Finally, Arsenal has managed to move Mesut Özil out of the club to Fenerbache. One of the most productive and creative players to have worn an Arsenal shirt has said goodbye after his disastrous back-9 at Arsenal climaxed with him being exited from the squad.
I don’t need to go over this again.
The player hasn’t lost out on any money.
Arsenal don’t have to deal with the smoke of his PR wafting through every pre and post-match presser.
I see a lot of his weirdo fans are deactivating their accounts, so we don’t have to deal with the grim toxicity they added to the Arsenal community.
This deal works for everyone.
He gave us some great moments, he won us some trophies, he gave us hope of better days for a little bit. I hope he finds peace in his new role. Good luck, Mesut, we wish you all the best.
Heading the other way is Martin Ødegaard. The Norwegian creative midfielder looked like he was heading to Real Sociedad, but a phone call from used-car-salesman-Arteta seems to have worked the magic. I know people huff at this, but I told you from the start, when Mikel talks football, people pay attention. He has plenty of sauce when it comes to setting the tone for an exciting vision. Now he’s starting to bring in players that can help him deliver on it.
There’s a concern that the player might not adapt. Totally fair. Dennis Suarez arrived and played about 12 minutes. Baptista was totally shite. Dani Ceballos started well and faded. Hold on a minute, why are we signing players from La Liga on short term deals?
Samuel Johnson once wrote, ‘depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.’ In footballing terms, a rejection from Real Madrid is potentially devastating. His career needs to be in the ascension. He has to prove himself. Arsenal presents a unique opportunity he’s smart to take. The bar is very low for creativity, the club is huge, and the only way is up based on the news. The game time he’s been promised and the path to a prestigious move will certainly focus his mind. He’s coming here with a noose around his career, let’s see what he can do.
The big question is going to focus on where he plays. Emile Smith Rowe has been doing an excellent job in that #10 position. It’d be pretty brutal to drop him for someone that’d have to adapt to the league. So are we looking at positions where we’ve been weak this season?
Is there a chance that his range of passing and better mobility could see him slip alongside Thomas Partey? He is certainly more than capable of playing in that role. His passing would be faster than Xhaka’s and it’s clear he has more mobility. The strength of Partey defensively means we can afford the luxury of a more attack-minded player next to him in the double pivot.
He could quite simply be used to rotate with Emile Smith Rowe, but honestly, are we really going to stunt the growth of one of our own to accommodate someone who might leave in a few months? I mean, Arteta has a weird thing with the kids, so who knows.
He might also find himself on the right side of midfield. Saka has been electric there of late but is more than capable of camping out on the left of midfield and forming a partnership with Kieran Tierney. This would all be a little problematic for Gabriel Martinelli, but look, at least we’d have electric options available to us.
I think we should all be excited. Why? Well, if you look at this season with a hopeful lens, and you believe that Mikel Arteta is capable of learning, then the harshest of lessons have already played out.
- Certain senior players are bums and cannot be trusted
- Youth at 100% trumps experience at 70%
- Mobility and pace beats craft and Champions League games
- Shit performance is part of the non-negotiables
- There’s a right way to lose, and it’s not playing with peak Tony Pulis principles
The second half of the season won’t see as many red cards. It hopefully won’t see as many awful injuries. It won’t have senior players trying to down the manager. It won’t be bereft of shots (up to 10th!). The football won’t be boring.
Where we’ll finish is going to be very dependent on what happens with the next two games. Beat Southampton and United, maybe we can have an interesting conversation. We’d be 10 points off United who are top and we’d be very much in the mixer for the top 4. I don’t think we have enough this season, but we’d be within spitting distance by February, which I said was always the target for the club. From there, it’d be a cup run, which suits our best players.
One to ponder. See you in the comments.