Happy Wednesday folks. Hope y’all feeling good?
Are you still revelling in the Thomas Partey news? I know I am. Like a vacuum I am absolutely hoovering up all of the content I can find on the player. I already had an idea of his playing style, what he’d bring to the team and how he would improve us, but if I’m honest there have been so many false dawns as an Arsenal fan, that I have kind of always tempered my desire to over-indulge on content of a specific player.
Remember when we basically had Juan Matta sewn up, only for him to go to Chelski? Or when Higuain was due to take a plane ‘any second now’ to solve our striker problems? All of those types of transfers have built up a kind of footballing transfer callous around me now; I have a metaphoricall hardened skin that stops me from being fully invested until the official site start going to town on the socials.
But now Partey is ours it is clear that, assuming he can settle in the capital and not struggle like Torreira did, then we will have quite a player on our hands.
I think he’ll adapt better. The Premier League is a big thing in Ghana and given the official language of the country is English, Partey will have no issues with adapting. He’ll join a team in which he’ll be able to understand teammates, the manager and that means instructions are clear. With a manager like Mikel that is essential because already we’re learning that he likes to dictate the game by absolutely bellowing at his players and with no fans in the stadium the hope is that Partey will quickly adapt and understand the instructions and his role in the team.
The next thing I worry about is his injury record. We’ve had so many stars that have fallen foul of multiple injuries that have curtailed their career over the last couple of decades and perhaps it is the recent news that Jack Wilshere has just been released by West Ham, but one of my thoughts yesterday when out running was “we’re all excited, but what happens if he picks up an injury and misses half the season?”. It may sound a little melodramatic but I think most of us are looking at this player as one that could be quite transformative for us in terms of the way Arteta sets up his side. So if he broke down this season we are essentially back to the same team we’ve had for the start and finish of last season and that would pose some serious questions on our aspirations for the top four.
Fear not fellow gooners, because if Transfermarkt is correct – and I have no reason to assume they won’t be – he’s a guy with a pretty impressive injury-free record in recent seasons. Last year a hamstring injury kept him out for one game and in 2016 a hamstring injury kept him out for 24 days and five matches. That’s pretty good I have toi say, although I appreciate that just me mentioning this could have the footballing gods cursing him right now as a result of what I’m saying, so let me just put you at ease a little bit by saying that I’m touching wood as I type this. I’ve even gone one-handed to do it.
So, as I was saying, I’m gorging on content right now and if you want the same you can have a look at Arseblog’s by the numbers review, as well as some thoughts from Phil Costa, A Sky Sports feature on him, then finally a general transfer overview from my ol’ chums at GunnersTown. Of course there is the official site too.
It’s all good at the moment. Three wins from our opening four, the business done that we wanted (almost) as well as a feel good factor at the club. What could possibly scupper that?
Well, how about a PR move from Mesut Ozil and his ‘team’ to offer to pay Gunnersaurus’ wages whilst he’s an Arsenal player?
Yep, there is that.
I mean, only at Arsenal could this become a story, where the guy who was mascot at the club is now the centre of a bit of a PR skirmish from a player who has probably realised that he isn’t getting anywhere near the first team any more and so has decided to go on a bit of a charm offensive. It is true that the ‘sacking’ of Jerry Quy leaves a slightly sour taste in the mouth, but given that fans are no longer in the ground and the man himself is 68, this would probably not have been a story had it popped up at another time. But it just doesn’t look good from a PR perspective and that is where Ozil has employed the best of the best because his people saw the moment and now they’ve gone for it, announcing to the world that he’ll pay Jerry’s wages.
To me this says that Ozil has probably already been told he’s not being registered for European football, given the deadline for the Europa League squads was last night at 11pm, so I suspect at some stage today Arsenal will make that announcement. When that is confirmed then it is just the Premier League squads that need to be announced and when that is confirmed in 11 days time I believe, no Ozil essentially ends his career with Arsenal. He’ll most likely train with the kids but I think he’ll essentially be told to stay at home until May . It will be a sad end to a player who I still feel could offer something – even in the lesser competitions that are further down the pecking order – but we are all learning to live without him and that is a fact of life these days.
I can’t imagine that Arsenal will respond to his social media comments by giving him that place in the first team he wants, that’s for sure.
Anyhoo, I don’t particularly want to dwell too much on that because it’s a little negative and right now I’m channelling only positive vibes. So I’ll catch you tomorrow with some more thoughts on whatever else is happening.
Catch you guys tomorrow.