive performance. Yes, we were hanging on at the end, but we were a much better team than the Spuds. I have seen a lot of Spud comments suggesting they “dominated” the game and deserved at least a draw. They are delusional. Only one team was playing great football and creating multiple chances. I’m sure they will get better as their players get to know each other, but if (I know – still an ‘IF’) we sign someone of the quality of Ozil it really will show that while they’ve been shopping in Sainsburys, we’ve been buying from Harrods.

  52. RockyLives says:

    BR
    I posted a comments yesterday to say that the pre-match was one of your best yet, with so many lines that made me laugh.

    WordPress was being a bastardo and swallowed it. So I’m saying it again now :)

  53. RockyLives says:

    “Jack the Peanut” :D

  54. JanMan says:

    No problems, it was only in fun and that was why I found it so strange that was all.
    Looks as though Arsenal are now going in for Demba Ba. What are your thoughts on this one? I suppose he is a proven striker and at the end of the day we need to strengthen the squad in that area. Still think that signing Flamini was a masterstroke based on the fact he can play multi positions. It was also very good to see how verbal he was during the game.

  55. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    You’re right about Ozil being a better player than the simian, who might well struggle in Spain.

  56. toggablogga says:

    Excellent performance against a tough Arsenal squad. Well done gunners! Excellent signing in Ozil

    http://toggablogga.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/fellaini-hands-in-transfer-request-and-will-join-united-today/

  57. JanMan says:

    Kelsey. I just want to apologize if there were any misunderstandings between us due to previous posts between us on this blog. There was never any direct personal intent meant, only generalization. Thanks :-)

  58. TT says:

    Poor GiE has to compete with TDD! :) Good job with the post, and brilliant on your observation about the tactical difference.

    I do hope Arsenal bring in more players regardless about the situation with Ozil. As the manager and various players have noted, Arsenal is short in number right now.

  59. fatgingergooner says:

    Rasp,

    For an hour Sky were saying United were also interested in Ozil. Get the feeling they asked about him but were told it was already done to Arsenal. Hope that’s the case!

  60. fatgingergooner says:

    Demba Ba anyone!?

  61. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp @ 1:17

    “Changing the playmaker on the island is imminent”

    Top, top news :-)

  62. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE

    That is an excellent Match Report. It’s got the lot. Thank you, really enjoyable read.

  63. jnyc says:

    if we get Ozil… it would be incredible… I think he is sooo under-rated.
    Most assists in the last 3 seasons:

    1. Ozil -86.
    2. Messi-80
    3. Mata-66
    4. Ribery-55
    5. Hazard -52
    yes, he was playing with incredible finishers.. but still !!!

    we would still need a striker.
    please Arsene, make all this happen.

  64. evonne says:

    Kels – Islam is not my favourite religion, but I do admire those that practice their faith regardless of circumstances. Ozil has integrity, I like him already

    And thanks for not watching the game, you were right, your absence is our lucky omen. Can you kindly stop watching all our games in the future? If you loved the Club, I am sure you would do it

  65. Bryan says:

    Was a great game, very tense but a well deserved hard fought victory. Got to be proud of the players

  66. Bryan says:

    Its getting better by the minute Looking good for Ozil & Bendtner maybe going to Crystal Palace haha

  67. Rob Lucci says:

    Cracking write up Gie,

    But no rating for Rosicky? How dare you.. :-)

  68. JanMan says:

    Latest update on sky news Germany. Ozil has passed his medical and is currently filming a commercial at the Bayern Munchen ground with some other German National team players. He had already signed a contract to do the commercial so was obligated to fulfill the engagement. It is reported that later this evening he will sign a five year deal with AFC.

  69. Big Raddy says:

    Toggablgga. It is impolite to put up links to your own blog. Please stop.

  70. fatgingergooner says:

    Sky cameras seen Bendtner leaving Crystal Palace ground today.

    Good that he’s there but not good that he left!

  71. Norfolk Gooner says:

    FGG,

    Bendtner went to Palace but all they offered him was assistant white line painter, he’s now at the Job Centre in Deptford. :D

  72. evonne says:

    from AW’s email to me:
    “But in stoppage time we did not have the resources to attack and focused on keeping Tottenham out.”

    Is he admitting that the squad is not strong enough?

  73. Rob Lucci says:

    I wonder if Robin van Persie likes the direction United are headed?

    -7amkickoff

  74. evonne says:

    Capoue only out for a month after scan reveals sprained ankle.
    poo.

  75. Here’s an update from the Beeb:

    BBC Sport’s David Ornstein: “Arsenal are preparing to confirm the signing of Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid. The Gunners are set to make an announcement in the coming hours. The documentation is being signed and completed as we speak.”

    Eva-va-vonne: I think Wenger was saying we were too knackered to launch loads of attacks at the Spuds due to the energy expended on keeping them out.

  76. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Evonne & Chary,

    By that time Walcott, Wilshere and Rosicky had gone off, so our attacking options were reduced, on top of that fatigue must have played a big part particularly for Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey. It is true, though, that the squad is a bit thin, but only three subs are allowed so the rest of the bench wouldn’t have made much difference.

  77. evonne says:

    I see, so he is not saying we need another striker. That’s a shame :( OGee is coming good, but with a powerful addition we could scare any opponent

    But he did say he might have a nice surprise for us. Did he mean just Ozil ?

  78. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Evonne, we never really know what Wenger is thinking, you are of course right, we do need another striker, if only to take a bit of pressure off of Ollie, the expectations on him are rising all the time. The “nice surprise” may turn out to be Demba Ba, we were linked with him back in January, so you never know. :D

  79. Hi
    Demba ba is wanted by arsenal
    Sky sports news ,seen it just now on loan.
    Sheep

  80. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Sheepy, The Chavs want a £3 million loan fee, we are offering £1.5 million. We must wait and see who blinks first.

  81. Norfolk Gooner says:

    The excitement is getting too much for me, and besides the wife is calling for a cup of tea, she’s doing the ironing, mostly my shirts, so I have to go.

    Put your trust in Wenger, he won’t let you down.

  82. arnie says:

    Arsene blinks last, Always. Period. And this is why Arsenal are so good at the death in transfer dealings.

    What some morons call “panic buys”? hahaha.

    No chance of an early night, gooners.

    Great post, GiE, and I am sorry as well that it all gets clouded by TDD talk. But, no rating for Rosicky? Surely an oversight, but what a pity!!!

  83. fatgingergooner says:

    You only have to look at what United are trying to do to see how good a buy Ozil would be.

