September 8, 2013

New Contract For The Boss?

These International breaks aren't for me I'm afraid. 
Don't get me wrong, I love to watch England slowly start to form a promising squad full of both experienced big names and young promising talent. We look like we're heading in the right direction in that regard, but they take away slightly from what we really want to see; The Arsenal... oh yeah, and some bloke named Mesut in the red and white. 

The anticipation is almost unbearable! I literally can't wait. I'm not making this up purely to write about it in a blog, but I've had dreams about Ozil prancing (yes prancing, as that's what super hero football players do in my dreams) around The Emirates, with the ball at his feet just gliding through the Chelski midfield to lay out a perfect pass to Walcott who chips it, oh so elegantly over the helmet wearing fool that is Petr Cech.

The fact that Mesut Ozil will be wearing number 11 for The Arsenal was clearly not thought of as a realistic happening by most Arsenal fans at the beginning of the summer, and I can't help but look back and wonder how it all happened.

I've never seen such a commonly felt opinion about our manager than I did this summer. The consensus was that he was testing our patience, as Arsenal fans, to the absolute limit. Looking back, it seems deservedly so. This was our summer to go into the transfer market, on the back of a successful run at the end of last season, and strengthen our squad with the money Ivan Gazidis so freely talked about. This was our chance to get some business done early and let the players, new and old practice together and grow as a team. We waited and waited.... and waited.

It seemed such an achievable goal to add a few quality players to our already pretty damn nice squad. Especially after we got rid of so many of the expensive wages that were weighing us down. What was stopping us? We could afford them. They were available. But we didn't sign them. 

Arsene Wenger has openly stated in the past that he's making the decisions when it comes to signings, so he can't really complain when the fans look to him when we need someone to blame. And when mumblings of a new contract for the Frenchman arise, even more anger and disapproval are directed towards him and Arsenal.

Signing Ozil went a long, long way to helping Arsenal fans forget about Wenger's (and Arsenal as a club) failings. But why did he come to us in the first place? 

Arsene Wenger.

Over the years we've had countless top quality players state that the reason for them coming to Arsenal were so that they could work under one of the top Managers in the World. Players like Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires. For Arsenal fans that have supported this club before their success in the 90's, we were thinking these players had no business playing at Highbury, but they came because of Arsene Wenger.

I will be the first to admit Wenger hasn't attracted that sort of quality of the last few years as consistently as we would like, but he spoke with Ozil on the phone at length and convinced him to more away from The Bernabeu and come to North London. Amazing.
What other manager in the game today can not win anything for 7 years, yet still convince world class players that it's the right decision to come and play for Arsenal? 

Alex Ferguson could sign anyone he wanted, but he also had consistent success. Look at his successor, David Moyes, having the hardest time attracting big name signings to the current Premier League champions, Manchester United. Players have to believe in their managers ability to get the most from them and help them succeed.

I was hesitant about Arsene Wenger being offered a new contract, thinking that his time was coming to an end and we needed a new face. There are a couple of managers out there, (probably under contract, but when did that ever mean anything?) who could probably fill his shoes to some extent, so the argument of "who would replace him?!" are easily answered. But do we want anyone else? 

Wenger is still attracting the worlds' best talent, and now that we've got a 24 year old Mesut Ozil on our team, I get chills when I imagine who else might look over at us and say to themselves "I wouldn't mind playing with that lot". Perhaps this is the resurgence of Arsene Wenger? He's pulling out of this slump he's been in, he's got some money to spend and maybe, just maybe he'll have one last hoorah before he decides to retire at the club he's made his own.

There's only one Arsene Wenger.