September 2, 2013

Can 48 Hours Change A Season?

A fantastic, hard fought win against the less successful team from down the road, followed by not so much of a big signing, more of a mega signing, for lack of a better term. Not a bad couple of days. 

In fact, immediately following the final whistle on Sunday there were some very dramatic headlines hinting that Ozil to Arsenal might be on the cards. I don't blame any Arsenal fan for getting excited for that one, but I also can't blame anyone for being extremely skeptical due to our failed negotiating attempts so far this summer.

This time, thankfully, was different. Not only did we manage to actually spend some money, but we got ourselves an experienced international Goalkeeper to go with Mr. Ozil. Arsenal announced earlier on deadline day that we had landed Emiliano Viviano, 27 year old 'keeper from Serie B outfit, Palermo on a season long loan.

I'm glad we got another 'keeper, and I can understand why, but it's not going to be easy for the Italian to walk into the starting line-up with Szczesny's current form. A couple of fantastic saves against Sp*rs really helped keep us in the game and he really earned himself a clean sheet. It's always good, however, to keep competition for places, especially in the Goalkeeping position. And, being Arsenal, there are bound to be injuries through the season at some point, and if we lost Szczesny for a few of weeks for whatever reason I don't fully trust Fabianski to stay fit. So a third, experienced and certainly quality 'keeper is by no means a useless signing.

The Mesut Ozil signing speaks for itself. £42.5million for a 24 year old who is an established regular for the German national team and has proven, immense quality and potential. Some might say it's a lot of money, and they might be right, but that's the only money Arsenal have spent this summer. 

I must say I was surprised and perhaps slightly disappointed that we didn't manage to secure a striker, and baffled that we weren't even rumored with a defender... We're now in the position where we will most certainly have to rely on our reserve players to fill our bench and even start in the cup games. 

Why we sent Ignasi Miquel out on loan so early this summer I'll never understand. If we didn't have a defender lined up to sign, why on earth would we let a young, promising defender (one who's played more than just a handful of games for us) go out on loan? If Wenger didn't trust him to back up our experienced defenders then what is he doing earning a paycheck at Arsenal? He's almost 21, so he's not just a prospect anymore. 

All this deadline drama took away slightly from our achievements on Sunday. Our team cohesion was the difference, along with our players willingness to get stuck in and fight for The Arsenal. I'll spare you the match report, as you can find that at millions of other destinations.

The game itself may have not been the prettiest, but it was a joy to watch our quality players get the 3 points they so thoroughly deserved. Olivier Giroud is playing with the confidence he showed in pre season and it only excites me more to imagine what he can achieve in an Arsenal shirt over the coming years.

So, can 3 points against a team that had spent almost £100million over the summer, and a top, top quality player like Ozil change Arsenal's season and improve Arsenal fans moods? 
It can't hurt.

Let's hope that our young Guns can step up and show the quality that our coaches have seen when we need them to.

Here's hoping Mesut gets the #11 shirt.