    United are going to pay £32m for a 24 year old Herrera who is one for the future.

    We could be getting Ozil for £42m who has been one of the best players at the last couple of International Tournaments, has the most assists in Europe in the last few seasons and is one of the best players in Europe. Oh, and he’s also only 24 years old!

    He would be a brilliant signing.

  84. arnie says:

    GiE: on the ratings, 9 for Szcz is spot on. It was a game where Spuds had few chances. But there was a fantastic save, off a small deflection as well. If that wasnt kept out, it would be disaster. Top honours! Well done Szcz……

  85. arnie says:

    If I may ask, forgive my ignorance, what exactly is the medical exam for? What do they really do? Just curious …..

  86. RockyLives says:

    Not for the first time this season I feel obliged to comment on Szczesny’s outstanding performance.

    I have been critical of TPIG at times over the past couple of seasons and have questioned whether he will “make it” as a great goalie.

    Recent performances are showing that maybe his early promise is going to be fulfilled.

    I hope I get to apologise to him many more times this season.

  87. RockyLives says:

    arnie
    I would imagine it’s demanded by our insurers, who will have to fork out if (for example) his career ends early due to injury or illness.

    Obviously you can’t plan for brutal attacks like Shawcross on Ramsey, but the insurers will want to know that there are no underlying weaknesses in his physiology.

  88. arnie says:

    Kelsey, Raddy, GiE:

    Just following up on a discussion from earlier today. From what I have seen of Ozil, I think he can play both sides. At least I feel Arsene will try to play him left side to see how he does. Left foot appears to be stronger (down the line?) but right foot works as well (cutting in?). But more shooting power appears to be on the left foot.

    But he is a class act, it seems to me.

  89. GoonerB says:

    Great write up GIE. I was swept along by your sheer passion for the good guys in red and white.

    With regards to Flamini, although I hate saying I told you so to anyone who had doubts, well… I told you so. TBH I think he had a cracking if unspectacular first game back with us and did exactly what we have been looking for which is to steady the deep midfield and tidy up. What was more important for me is that he he is now 29 and he showed the maturity and leadership skills of an experienced player. I loved the talking and organising he did and the way he kept everyone focussed. I think he is a real coup, especially on a free (although you feel some would have seen it as a better transfer if we had payed £15m instead of nothing).

    Very exciting about Ozil although as we all know until it is announced on the official website….. We need another number 9 and I would not turn my nose up at Ba, but if we are talking £1.5-£3m for a loan deal why not just stump up say £6m and buy him outright.

  90. kelsey says:

    arnie

    they say “cough please” ;)

  91. Shard says:

    Rocky

    That might be correct, but I think we signed Arteta without conducting a medical because of a lack of time. Maybe we just have very understanding insurers. Our premiums must be through the roof anyway with all the injuries we suffer.

    Interestingly, despite Sky Sports and co going on about having signed a deal subject to a medical, that is not allowed under FIFA rules. Once you sign the deal, it has to be honoured, whether the player passes the medical or not.

  92. Shard says:

    Gooner B

    I imagine that’s because Ba isn’t our primary target. When he moved to Chelsea Wenger said that we didn’t buy Ba earlier because both him and Giroud are similar, and we opted for Giroud. I think we wanted a different kind of forward to supplement Giroud (and Podolski), but since we can’t get anyone like that in this window, we’ll take Ba as Giroud’s backup. I hope it works out because despite not being exactly what we need, he’ll add some depth and allow us to rotate with Giroud.

  93. RockyLives says:

    Shard
    If we signed Arteta without a medical we probably had to indemnify our insurers.

    By the way, anyone know when he-of-the-plastic-hair is going to be available again?

  94. RockyLives says:

    GiE
    Can I just ask, are you falling back in love with football yet (even a teensy bit)? :)

  95. arnie says:

    Thanks, Rocky and Kelsey, and Shard, that helps. Hmmm.

    Ba will be good. Let us see. Many hours still to go.

  96. arnie says:

    Rasp:

    I have still not forgotten the news from Aug 30, about Spuds, that you said would make Shard’s blood boil. What was discussed subsequently appears to be relatively docile. Hopefully, you will come out with it soon. Tomorrow, perhaps?

  97. arnie says:

    Viviano appesr to be in as well. Not bad for a 3rd choice keeper.

  98. GoonerB says:

    Shard, do you know anything about Abel Hernandez who we have been linked with. I am not sure his goal-scoring stats are excellent but he did look quite decent in some footage I saw of him. What made me sit up and take notice was more that he seemed comfortable running at a defender or carrying the ball with a defender on his shoulder and he seemed to have a bit of pace.

  99. kefentse says:

    From goal.com:
    DONE DEAL: Ozil signs for Arsenal

    Official???

  100. RockyLives says:

    Not until it’s pm Arsenal.com key

  101. RockyLives says:

    *kef

  102. Shard says:

    GoonerB

    All I know about Abel Hernandez is that he becomes a very good player on Football Manager (videogame) :)

    I checked out the video, and whatever stats I could get hold of. Despite his speed and seeming skill, I’d rather we didn’t get him. At least at this stage. His finishing and passes are rated as his weaknesses on whoscored.. squawka gives his shooting accuracy as 38% with 6 shots on target and 10 shots off, and passing accuracy as 75%. He succeeded in only 4/19 take ons (dribbles) Basically, at this stage, I think we’d have been better off keeping Gervinho than buying him. However, he might have some great potential and who better than Wenger to bring it out.

    So, based on only looking at his stats, (and being no expert in analysing them) I would pass.

  103. arnie says:

    I guess Hernandez may be held as insurance, just in case the Ba deal does not work out in time.

  104. arnie says:

    Shard:

    Just curious what your views are on Ba versus Gervs

  105. Shard says:

    Haha..Now ManU are linked with Cabaye? His first name must be Pani…

  106. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening all,

    I won’t talk about the possibility of Ozil at Arsenal because I might actually leak fluid I’m so excited. Love a top rumour, I do.

    So….. errrrr

  107. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I might talk to myself in banned Room 101 terminology. Linked to..ouch. Eyed..Oooo. Sources close to…yikes.

  108. Shard says:

    Hi arnie.. I’m surprised you’d specifically ask for my view on anything, but very flattered :)

    Hmmm..I’m not sure they’re quite comparable as players. I really liked Gervinho. Felt he had everything in his locker to be a great player. Except he lacked the mentality to make the right decisions most of the time. It was probably the right decision to let him go.

