On September 2nd 2013, Arsenal Football Club made a signing which could transform the future of the club in ways that I never thought any one signing could do. Signing Mesut Ozil for fifty million euros is a giant leap for this club, and one that will have long lasting effects. I’ll attempt to discuss some of them here. Let’s begin…
I’ll start with the most immediate and obvious effect. Ozil is really quite good at playing football. He played an average of 52 games a season for Real Madrid, scoring a total of 27 goals. In 105 La Liga games he made 47 assists and created 324 chances for his teammates. He’s a truly brilliant creative midfielder. Read this piece by @MoarFootball for a much more in depth look at Ozil as a player http://gb1886.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/majestic-mesut-moves-to-arsenal-an-in-depth-look-at-the-signing/ .The uproar in Madrid (the Real side anyway) should say a lot about the quality of Ozil. Players like Ronaldo and Ramos have been saddened by the sale of one of their best and most important teammates. Not only this, but his departure from Madrid has overshadowed the arrival of Gareth Bale, the world’s most expensive player of all time. Not bad for a player we bought for half of Bale’s fee. Let there be no doubts as to the quality of the strange looking German from Gelschenkirchen.
This signing, the most expensive in Arsenal’s history, has lifted the mood of the fans to unrecognisable levels. It was only a couple of weeks ago that most people (myself included) were on a ledge preparing to jump after the loss to Villa and the lack of squad strengthening. Now however, things are different. I have never seen such consistent happiness on my Twitter timeline. Ever. Also, a staggering number of umlauts have been showing up everywhere. The new found enthusiasm this deal has instilled in the fans has been shown in shirt sales. Thousands upon thousands of Ozil shirts have already been ordered, and as Ozil shows his quality on the pitch, the sales will continue to rise. Investment by the club means investment by the fans.
This is a huge statement of ambition by Arsenal. The three clubs ahead of us feel threatened now, that’s how good Ozil is. Jose Mourinho refused to let Demba Ba go to Arsenal, as he felt it would make Arsenal much too strong after the signing of Ozil. He sees us as title contenders. Not only that, but signing such a fantastic player shows that we aren’t happy with fourth place every year, and that our aspirations are much, much higher than that. Added to this, many Arsenal players have expressed their delight at the signing of Ozil. This shows to them too that we want to be the best we can, which means that it is extremely unlikely that any of the players start to disagree with the direction that the club is going in. Ahem.
Having supremely talented players leads to more supremely talented players wanting to join your club. Ozil is certainly one of those players. What striker wouldn’t love to play in front of Ozil? He increases the clubs attractiveness to other big name players by quite a bit. Hopefully, Ozil will be the catalyst for more great players to join Arsenal, the sort of players we had hoped would flock to Arsenal once the Emirates had been built.
Jack Wilshere has had his problems while playing in the centre of midfield. His defensive responsibilities were often neglected in mazy dribbles down the field. This may have been due to the fact that Jack was used to playing further up the field, so he found it hard to adapt. However, now that Ozil has arrived, there is pretty much no chance that Jack will be playing as an attacking midfielder any time soon. This means he will be completely focused on developing his game in centre midfield, which can only be a good thing.
Arsene Wenger has shown his unparalleled quality as a manager with this coup. Once again, when the chips were down, his back was against the wall, and other inane cliches, he produced the goods and left everyone smiling. I was questioning him after the Villa loss, but the great man has pulled another rabbit out of the hat. He deserves tremendous respect for pulling this deal off, and hopefully he will get an easier time from the fans if things go wrong on occasion. He has made mistakes, but when Ozil starts threading passes which split defences constantly, Wenger will be vindicated.
As was seen against Tottenham in the North London Derby, player unity, team spirit, and an inside-out knowledge of what your teammate will do is more important than buying a host of new first team players. We have an excellent platform to build on, having gone unbeaten at the tail end of last season and keeping 9 clean sheets in 13 matches. People questioned whether we needed Ozil or not, but when you add a sprinkle of “top, top quality” to a team that already functions pretty well, something great can happen. I hate to reference them, or him, but Manchester United didn’t look like they needed van Persie, but they added him anyway and he was that extra bit of quality that they needed. I’m not saying that we’ll win the title, but we could be in for a special season.
The signing of Mesut Ozil will kickstart a new era at Arsenal Football Club. An era where the best of the best want to come to one of the best stadiums in Europe to play for a fantastic manager, a fantastic team, and fantastic fans. An era where Arsenal win. An era where Arsenal are feared again.
As always, thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends and followers. You can follow me on Twitter @StrongAsTheOx. Until next time!