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Ozil has a bit of a point

IT would have been pretty funny if in his Facebook post Mesut Ozil had added: “I’ve been watching some old Arsenal VHS tapes on and couldn’t help noticing that some of those very same legends who lambaste the current state of affairs at Arsenal appeared all smiles in the early 1990s as they spent the peak years of their careers hoovering up second rate cups with no great danger of any title challenge being launched.”

I make this point not because I think Ozil has been any great success. I don’t. And equally I do believe criticism is due of the club at the moment. And I don’t doubt that internally things are a mess too.

But I do wonder whether things have become a little hysterical. And whether now, three games in, is really the time to be banging on about Arsene Wenger and his future.

I was one of those who wouldn’t have renewed his contract. But they did and they did so and they did it after a pretty damn spectacular FA Cup win. A win which as Mesut Ozil points out, was our third in four years. It doesn’t make up for our poor performances in the league but as I’ve said previously, those cup wins are not in my view something that his critics can credibly brush aside as meaningless. They’re not.

Once that contract was signed I resolved that there was going to need to be quite a lot of football played before I started really thinking about Arsene Wenger’s future again. That doesn’t mean blind optimism and months of silence. Just that whatever is going to happen should be allowed to play itself out.

If I’m honest, the general thrust of what I’ve seen this season hasn’t come as any enormous surprise. It chimes with the direction I’ve long thought things are headed in but I just feel that for now it needs to be allowed to play itself out. If I’m wrong and in fact we’re about to run into the sunlit uplands, great.

Finally, if I learned one thing from some interesting conversations after the FA Cup final with some Wenger loyalists (and in the world away from the internet there are enough that made it possible for him to stay), the perception that he is being unfairly treated by those who want shot of him will, completely understandably, do nothing to change their minds.

PS, the Community Shield should never, ever, be cited as a trophy!

10 Responses to “Ozil has a bit of a point”

  1. N7 says:

    Fair mitigating post, given where we are in the season.

    Getting rightfully spanked by an energised early-season Liverpool side at Anfield was demoralising….but what would be ten times worse would be a run of bad results against more mediocre opposition. The true test of whether we’re in a worse situation would, in my eyes, be tested by games against the Evertons of the world. I guess we’ll see!

    Donning self-protective pessimism armor for the rest of 2017 at least…

  2. MDP says:

    I have to say, I think the hysteria surrounding the club is perfectly acceptable and warranted right now. If it was a 0-4 defeat to Liverpool in isolation then fine, show some perspective. However, this is a long, long, long list of issues from owner, to board, to manager, to players, to transfers in and out, in team selection, to tactics, to media, to the list goes on and on and on for what is it, nearly 10 years now? It all came to a head last season and we maybe thought some things might change. The FA Cup run and a few victories at the end of the season gave hope. The summer started with some optimism but that’s what always happens, right? Right, then the Arsenal juggernaut was slammed into reverse and some of the comedy of errors that have happened since are just laughable. I mean anyone on the outside of the club are absolutely pissing themselves right now and us lot inside are either laughing hysterically into our pints at the complete and utter craziness or should we be crying?

    Of course there’s an argument to be positive when there’s silverware in the cabinet, a fair number of decent players in the squad and a packed state of the art stadium week in and week out. But, that doesn’t tell the whole story. The fact that Arsenal rose to such a high prominence that in 2006 they deservedly played in the Champions League Final and in the same year they moved into the Emirates Stadium. All of this was handled so well, we cleared the debt or at least managed it, we made new sponsorship deals and the money began to roll in. We’d stolen a march on some of our rivals and built the perfect platform to hit the very top. Yet now we appear to be throwing that away. Any advantage gained seems to be seeping away. The manager and club that many wanted to play for is becoming a laughing stock. At what point do we stop and turn things around? With the transfer window only a few days ago, I think people are right to make their views known and to ask questions, now is the time to do that.