    Ba is obviously not Gervinho’s replacement. (that was meant to be Ox) I suspect Ba is only being considered because Podolski is injured. Which is why I see a loan deal for him as ideal. I’d rather we bought a quicker striker to supplement Giroud, but perhaps that is Walcott, and someone else for next season. I hope the Ba deal happens if the choice is between him and Abel Hernandez.

    Are we all content with our defense? Ideally I’d like one more player (either CB or RB), but I guess with Flamini able to cover at RB, and Sagna at CB, that isn’t going to happen.

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Shard
    I’d like your view on The English Sausage? :-)

  110. Shard says:

    All I know of the English sausage is that everyone, from the street vendors to high class restaurants, seem to prominently advertise it being made from 100% English meat.If Wilshere had an English sausage for lunch, then that isn’t a very good advertisement for it.I had bangers and mash in the UK once. The mashed spuds yesterday were better.

  111. Shard says:

    Any more questions guys? :D

  112. arnie says:

    Thanks, Shard. It was a natural follow-up, I thought, on your Hernandez versus Gervs analysis. Personally, I look upon Ba and/ or Hernadez as a Giroud insurance, perhaps rotation. Not sure there is really any wind on the Hernandez rumour, though (does not look like a Arsene love affair to me!)

    On defense, I suppose the wind has gone off the sail. For the moment. Happy with Flamini for the moment. But overall very happy with where we are at the moment.

    Transfers look promising. In the league, ManUre look poor, Spuds look shit, Pool I suspect will come hurling downwards at some point… And there’s Shitty and Chelski. Very optimistic we can handle them this year …..

  113. chas says:

    I know someone who likes speciality sausage best of all.

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Shard
    Comprehensive answer. Thank you. :-)

  115. chas says:

    The motionless swampies down below. :)

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas

    You are crude and vulgar. I found Rasp’s reference to you as “Respected” distasteful and insensitive in the extreme. Us lot have feelings and stuff.

  117. chas says:
  118. Bayonne JeanJ says:

    Last word on why the Bale deal took so long to close: Real finally agreed to pay the player in plantains…

  119. fatgingergooner says:

    Shard,

    6.42pm :)

    So that’s a GK. Get a ST and Ozil and I would say Gazidis & co have redeemed themselves and a little bit more.

    Fingers and toes crossed.

  120. chas says:

    Respected for vulgarity? :)

  121. evonne says:

    what stuff Micky?

    No, no early night tonight.

    I thought Ozil the pug was about 28, simply because he played for several years now at the very top level. And that’s at 24!! Wow, he is going to win us trophies for sure. Let him pray before every game, as it clearly works for him, but the Ramadan malarchy has to stop

  122. Shard says:

    Why are we still being linked with even more AMs? Apparently we’ve enquired about Pastore of PSG… There was also something about us enquiring about Mascherano from Barca. Are newspapers just milking the transfer window to the fullest?

  123. Shard says:

    Rob

    We’ve scoured the market hard to find Almunia’s replacement.

  124. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ahem Chas….Golf?

    Perhaps there is something you would like to share with us to explain this distressing habit.

    See, thing is this, the only people I know who do it are avoiding the homestead, and the reason is always the same. Distancing themselves from someone thoroughly unpleasant, and invariably, ferociously hard on the eye.

    Any bells clanging inside that filthy mind of yours?

  125. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Shard
    Please don’t say we are being linked with another attacking midfielder. I’m very happy with the Ozil story, and more links in that department would make me think it’s fallen through.

  126. Shard says:

    Sky Sports reporting that Tottenham enquiring about Demba Ba. Levy still at it trying to throw a spanner in the Arsenal works I see.

  127. Shard says:

    We’re in for a tense ride Micky. I’m pretty sure that even if it’s done, Arsenal will announce the Ozil deal after doing any other business that they intend to, and can. So not for another 3-4 hours before you know for sure that we’ve got Ozil. Even if we have :)

  128. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Shard

    I’m going to ooze off into the shadows and remain hidden behind the curtains :-)

  129. Shard says:

    Micky

    Beware of the shadows. That’s where the Spurs live. :)

  130. evonne says:

    how come that the ugly Robbie Savage is an expert on Arsenal now??
    I cannot stand any of the TV pundits, except for gorgeous Gary Neville. And I suppose it is only going to get worse, with Rio Ferdinand and John Terry approaching their retirement. Will we be subjected to their drivel?

  131. chas says:

    Micky,
    Golf is a fine way to spend a few hours as long as you have some mates to enjoy it with and have an eye for a ball. Maybe that’s why you have an aversion?

    Ferociously hard on the eye. :)
    No munters allowed.

    The chavs want £3m loan fee, we’re willing to pay £1.5m. Smacks of Schwarzer 50p. :) Chump change surely if you’re willing to pay £40 mill plus on another player? We need backup for Olly other than party boy Bendtner.

  132. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Shard ROLF

    Look, I need to clear off for a bit. Get the head in the nosebag and so on.

    Can I leave the site in your capable hands, and post every titbit of a rumour, at least until someone from a more Western time zone, like Rocky, can be bothered to take up the reigns.

    Evonne will be here from about 3am, so the early shift is covered :-)

  133. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No munters allowed
    giggle giggle

    Oh, and Ollie won’t get injured. As I said pre-season, he has 30 goals to score.

    Must dash, grubs up.

  134. Shard says:

    I can try Micky :)

  135. GoonerB says:

    Sky sports saying that Chelski would prefer a permanent deal for Ba. Can’t be much more than £7m. I think it is best just to pay it, and have a committed player that you own outright. We can assess him, Ollie and the Pod over the season, and keep some money in the pot if it doesn’t look like those 3 make us prolific enough.

  136. Big Raddy says:

    Holding my breath because I cannot believe we will buy a player for over 40m.

  137. RockyLives says:

    Western Time Zone reporting for duty, Sah!

  138. chas says:

    GoonerB,
    Only £7m if they’re asking for £3m loan fee? Sounds a bargain.

  139. RockyLives says:

    Only Vivian on the official website so far.

    Splendid stuff!

    Let’s keep our powder dry, wait until the window has closed, then announce the eight new signings…

  140. Shard says:

    My command lasted for just over 4 minutes. Welcome, Rocky :)

  141. RockyLives says:

    Chas
    Apparently we’ve offered £6,999,999.99

  142. RockyLives says:

    Joint command, oh Shard of the Eastern Marches.

