Any Australian Gooners reading this will not doubt have had to sit through that absolute travesty of a pre-match analysis that was put forward by Robbie Slater and Mark Bosnich on Fox Sports previous to our game against the Scum on Monday Morning, the most unfortunate thing about it all, was that the horrible spurs love-in was not just limited to that panel. In the week preceding the North London Derby, we had to put up with constant media commentary about the apparent power shift in North London (this discussion is almost becoming annual now, Spurs have apparently been creating a power shift for 10 years). Television pundits (I’m sure those of you over in the UK will have experienced this a sight more than us Aussies did), websites, newspapers and of course the radio all spent most of the week analysing Spur’s £100 million splurge and making a sharp point of the fact that, at that point, Arsenal had spent a grand total of £0.
As Tottenham found out on game day, money doesn’t win matches, as all that glorious cash they had spent during the window was unable to give them a team capable of beating an Arsenal side that had only brought in two players; Sanogo (who didn’t see game time) and Flamini. The Spurs had invested in actually looked quite average to me. Now, I am aware that those players have not had much time to gel with each other, and I admit that moving forward some of them may prove to be shrewd acquisitions, but on the day they didn’t impress me one bit.
I won’t delve into too much individual detail in regards to their signings, as we’ll get into that during our upcoming podcast, but the constant anti-Arsenal and pro…well, ‘anyone except Arsenal’ agenda is beginning to become a bit ridiculous. Not that I’m really too bothered to be honest, I personally get a certain degree of enjoyment out of people hating the teams I support, it can be tedious when things aren’t going well and everyone starts stirring the pot, but there is no better feeling than winning The League or a Cup and knowing that a great deal of people are feeling ill at the fact that you’ve managed to do so.
The media have been true to form since the closure of the transfer deadline, with many being critical over Arsenal’s handling of the window, and in particular the signing of £42.5 million signing of Mesut Özil. TalkSport (I know, I know) in particular were one of the prime offenders in this, with some of their pundits stating the signing was not needed, and that we did not need another CAM, which I found hilarious; anyone who watched Arsenal at any length last season will be able to tell you that one thing we lacked was creativity. Santi Cazorla was absolutely phenomenal, and luckily he played almost every game, but if he had an off day, or if we came up an extremely well organised defence, then we looked rather toothless and unable to create opportunities to score.
Özil is quite possibly the best number 10 in the world, referred to by many as Madrid’s second best player after Ronaldo; he’s precisely what we do need. It’s all good and well to splurge a large amount of money on an efficient, dangerous striker, but if you’re not creating enough chances, then even the greatest forwards will be less effective, by contrast, with a fantastic midfield behind them, even average strikers can look brilliant, a perfect example of that would be the effect Cesc, Rosicky and Hleb had on Adebayor.
This isn’t to say that there’s no reason to be critical of Arsenal for their actions during the window, clearly the Özil transfer was one that had to come down to the final hours of the window, mainly due to the situation between Levy, Perez and Wenger/Gazidis, but there’s no reason why we couldn’t have brought in a striker to compete with Giroud in earlier in the window. I’m not devastated at our current striking stocks, as I feel that Walcott, Podolski (when he gets fit) and even Bendtner would fare well with a midfield containing Özil and Cazorla behind them, but the striker situation is definitely one that the media would be right to rip into us for. Yet, that issue has seemingly been glossed over, with many Arsenal critics seemingly more keen to try to tear away at what is really one of the biggest moments in recent off-field history for the club, an action that I don’t think can really be looked at with a critical eye at all.
When a certain wanker who shall not be named signed for Manchester United last season, the point was made that United didn’t need another striker, but was it a critical one? No. They were light in other areas, namely midfield and centre-back, but the media barely zero’d in on that at all, preferring to compliment Sir Alex for his capture of Arsenal’s former captain and best player, the exact opposite of what many are writing about Özil at this point in time. But as I wrote earlier, I personally enjoy all this angst aimed at the Arsenal, every single one of us knows that Özil is a brilliant signing, one that could very well transform our club both inside and out if we push on with our new financial power, and one that will immediately make us competitive again, I personally cannot find any negatives in all that, but if the media want to try they’re more than welcome to, as any success we achieve with him in the side will taste all the sweeter.
On a final note, we’re currently wrapping up the editing of our next Podcast Episode featuring very special guests Gooner Gimli and John from the ‘A Bergkamp Wonderland’ Podcast, so stay tuned for that!
Until next time,