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.
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.
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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