    We work together.

    I take credit for the good comments, blame you for the rest.

    OK?

    Glad we’ve cleared that up.

  143. fatgingergooner says:

    Would we say its squeaky bum time yet? Or is that going to be 10pm onwards?

  144. Shard says:

    John Cross says Demba Ba not happening.. Chelsea don’t want him to join a rival..

    And this was always going to be the sticking point, wasn’t it? A positive sign at least that Chelsea, who I make out as favourites for the PL, see us as rivals. So, are we going to try for Hernandez? Or is it going to be Bendtner?

  145. RockyLives says:

    Chas
    Nice pic. He’s got a banana under his shirt.

  146. Shard says:

    As you say Rocky, sir!!

  147. chas says:

    Haven’t we all, Rocky?

  148. chas says:

    Perhaps not that high, though. :)

  149. Shard says:

    All this military rank pulling reminds me of an incident where an officer, looking for change for a dollar, approaches a guard stationed at the barracks door and asks him, “Soldier, do you have change for a dollar?”

    “Sure, buddy”, says the soldier while reaching into his pockets.

    “What do you mean buddy? You will address me as sir”, returns the officer. “So, once again, do you have change for a dollar?:

    The soldier stands to crisp attention and says “No, SIR!!”

  150. RockyLives says:

    Apes are very flexible :)

  151. RockyLives says:

    Just checked the official site…

    …still just Vivian.

  152. fatgingergooner says:

    Sky saying Fellaini’s handed In a request and Ba not going to Arsenal.

  153. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all…..time to get excited yet?

    Rocky the answer is yes but in reality I never fell out of love with football, just all the stuff that surrounds it…now we’ve put Spuds in their rightful place all is well with the world.

  154. RockyLives says:

    Glad to hear it GiE :D

    I thought for one minute back there that we might be losing you…

    Wouldn’t be the same without you.

  155. Gooner In Exile says:

    Btw apologies for missing TR7 from ratings….he gets 11 because of where he celebrated the goal

  156. Gooner In Exile says:

    A tweet from Jack

  157. Shard says:

    Hmmm..According to Jeremy Wilson, Bendtner, who was set to go to Crystal Palace, is going to stay at Arsenal because the Ba deal is not going to happen. I must say, despite Wenger’s comments on him the other day, I never expected Bendtner to wear an Arsenal shirt again. This would be, understandable I suppose, but still sad.

  158. Big Raddy says:

    The Ba rumour always seemed unlikely. Why did it take Chavs so long to refuse to sell to a rival?

    Guess Ba is Spurs-bound :-D

  159. evonne says:

    GiE says “now we’ve put Spuds in their rightful place all is well with the world”
    This is simply brilliant. Obama instead of going to the war with Syria, should take them to the next NLD to show them that there is more to life than killing each other

  160. RockyLives says:

    It’s all gone a bit quiet…

  161. RockyLives says:

    Even Shard has deserted :(

  162. Gooner in Exile says:

    I just started watching SSN, Jim is getting slowly worked up….be shouting in about 30 minutes i reckon

  163. Shard says:

    I’m still around Rocky..Sort of.. The no striker signing has made me a little sad, because I fear that that will be enough to keep the cycle of negativity going. The Ozil deal better go through.

  164. GoonerB says:

    So sky say that we have ended our interest in Ba, not that Chelski have refused us. Shortly after I see Swansea have got another striker on a seasons loan….. £20m for Michu to Arsenal it is then….

  165. Irishgunner says:

    Apparently Ozil is de-registered in Spain so we must be all go. Hope we’re sneaking a striker in there too.

  166. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Quality GiE.

    Great day yesterday.

    Todays going very well so far. I’m not gonna see it thru….wake up and see how we’ve done….

    Might peak in at 11.05..??

  167. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Oooh a sneaky striker…yes please irish

  168. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    *Irish* even…..

  169. fatgingergooner says:

    We got him!!!!

  170. Gooner In Exile says:

    DONE DEAL!!!!!!!! Lovely Jubbly!!!!

  171. Irishgunner says:

    Mesut mofu€king Ozil ………. YAAAAAAAAS

  172. chas says:

    Still nothing

  173. fatgingergooner says:

    WOW WOW WOW!!!!!

    Mourinho said he’s the best number 10 in the world! Says it all.

    Doesn’t get any bigger than that.

    This is exactly what the club needed right now, a superstar. We are going to be playing some pretty football at Arsenal in the next few years!

    Cazorla, Ozil, Wilshere, Ramsey, Flamini, Arteta, Ox, Walcott, Rosicky!

    Best midfield in the PL hands down.

  174. JanMan says:

    Ozil deal finally done :-) Here’s why it took so long. Former clubs of Ozil get a 5% share of the final transfer fee. See below for clarification (in German) copy and paste to any translation program.

    Mesut Özils Wechsel zum FC Arsenal steht unmittelbar bevor. Der Deal zwischen Real Madrid und den ‚Gunners‘ wird auch bei Schalke 04 und dem SV Werdern Bremen für freudige Gesicher sorgen. Wie die ‚WAZ‘ berichtet, kassieren die beiden Bundesligisten eine Ausbildungsentschädigung.

    Verlässt ein Spieler seinen Verein vor Vertragsende – so wie im Fall Özil – stehen sämtlichen Klubs, die an der Ausbildung zwischen dem zwölften und 23. Lebensjahr mitgewirkt haben, fünf Prozent der Ablöse zu. Wechselt der Mittelfeldspieler also für die kolportierten 45 Millionen Euro nach London, dürfen Rot-Weiss Essen, Schalke, Bremen und Madrid 2,25 Millionen Euro unter sich aufteilen.

  175. GunnerN5 says:

    German international Ozil joins Arsenal

    German international midfielder Mesut Ozil has joined Arsenal on a long-term contract in a Club record deal.

    Ozil, 24, joins Arsenal from Real Madrid where he made a total of 159 appearances in three years. During that time he won both La Liga and the Copa del Rey.

    The attacking midfielder has been a long-term target and manager Arsène Wenger said: “We are extremely pleased to have signed Mesut Ozil. He is a great player, with proven quality at both club and international level. We have watched and admired him for some time as he has all the attributes I look for in an Arsenal player.

    He [Ozil] is a great player, with proven quality at both club and international level. We have watched and admired him for some time as he has all the attributes I look for in an Arsenal player
    Arsène Wenger

    “I have said throughout the summer that we have been working hard to bring in top quality players to this football club. This has involved many many people across the Club and I have always had the full support of the Club in making decisions on the football side.

