Jeremy Melul: Yeah...and pulled the plug he did indeed. What a signing for us. Most Arsenal fans still can’t believe their eyes I think there is definitely a very similar feeling to when we signed Dennis Bergkamp back in the days. And we all know how that turned out, right?
The first immediate impact his signing had was not on the field, but in the mood in the Arsenal camp. We have pretty much the same players on the field as the end of last year, but you can immediately tell there is something very different in the air. The player’s confidence and attitude has gone through the roof since Ozil's arrival. The results on the road says it all: 10th consecutive victory.
The second impact will obviously be on the field, but we have so far only seen the tip of the iceberg I think. His stats speak for themselves there so we will have to see how he can get right in there and impact the team’s stats as a whole.
The final impact this transfer will have is in the long run. It could open up the road to much more than just Ozil signing. The January window could be interesting, even though it’s not in Wenger’s habits of bringing in further firepower halfway through the season, but definitely lookout for next summer’s market.
I think that along with Flamini’s return, it will definitely be enough to contend for the title. Arsenal’s worry will be in the injury department especially considering their previous history in that department. If they can avoid having a third of their starting field players in the infirmary, I don’t see what could stand in our way. Right now even with Cazorla, Diaby (not really a surprise anymore, but we still believe), Rosicky, Arteta, Podolski, Sanogo and Oxlade-Chamberlain we are doing pretty good so let’s hope it stays that way and that these guys get back on the pitch quickly.
SB: Is finishing in the top four, but not winning any silverware, really good enough for a club like Arsenal?
JM: Yes. Absolutely. Especially considering the overall situation and the environment we are in. This is a long-term strategy and we don’t have or want a sugar daddy to bankroll us like a spoiled brat of a kid. It’s not efficient and it doesn’t attract the right people with the right mindset for the strategy we have.
Below is a look at the transfer spending over the last 5 years. Amongst the top five clubs:
Man City £ -395M (2nd, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 10th)
Chelsea £ -315M (3rd, 6th, 2nd, 1st, 3rd)
Liverpool £ -100M (7th, 8th, 6th, 7th, 2nd)
Man Utd £ -62.5M (1st, 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 1st)
Then in the bottom 4:
Arsenal £ +1.5M (4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 4th)
Tottenham £ +1.6M (5th, 4th, 5th, 4th, 8th)
But without the £86.3M “incomprehensible” (according to Zidane) fee for bale it give you an adjusted:
Tottenham £ -87.7M (5th, 4th, 5th, 4th, 8th - aka always below Arsenal)
If this is not good enough for Arsenal, how should the poor Liverpool and Tottenham fans feel? They have spent the money and didn’t really get anywhere. We know what we can do without the cash now let’s see what happens when we start spending reasonably.
I am utterly baffled by this shortsightedness of people and their obsession with immediate rewards with absolutely no care in the world about the long-term impact or the sustainability of the whole thing. It’s almost like the investment banking sector and their superb way of incentivizing and rewarding their employees for short-term gains. Where does that all lead?
SB: What's your prediction for the top four places this season, in order?
JM: 1. Arsenal, 2. Manchester City, 3. Liverpool, 4. Manchester United
SB: Which three teams will be relegated?
JM: Sunderland, West Brom and Norwhich City
JM: My countdown of favorite moments...
#3: Arsenal’s 5-7 comeback against Reading in the Capital One Cup last year
It was the most historical Arsenal comeback I have seen. Also Chamakh scored! haha
#2: The Bergkamp flick and turn against Newcastle. It was just pure class. It is the best goal I have seen in the Premier League and I could watch it over and over again. Actually, I do.
#1: Last game at Highbury versus Wigan in 2006. This is my favorite moment for many reasons. Henry’s hat-trick, an amazing last win at Highbury, finishing above Tottenham on the last day, Henry kissing the ground to say goodbye, the end of an era and an overall emotional time, the endless list of Arsenal legends that showed up that day to say goodbye…Oh, and I was there and had chosen to go to this game over the Champions League Final against Barcelona.
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