    Of course, when a ball is next kicked and the summer starts to fade there does need to be some kind of acceptance in the short term at least. We need to get behind the team and manager we have even if confidence is low and do what’s best for Arsenal. The positive is that this side should be stronger than last season with the 2 new acquisitions even if the midfield looks brittle at best. It saddens me that fourth place is our only realistic target in the league assuming our players knuckle down and don’t sulk and our manager brings a bit of sanity back to the team selections. I hereby state that I will do my best to curtail the moaning and put on a brave face for the foreseeable future and lets see where we are. For the record, I’d love nothing more than Arsene to turn things around and find his magic hat…

  3. PD says:

    It’s the very nature of debate : if you’re saying something that’s viewed as ‘positive’ it’s often seen as reasonable (even if in reality it is absolute nonsense) & if you’re saying something that’s viewed as ‘negative’ it’s often portrayed as ‘extreme’, or ‘hysterical’ in Goodplaya’s words. (even if in reality it is perfectly reasonable)

    We finished the season with a few good wins in the league (mostly against teams ‘already on holiday’ as Arsene would say) & a couple of fantastic ones in the cup. Anything new there that we haven’t seen before ? Why did anyone think this season would be any different ?

    So all the ‘See, Arsene has proved everyone wrong again. Give him a new contract, we’re going to win the league next season’ arguments that were put out at the time……..were they not equally, if not more hysterical than what’s out there now ??
    In my view, they absolutely were.

  4. PD says:

    I think it’s time to baton down the hatches now & grind out a few results. Revert to a back 4…put Coq in beside Xhaka & none of this asking him to bomb forward rubbish. Sit, tackle, give the ball to one of his teammates immediately.

    I’d even put Rambo on the right to add his energy & give him the opportunity to drift in if we’re under pressure. Then Welbeck on the left, again for energy & workrate…..and Alexis in the middle. He’s our biggest threat & we need him on board. If putting him at 10 would help, then surely it’s worth a try ? That means leaving Ozil out but at this stage, frankly would be that big a deal ??

  5. MDP says:

    I’m with you on most of that PD. I was an advocate of the 3 at the back but I think that’s changed now.

    I’d like to feel that Coquelin is being coached to do the holding roll a lot more, to show the discipline and intelligence of playing that position. I’d maybe do it in tandem with Elneny so the two of them can push each other and fight for the starting role. I like Elneny’s engine but would lean towards Coquelin the more natural holding midfielder of the two.

    The back four is interesting. I’d like to see Kolosinac at left back just because of the way he exploded into some of those early games. Monreal might be preferred for experience mind you. Bellerin has to be right back and Kos is nailed on. The final centre half is tricky with Mustafi not happy, Holding under fire and Chambers a bit out on a limb. I’d probably opt for Mertesacker in the next couple of games and then see after that.

    If we find a way to be more solid at the back, I think the rest will follow with the options we have going forward. They do need coaching though George Graham style! I’d love to see Bould getting that chance!

  6. MDP says:

    I’d also recommend listening to the Arseblog Podcast with David Ornstein. It does shed some light on some of the goings on of the summer as well as a number of other things behind the scenes.

  7. PD says:

    There was an interesting piece in the Sunday Times last week (hardly a sensationalist rag) about our summer transfer dealings…their writer suggested that the reason we were open to offers for Mustafi is that the coaching staff are dismayed by his lack of professionalism in terms of his fitness. Judging by the size of his arse that doesn’t actually surprise me too much !!!

  8. MDP says:

    David Ornstein says a lot of it is down to the fact his Swiss wife has just had a baby and wanted to be nearer to her family hence the link to Italy.

  9. PD says:

    Maybe explains why he was considering going…..but not why we seemed so keen to let him go ???

  10. MDP says:

    I think the above seemed the most tangible reason but David Ornstein also talks about Mustafi’s dip in form after a strong start at Arsenal. He talks about how he returned from injury against Bournemouth and had a terrible game and his form never really recovered leaving the management less impressed for what they paid. He goes on to say he’s a fiery, passionate charachter that did clash with other players in training (which isn’t unusual at any club) and he did square up to a couple of players. So, the feeling was mutual with Johny Evans seen as the perfect replacement. However, this was never going to happen because City was most likely for Evans.

    Under normal circumstances I’d say Mustafi should partner Koscielny this weekend. His head would have to be right for this and he’s another player who would benefit from an arm round the shoulder, some great coaching and discipline. His passionate personality and leadership qualities I always felt were an assett early last seaason so I hope we can work with him and get his head right.

    Staying on the centre halves position. I’d love to see Holding and Chambers play together in the League Cup and Europa League. I’d love to see how that partnership could work and blossom as one for the future. I’m sure either one of them or both will appear in the Premier League but can’t see it happening together unless we’re struggling with injuries.

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