    “Mesut is a top quality footballer who will be a fantastic addition to our talented squad. We are all looking forward to him joining up with us after his international matches with Germany and working with us as an Arsenal player.”

    Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: “This is an exciting day for all of us. We have signed a world-class player who is one of Europe’s brightest young talents.

    “Mr Kroenke, our controlling owner, has always fully supported Arsène and the Club in making significant investments to strengthen our squad and to bring in talented players who fit our style and ambitions.

    “Like all of us, Mr Kroenke wants to see Arsenal winning titles and trophies and he has absolute faith and belief in our manager to achieve that. We will continue to work towards that goal and look forward to an exciting season.”

    Ozil joined his hometown club Schalke in 2006 at the age of 18 and, after spending two years with the Gelsenkirchen club, he made the move to Bundesliga side Werder Bremen in 2008. After making 71 appearances with Bremen, Ozil made the move to Real Madrid following impressive displays at the World Cup in South Africa. He has made 47 appearances for his country, scoring 17 goals.

    Speaking after completing his medical in Germany, Ozil said: “I am thrilled to be joining a club of the stature of Arsenal and am looking forward to playing in the Premier League. It will be great for my own personal development as a player and I am particularly looking forward to working with Arsène Wenger.

    “From our negotiations it is clear the Club has huge ambition and I look forward to being part of an exciting future.”

    Everyone at Arsenal welcomes Mesut to the Club. The deal is subject to the completion of regulatory processes. His number will be announced via @Arsenal on Twitter shortly.

    Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc.

  176. fatgingergooner says:

    Just need to keep our defenders and strikers fit now! :)

  177. Gooner In Exile says:
  178. chas says:

    Still nothing

  179. fatgingergooner says:

    GiE,

    We are going to need 4 strikers on the pitch just to put the chances away! :)

    Can’t wait to watch when these lads click!

  180. chas says:

    This is f@#king awesome. :)

  181. fatgingergooner says:

    This is almost a Bergkamp moment.

    If he has half that impact then it’s money we’ll spent.

  182. fatgingergooner says:

    Best thing about this, the strikers will be queuing up to play for Arsenal with Cazorla, Ozil and Walcott feeding them!

  183. chas says:

    Where’s my striker?
    Centre Back?
    DM? (who’s not free)
    Right full back?
    Back up for Wallnut?

  184. fatgingergooner says:

    Chas,

    Ozil can play all those positions! :)

    We’ll be too busy admiring the sexy football to worry about defending!

  185. GoonerB says:

    Doesn’t look like another striker is arriving. Does anyone know what the situation is with loan deals for players. Is it the same deadline as for transferring a player or can it extend beyond this? There must be some striker out there that could be had on loan. What about paying NYRB’s £5m for a certain Frenchman for the season?

  186. chas says:

    fgg,
    It’s because Wenger and Gazidis hate spending money because it’ll affect their bonuses.

  187. fatgingergooner says:

    Looks like Podolski, Walcott and Sanogo will be used as striking options if needed.

    Not ideal but if Podolski was fully fit then I don’t think we’d have gone for Ba. Giroud seems a pretty robust guy so lets just hope he stays fit until Podolski’s back.

    If someone had said we’d get a GK, DM, ST and Ozil in July then I’d have taken it.

  188. IanRealGunner says:

    Remember we still have TGSTEL to put away all those chances!!!!

  189. Gooner In Exile says:

    You’re right Chas we had £70m and only spent £42.5m of it…..and the wages.

    I shit you not I was listening to TS Drivel on the way home today, Dunce and Gonad were saying how paying Ozil £200k a week would unsettle the other players because they’d now be demanding higher wages.

    Our problem was we don’t spend enough on wages and now we spend too much…couldn’t make it up!!

  190. fatgingergooner says:

    Chas,

    Gazidis and Wengers families won’t be happy with their Christmas presents this year! :)

    I’m happy with my Xmas present, a certain goggle eyed German!

  191. Gooner In Exile says:

    Right what’s the odds on Ozil getting injured during the international break?

  192. Gooner In Exile says:

    Right more importantly…..a song is needed.

    Tune of Little Louis

    Mesut Ozil wooaaahwoah Mesut Ozil

  193. Gooner In Exile says:

    Super Mesut Ozil will work but Tom and Jack will be unhappy.

  194. GoonerB says:

    I would be happier if the Pod wasn’t out for so long so we have to hope Ollie holds up. Theo may get a chance up top at times now and from the little I have seen of Sanogo, for me the slightly younger Akpom looked more ready to lead the line. Maybe because he is more acclimatised in England and to the pace of the game

    TBH, (and don’t laugh), I don’t have a problem with us bringing TBSTEL back into the fold. He is our player and it would be foolish to overlook a resource you have. Not maybe the ideal option but he is the closest to Giroud in being able to hold off a defender and bring advancing team-mates into play. With the quality now lining up behind the main striker he may not be a bad short-term solution til the Pod is back and fit.

    Even if he and AW know he is not in the long-term plans it would represent an opportunity for him to impress would be suitors for the January TW and if he is putting the effort in and helping the team to win games it gives us some reasonable cover in this department. Is he good enough to be a regular at Arsenal at this level? Not in my mind, but he is not an awful player either so I just hope the fans back of and relax a bit if he is named in the squad for some games, which I think could be likely to happen now.

    Him leading the line in Giroud’s absence with Santi and Theo to his left and right, the new Dennis in behind with Jack or Rambo playing a box to box role, and the Flamster holding in front of the back 4 is still not a bad side at all.

  195. 26may1989 says:

    Good evening, chums.

    Am sitting in a hospital bed, taking in the ludicrous deadline day. (No need to worry re me, have just had a knee op to deal with torn cruciate ligaments I got a while ago, and a slot came up at short notice just as I returned from hols.)

    I am absolutely delighted we’ve signed Mesut Özil. He is exactly the type of quality we needed, I genuinely think this could lift us to a title-challenging level. I’m amazed Real would sell him, and equally amazed United didn’t beat us to him. Both will regret it.

    Some say the priority was getting in a striker. I wouldn’t quite agree – what we needed was a top quality player in the attacking portion of the first XI. Suarez or Rooney would have been great, so much of their game is based on clever movement. But recruiting Özil is another way of answering the same need. Cazorla over to the left side, with Poldi reverting to be more of a striker. Wenger gets to choose between Grioud and Poldi, with Walcott and Sanogo as the alternatives/cover. Nothing too shabby there.

