Ozil unveiled at Arsenal while Pearce’s words are questioned.

The international inter-lull has finally moved along after overstaying its welcome and the real football we all appreciate returns this weekend. The highs of the North London derby victory over Tottenham and the ground breaking, record signing of German Mesut Ozil have tailed off in the midst of the World Cup qualifying campaign. In fairness the name of Mesut Ozil has not been far from the lips of Arsenal fans on a daily basis since September the 2nd and if anything the excitement factor has steadily grown as his impending debut for the Gunners draws ever closer.

The players returned to training yesterday following the international break and the opportunity was taken by the club to promote Ozil’s first training session with his teammates. His welcome to the club may not be of Real Madrid proportions with the filled stadiums and go-go dancers but it is quite clear his acquisition is appreciated by all associated with the club. Ozil was able to provide his first proper Arsenal interview from within the club and he did not disappoint, he took the opportunity to state his desire to play for Arsenal. He stated his admiration for the way the club has improved the careers of players to become some of the best players in the world, the names of Henry and Fabregas were mentioned as he exhibited his ambition to be even better than the world class level he is already at.

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It is exciting to think of how good he is and the potential he has to be even better. His age is one of the major plus points when acknowledging what a coup his signing is. He has so many years ahead of him and to think he was pinched from Real Madrid at such a stage in his career is still something that cannot be overlooked.

Arsene was full of praise for his latest acquisition and also reiterated the potential Ozil has to become even better. He said:

“He’s at a good age. He is 25 in October and he’s already a great player. There’s room now between 25 and 30 for him to become a dominant player and to make a step up from that”

which is so true and a clear indication that the Arsenal team will be built around the German, the exciting thing about this is if teams decide to focus on nullifying the attacking threat of the German it will only free up space for the other attacking talent in the team. Cazorla, Wilshere, Ramsey, Podolski to name a few are all dangerous in and around the box, to focus on just Ozil will just be the opposing team’s funeral.

There may have been a slight chuckle from the press when Ozil was asked if Arsenal could challenge for the league title, but Ozil was totally valid with his response. He didn’t guarantee it could happen but he did not rule out the possibility either. He is accepting of the football philosophy at the club and will do all he can to help the club achieve success. He said:

“We want to play attractive football to improve but of course also successful football. I can’t promise to win trophies but I can promise as a team we can give our all to in trophies.”

I’m pretty sure the club will do all it can and the boost the German has brought to the club is like having a twelfth man on the pitch. The fans will sing louder, the players will raise their game and the opposing teams will feel that little bit of fear going into games.

In other news Phil Jones has spoken out against Stuart Pearce who was overly critical of Jones and our very own Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain when discussing the England U-21 team. Pearce’s comments were ones of bitterness and he was quite disrespectful in naming Oxlade-Chamberlain as a player that refused to represent England at the European U-21 championships.

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That Phil Jones spoke out and clarified that Roy Hodgson actually had the final say on who from the seniors could play in the tournament only helped showcase Pearce’s pathetic excuse making for the poor showing in the summer. It would be nice if Oxlade-Chamberlain would also come out and back up Phil Jones words just to put Pearce firmly in his place. Additionally the F.A made a statement regarding Pearce’s rant expressing their disappointment in his need to criticize individuals. I for one would like this non-story to filter away and not be a topic that reoccurs and fulfills the former England manager’s intention of destabilizing and affecting the players he mentioned.

Stuart Pearce’s time has come and gone, the club’s focus is now firmly on Sunderland away and obtaining three points. Away to Sunderland is not an easy game and has been quite an eventful fixture over the past few seasons for Arsenal which would make it a tricky betting accumulator.

All in all with the injury picked up by Tomas Rosicky in midweek, the opportunity to see Mesut Ozil grace the pitch in Arsenal colours is heightened. Nonetheless exciting times ahead, roll on Saturday; we have waited too long for the real football to return.

Enjoy your day people.

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Great start to September for all Gunners as Ozil joins

What an amazing last 48 hours have been experienced for Arsenal fans, the excitement has come thick and fast and after experiencing such a high much like junkies there is likely to be an almighty comedown once things settle down. It won’t last long of course but in reflection a North London Derby win followed by the signing of the magnitude of a player like Mezut Ozil.

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I have to admit I am still buzzing from the victory at the Emirates, a clean sheet and first blood against our lesser rivals and their £100m signings. The atmosphere was electric as always when we play Tottenham, their fans were strangely subdued maybe they were just grateful we didn’t pop in another 5 goals against them. Either way the victory worked wonders for the moral amongst Arsenal fans, we have been frustrated at the lack of transfer activity and the frustration was filtering from the fans and causing an unpleasant vibe within the Emirates.

The games that followed the defeat at Aston Villa certainly did their part in the damage limitation; the victory over Spurs damn near wiped the Arsenal fans minds. Temporarily I must say, as transfer deadline day is a date etched in the diaries of all football fans.

The summer has been full of names linked only for nothing to happen at the club so the fans could have been forgiven when the news of Mezut Ozil filtered through on Sunday night that the club was in advanced negotiations with the player. The Gareth Bale factor certainly played a part in the timing of any negotiations and once he was confirmed a Madrid player it opened the door for Ozil to leave.

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The negotiations took a further 24 hours before the signing was officially announced, a long and drawn out process as the reports gained credibility by the hour that the deal was as good as done. You would think that after the summer of non activity the Arsenal fans had experienced that waiting those few hours on the final day to get the confirmation would be a piece of cake. Far from it, things can happen in football; other clubs can come in and steal the player away last minute, the reluctance to add a decimal point in negotiations could scupper the whole deal, plenty factors could prevail.

Arsenal had experienced a similar situation hours before the announcement of Ozil when Demba Ba was close to joining the club on loan for the season. Initially it was disclosed that the loan fee was a sticking point with Chelsea demanding £3m for the player while Arsenal’s valuation was closer to £1.5. The deal eventually broke down though the official statement from Chelsea was they decided not to loan the player to a direct rival.

In the end, about 20 minutes before the deadline the signing was officially announced and Arsenal fans across the country released a sigh of relief. A record transfer reported to be around £42.5 million smashed Arsenal’s previous record transfer to smithereens and not one fan would question the fee for the player. This signing is huge as Arsenal pulled of a coup signing a player of such status and quality and at such a perfect age. This ranks up there with the signing of Dennis Bergkamp in terms of the calibre of player joining Arsenal.

A statement of intent from the manager and certainly well worth the wait; despite the concerns at the lack of signings Ozil will certainly raise the bar in the Arsenal squad and will certainly bring the feel good factor back to the Emirates for the long term.

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No striker or defender joined the club in the end and Nicklas Bendtner didn’t complete his proposed move to Crystal Palace. Time will tell if that is a mistake but that factor is totally overshadowed by the Germans arrival. The season long loan signing of Emiliano Viviano also suffered from the pending news on Ozil as the main focus was on when the record transfer would be announced. The Italian international keeper joined Arsenal on loan from Palermo; he’s 27 years old so not potential and likely to provide direct competition to the current keepers on our books. To be honest I do not know much about this keeper apart from the fact he eerily looks like Manuel Almunia. Hopefully he proves to be more talented and proves himself during his time at the club prompting a permanent transfer.

Almunia in disguise?

Almunia in disguise?

September hasn’t started too badly. Enjoy your day people.

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