Astonishingly, and to the surprise of not just Arsenal fans, but most of the footballing world, Mesut Özil is now a Gunner. The surprise comes from the inexplicable decision by Real Madrid to sell one of their star players, not that us Arsenal fans will worry too much about that.
It is a joyous time to be an Gooner, much to the annoyance of our lily-white neighbours, especially as the news came just a day after they suffered a one-nil defeat in the North London Derby.
It didn’t take long for the negative tweets to start rolling in, predominantly from Spurs fans but also a few Liverpool fans, obviously still disgruntled following the Luis Suarez saga. Most comments followed the theme of, “Arsenal fans need a reality check if they think they can now win the league” and “One good player won’t make a difference”. The latter I disagree with, but as far as winning the league is concerned, it is most probably accurate.
Don’t worry, the positivity will pick up, but we do have to get the negatives out of the way first.
Despite smashing our transfer record by bringing in Özil for a cool £42.4m, our squad lacks the depth needed to mount a serious title challenge or Champions League campaign. This has all been pointed out time and time again over the summer, so I don’t feel I need to bore you with the details. Our best chance of silverware yet again lies with a cup competition, and as the Capital One Cup would only be seen as a great coup for our youngsters, the FA Cup is what is left.
The thing is, instant success isn’t what Özil’s arrival proclaims, it represents the beginning of a new, competitive Arsenal. An Arsenal we have all been longing for.
There are three very important aspects of Mesut’s arrival that will greatly benefit Arsenal. The first being his world-class ability. He is widely recognised as one of the world’s best midfielders and his ability to assist goals is second to none. The combination of himself and players such as Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere in the same midfield would be a dream for any striker, meaning Giroud could be in for a fantastic season.
His ability will also help off the pitch. Being that they are all young and developing, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey and Zelalem will all benefit greatly from watching and working with Mesut in training.
The winning mentality and experience needed when challenging for trophies is the second thing the German ace brings to the party. Although our players are hungry for silverware, a lot of them don’t have any experience winning it. Mesut’s hunger and more experienced drive will help to inspire and push our team towards achieving this.
Finally, I bring up the more visionary benefit following Özil’s arrival and arguably the most important; He is a catalyst. He is a catalyst for things to come. We may not win a trophy again this season, but we have left the era of selling our top talent and entered the era of buying it. We are past the doom and gloom of being a ‘penny pinching’ club and we have shown that we are now ready to compete with the world’s elite. We now have a reason to be optimistic about the future.
Wenger has proven that he can still attract world-class talent, and the acquisition of players such as Özil will only attract more in transfer windows to come, as well as convince our current crop to stay. It may take time to become title contenders once more, but we have taken a huge step in the right direction.
This seemed to be made clear by Mesut Özil in his first interview with ‘Arsenal player’, when he acknowledged that the ambition Arsène Wenger spoke to him about before his switch to the Emirates was one of the factors which convinced him to move.
So, I put it to those Wenger Out supporters to be patient for a couple more seasons, this is the dawning of a new and exciting time for Arsenal, and Wenger is the one who has stuck to his guns and brought it about.