    Dont get me wrong, getting in cover of the quality of Demba Ba would have been great, but the fact that’s not happened isn’t a disaster, we are still much, much stronger than we were. I reckon we may yet see an additional back-up striker join in January – there is, after all, money still in the pot.

    Playing around with what we now have, life looks pretty good to me:

    —————- Szczesny

    Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs

    ———– Ramsey Wilshere

    ——– Walcott Özil Cazorla

    —————– Giroud

    Subs: Viviano, Monreal, Vermaelen, Arteta, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski

    And then there’s back-up in the likes of Fabianski, Jenkinson, Rosicky, Sanogo, Miyaichi, Gnabry, Eisfeld, Yennaris, Zalalem, Martinez plus others from the Academy squad.

    Exciting times!

  196. Bayonne Jean says:

    Welcome to the newest signing!

  197. fatgingergooner says:

    ———Wilshere—–Ramsey——–
    Walcott———-Ozil———-Cazorla

    That is going to be a scary midfield!

  198. 26may1989 says:

    Agreed, FGG. We will be able to pass everyone to death. And if we need more steel, Arteta and Flamini are there.

    Love the Marty Feldman ref!

    And having just gone back and read Exile’s write-up of yesterday’s game, and the comments, just wanted to thank Exile, another excellent, insightful post. Loving it.

    Loved this from Rocky too: “Thinking back to the game, that really was an impressive performance. Yes, we were hanging on at the end, but we were a much better team than the Spuds. I have seen a lot of Spud comments suggesting they “dominated” the game and deserved at least a draw. They are delusional. Only one team was playing great football and creating multiple chances. I’m sure they will get better as their players get to know each other, but if (I know – still an ‘IF’) we sign someone of the quality of Ozil it really will show that while they’ve been shopping in Sainsburys, we’ve been buying from Harrods.” Agree 100%.

  199. fatgingergooner says:

    Good business by Everton. Lukaku, Barry and McCarthy in, Fellaini and Anichebe out.

    United may have got Coentrao on loan as well as Fellaini but not confirmed yet.

    None of them are Ozil though! :)

  200. fatgingergooner says:

    ———-Flamini—Arteta———-
    Ox———Rosicky——–Podolski

    And they say we have a weak squad!

  201. 26may1989 says:

    Yup, Everton are better off for those. Can’t imagine Lukaku is chuffed about another season out on loan, he was clear about wanting to be at the Bridge this season to break into the team, play CL footy etc.

    Even with the late signings, United fans must feel disappointed t Moyes’ first go at recruitment. They are definitely catchable this year.

    Despite disliking Real, I genuinely would like to see Bale succeed. The price-tag is crazy, at least double his true worth (even in this nutty market) but I respect a player taking on a challenge like this one. I doubt the Madridistas will end up feeling satisfied with him though.

  202. How good does it feel to be a gooner now?

  203. 26may1989 says:

    Good, GM, very, very good!

    Levy’s titting about in completing Bale’s transfer, aimed at screwing us up, looks lame and classless now, doesn’t it?

  204. They lost to us, lost their best player and we made the signing of the window.

  205. evonne says:

    Ozil, Flamini, Sanogo and Viviano. I can live with that :)

  206. 26may1989 says:

    And despite “dominating” (ha ha!), looked some distance from carrying any genuine threat. Paulinho and Capoue were especially unimpressive yesterday. Early days, of course, but Spurs have a lot of adjusting to do post-Bale. Liverpool’s great start suggests they might be the real rival this year to the CL four.

  207. 26may1989 says:

    Agreed evonne – in fact, I’d say Özil’s recruitment makes the TW a genuine success. And the January TW could be a real chance for some more action.

    Hope all’s good with you.

  208. 26may1989 says:

    Apparently our net spend this TW has been £34m.

    I hope we see Giroud and Poldi thrive on some epic service this season from Özil, Cazorla and Wilshere. Supporting attacks in the box from the likes of Walcott, Ramsey and the Ox will be vital though.

  209. 26may1989 says:

    Apparently, we’ve also made Özil the most expensive German footballer of all time.

  210. 26may1989 says:

    Ok, I’m just talking to myself now – time for me to sleep off the remainder of the anaesthetic. Catch you lot tomorrow, when I’ll be just as thrilled about us having signed Marty Feldman. Night. night.

  211. Rob Lucci says:

    If Sanogo can prove that he’s a legit back-up for Giroud then we have a real shot at the title. To me that’s the only missing piece in the squad.

    Sanogo reminds me of Anelka, (lightweight, etc), but with Bergkamp (Ozil), anything can happen.

    Cheers.

  212. Sai says:

    We were chasing Rooney, Mata…and suddenly Wenger pulls this one off! Wow, we have arguably the best player in Central midfield on Earth, two footed and a proven goal poacher for Germany!

    Playing Cazorla in the left, Ozil in the middle, rotating Rosicky, Podolski and Ox would be the plan I reckon. Wilshire and Rambo behind with Flamini as backup isn’t too bad ayye!

  213. johnnie nyc says:

    :-) :-)

  214. RockyLives says:

    Happy days fellas :)

  215. chas says:

    …immediate bondage with Podolski and Mertesacker. :)

  216. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow…it happened.

    That is an incredible signing. I never thought it could happen, absolutely amazing.

    What a boost, what a player.

  217. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The options now are superb, the spirit in the camp must be ecstatic, this won’t disrupt the togetherness and camaraderie, but will simply demonstrate the intent.

    Flamini has been a superb signing (I was so wrong), but this is way more than the diddy superstar I kept banging on about.

    This is one of the world’s top players.

    Am I excited?

    What a two days.

  218. 26may1989 says:

    Happy days, Micky.

    Am already trying to see if I can go to the Marseille away game for Ozil’s debut. Fancy getting some real bouillabaisse yourself??!

  219. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26

    Because you are in hospital, I guess I can pinch your line up and post it again as it looks so utterly delicious, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    —————- Szczesny

    Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs

    ———– Ramsey Wilshere

    ——– Walcott Özil Cazorla

    —————– Giroud

    Subs: Viviano, Monreal, Vermaelen, Arteta, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski

    So good, it hurts.

    Speedy recovery 26 :-)

  220. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha 26,

    Was still penning mine when you posted.

    Marseilles does sound good, and tasty, but what about some settling in time, then Dortmund away. Better match, better fans, and of course our own German Invasion :-)

  221. 26may1989 says:

    You make a good case, Micky, but (a) I have no patience and want to see this new lineup in the flesh now, (b) I do love Marseille and have somewhere to stay not far away and (c) I could go to Dortmund too!

    Thanks for the kind wishes. All seems fine re my op, it’s just the months of rehab I’m worried about!

  222. MickyDidIt89 says:

    More Wowing as I’ve just been over to the Sky site for all the transfers.

    Chelsea: I was wrong again (LB right :-( ), Mata stays and there is clearly a rift between him and Maureen. Lukaku out on loan again, and they have a 32 yr old mercenary in Eto. Highly catchable team.

    Utd: Fellaini is a good signing, but now catchable.

    Arsenal: make the biggest signing of the window!!!!

  223. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26

    Both games? The pills are working :-)

  224. Gooner In Exile says:

    God I hate these bloggers that only come around once in a while to say “I told you so”…….oh hello 26May :D

    Was the knee ligament damaged by a sporting incident, or just stumbling out of a Chancery Lane pub?

  225. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Can I just say a massive thank you to Daniel Levy.

    “Oi Levy,

    Had you not sold your only good player to Madrid, it would never have been possible for us to grab one of the world’s genuinely great players, making us certainties to finish ahead of your mob by a very considerable gap.

    Thank you”

  226. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Two days ago nothing but angst – we are going to lose the NLD, Spurs have done better business in the TW, Benzema won’t come, Suarez made us look silly, AFC are showing no ambition etc etc

    Then BOSH, we moider the swamp-dwellers and complete the best signing of the TW.

    And now we have two whole weeks to savour it.

  227. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Exile and Raddy.

    What a morning :-)

  228. 26may1989 says:

    Hi Exile, I’m studiously avoiding any ITYS-ism! Must be some happy pills in what they’re doling out here. And the morphine yesterday was rather nice….

    The injury was a classic 40 something year old bloke playing 5 a side. Knee got dislocated and tore the ACL completely and damaged the miniscus. Having had to limit myself to cycling and swimming, I hope at the end of the rehab I’ll be able to get back to footy plus tennis and perhaps even squash. Just months in the proxy gym to go through before that. :(

  229. Big Raddy says:

    26. I have done both my anterior and medial knee ligaments (separate ski accidents) and you are right to be concerned about the physio :-(

  230. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mmm, I feel a little pathetic.

    I’ve only “done” my left ear, and the lower section of my right pinky.

    Must man-up, and get a proper grown up injury.

  231. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ok my first two song efforts were a bit rubbish.

    So…..

    Easy Like Sunday Morning:

    He makes it easy, easy like Mesut Ozil

    Rocks off (Primal Screen)

    Mesut Ozil, Mesut Ozil Baby, Watch him now now watch him tear them apart.

    Yellow Submarine:

    We all live in a Mesut Ozil World a Mesut Ozil world a Mesut Ozil world

    Another Brick in The Wall:
    (The Mesut Ozil bit is the bass riff)

    We don’t need no oil money, Mesut Ozil, Mesut Ozil
    We don’t need no defensive mid, Mesut Ozil, Mesut Ozil
    No dark arts needed for our midfield, Mesut Ozil, Mesut Ozil
    Wenger show them what it means
    Hey Wenger, show them what it means
    All in all we’re just loving Mesut Ozil
    All in all we’re just loving Mesut Ozil

  232. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You’ve been up all night working on those, haven’t you Exile :-)

    George is starving, and the nappy soiled, but hey, you had things on your mind!

  233. Gooner In Exile says:

    Knee sounds painful, I haven’t played 5 a side since hyper extending my knee a couple of years back, probably nicked the cartilage can’t be arsed to get it looked at so just whinge every time it goes again

  234. 26may1989 says:

    Cheers Raddy, sounds like I may need to check in with you for advice.

    And Micky, I only have one thing to say to you: :)

    One aspect of recruiting Ozil that I’m especially happy about is how stable we will still be. We have a team that is well integrated and has plenty of quality in it already (even if many miss that fact), and we are adding one player whose game is built on everything that our key players and our squad love, ie passing and movement. And the other significant outfield recruit, Flamini, knows us already.

    We have options and cover up front and at centre back, but we could still do with having more. Perhaps we could call back Miquel in January (or was that a 12 month loan?) and buy a striker then?

  235. Big Raddy says:

    Knowing the imagination of the Em’s, it will be

    One Mesut Ozil, there’s only one Mezit Ozil

    or something equally banal

  236. 26may1989 says:

    @Exile: Snap, I’ve been putting off dealing with this, but I got bored withthe knee going again and again, whenever I tried something with even a modest amount of movement. When it went while I was helping my kids and their mates with a game of rounders, I thought bugger this, I need to get it fixed.

  237. Big Raddy says:

    26. Don’t ask me – it was just a painful blur. Still ski though.

    There is also the unlikely scenario of NB getting fit and actually fulfilling his potential.

  238. 26may1989 says:

    @Raddy: Ah yes, NB52. I used to defend him but it is something of a disappointment that he didn’t move on this summer. And the reason, judging by the quotes from the managers of Hamburg, Eintracht Frankfurt and Hull, appears to have been money. NB is perfectly entitled to demand what he wants and to refuse to take a pay cut, but it’s a very shortsighted approach – he’s got talent (just not as much as he thinks). The year at Juve didn’t work out. He needs to get regular playing time. If being dropped by Denmark didn’t teach him that, he really is his own worst enemy.

    I imagine Bendtner will spend most of the next few months sulking at the training ground. In theory, he’s an option but I really hope he isn’t used for a game that really matters. As I say, I think he’s got talent, and he has scored some good goals for us in the past, but I’m pessimistic about what he could contribute to our cause now.

  239. Big Raddy says:

    26. No arguing with your summation.

    NB is viewed over here as part of the malaise of Danish youth. They are called Curling Kids after the sport.

    In curling when the stone is pushed there are two people who smooth the path for the stone getting rid of any obstacles. The state and parents are the two sweepers.

    I think curling kids sums them up well and NB is a perfect example of what can happen

  240. 26may1989 says:

    Interesting Raddy. Killing with kindness certainly is a problem in the UK too. We all need the right obstacles in life in order to grow, parents often forget that.

  241. evonne says:

    poor 26 :( you must be in agony!! But we are going to benefit from having your company for a few days now :)

    GiE – you really pee me off sometimes. I got up in the middle of the night to check on the TW and read your silly songs comment. AND as a result I couldn’t go back to sleep thinking of something to match your silliness. So there you are:

    to the tune ‘He scores when he wants’

    “He looks like a fish, he plays like a ?????
    Mazut Ozil, he owns every pitch”

    to the tune of ‘He comes from Senalgal
    “Mazuuuuut O-oooozil,
    Mazuuuuut O-oooozil
    He joined us from Real
    He’s our Turkish Delight….”

    Sorry, I did try

  242. Gooner In Exile says:
  243. evonne says:

    Barry Silkman says that there is one more deal to be announced later on today – a player going back to a London club.

    It cannot be Cesc, can he?

  244. Gooner In Exile says:

    :D Evonne I quite like he looks like a fish.

  245. Gooner In Exile says:

    I doubt it Evonne, apparently even if the paperwork wasn’t in at 11 we have to show clear intent.

    Although by all accounts we made last ditch attempt for Rooney ……

  246. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “He’s our Turkish Delight”

    Please, please, please Evonne. No more. Stick to fighting :-)

  247. Gooner In Exile says:

    Silkman was quite a tidy footballer, I got to play against him at the end of his playing days in the non league scene and I was about 16 (think it was a County Cup match)

  248. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Re: no-one, but can loan deals still be made?

  249. evonne says:

    Micky :) I did apologise :)

    your turn, go on!!

    GiE – did you? Was there a time that you thought you’d become a professional footballer? You are far too clever for that

  250. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just checked his wiki he must have been about 40 when I played against him but was the best player on the pitch. Always remember this and playing against other ex pros when I watch professional football, they may look average in the PL but they are still 10 times better than the rest of us could ever hope to be.

  251. MickyDidIt89 says:

    In honour of Ozil, as well as our other Germans:

  252. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evonne I had a few years at Brentford, but at 14/15 had a choice to make, I wasn’t really making progress (wasnt offered schoolboy forms or anythng) and the journey to training twice a week and the effect that was having on my studies meant it was crunch time.

    I only got in to Brentford by piggy backing on to my brothers trial (he was a midfielder), I got asked to come back he didn’t.

    I sometimes felt I may do a Wrighty and get picked back up from the non leagues, but I found food and beer with enthusiasm at about 21 and never looked back :)

  253. evonne says:

    ok, so what are our expectations of Mazut?
    Do we think he will be our next Dennis?
    Do we hope he will make OG the best striker in the world?
    Are we hoping he will shift parked buses?

    What?

  254. evonne says:

    GiE – ha ha ha, that’s a good story. I am glad you are who you are – a great guy! Even if you look scary :)

  255. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks evonne. :)

    Talk of old pros playing reminds me of the YouTube material that went around while Paul Scholes was in his first retirement (or was it a sabbatical?) and he turned up to play in a mate’s 5 a side game. Not the same as a 40+ Barry Silkman vs a young Exile but the thought of turning up for a kick around, only to have to face a recent and top PL pro, is pretty intimidating! There’s also plenty of fun footage of our own, wonderful Bobby Pires playing in his retirement. He still looks fit but the difference in terms of what a pro sees on the pitch, and how much more time they appear to have on the ball, does underline the difference between even the best amateur and those that can operate at the highest level. Come to think of it, Andrew Strauss did a piece in the nets during the Ashes demonstrating the same point, that speed and time are completely different at the elite level of sport.

  256. Gooner in Exile says:

    26 i am not sure how batsmen at Test level do it, something like 0.5 seconds to react to the ball, select the stroke and play the shot. Unbelievable.

    As you say football is no different i think Wenger said something in a recent interview about time on the ball, defenders get 1 and a half seconds to decide what they are going to do with it, midfielders a second, and forwards/wingers half a second. It is no wonder when they come against amateurs that they appear to have all the time in the world. People think quality of the playing surface will be a leveller, even on the most bobbly of pitches an ex pro has more time on the ball.

  257. evonne says:

    DidIt ! I’ve got it :)

    Mazuuuuut Ooooozil
    Mazuuuuut Oooozil
    Perfection with each kick
    He’s best in Premier League
    Mazuuuut

    Good, init :)

  258. Morning all

    26 – nice to have your company, I wish you a speedy recovery from your op.

    Very happy this morning, I think the little pug eyed one is a real coup and will, as everyone else has said, slot in to our midfield to great effect.

    What a lot of money we’ve spent :) Second highest Premier purchase, I hope Arsene enjoys his new toy.

    I’m feeling very sorry for LB who is cycling somewhere in some mountains, not only did he miss Sunday’s win but he may not know about our new toy :(

  259. GiE – I forgot to tell you how much I loved your ramblings about the win against the scum :)

  260. Rasp says:

    Morning all, fantastic signing, brilliant player, excellent work by Arsene and the IG etc.

    Everyone seems to be placing Oz centrally and Santi on the left ….. No no, Oz on the left and Santi in the middle for me. Europe’s top of the assists swapping wings with Theo and Santi knitting it all together for me :P

  261. We have a New Post ……………. enjoy …………..

  262. TT says:

    Hi peaches,

    It matters not to LB, who, along with shard, has faith that all will turn out well with this TW. We doubters agonized while he went off cycling :)

  263. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks peaches. (:

    Has anyone checked any Spurs websites today? Always nice to see their innate insecurities playing out!

    On account of our own insecurities (the fear of our players getting injured while on international duty), I just checked what Germany have coming up: a local derby against Austria on Friday eve and an away game the following Tuesday at that bizarre little ground in the Faroe Islands. Can’t remember if that’s an artificial surface but hopefully our new bug eyed one will come through unscathed.

  264. Shard says:

    8-O Who’s that? Mesut Ozil!!!!!!!!

    We’ve got one of the best midfielders in the world. And we’ve got Cazorla. Ozil and Cazorla beats Cesc and Nasri. We’re back baby!!

    Another striker would have been great but why buy a mediocre striker for 4 years when we’ve already got one for this year (Bendtner), and elite strikers will be lining up to play for us in front of Cazilla…

    This should make the people questioning our ambition take a step back and think again. It doesn’t solve all our problems. It’s not perfection just yet (Invincibles?) but it’s a big big step, and hopefully it is the start of a new era where money is less of a worry. We’re getting there. We’re getting back to the top, and if this signing is any sort of indication (along with the signing of Flamini) then Wenger and Arsenal should give the fans confidence that we can still be great.

    I saw some negative comments on the web yesterday and it made me sad. But today, I am one happy gooner. Happy and proud.

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