Morning folks. Hope you’re having a good one? It’s Tuesday morning of the Interlull week and let’s be honest, this is when it gets the most tiresome, because we’re still so far away from the proper football starting back up. There is also little news of particular interest from an Arsenal perspective and so we just have to wait patiently like a kid with their knife and fork in hand, utterly starving waiting for dinner, whilst mum & dad seem to take that little bit longer dishing up those dinosaur breaded chicken dippers and oven fried chips.
The Interlull is so seemingly interminable that yesterday I was even attracted to stories about Nacho Monreal supposedly digging out Mesut Ozil for having issues with everybody. I must admit to falling foul of journalistic licence though because whilst the headlines are about Monreal saying that, you read the context and it’s not as much of a bashing of a former teammate as the headline suggests. Here is the exclusive from FourFourTwo. When you read it, it reads like Monreal is talking about how Ozil fell out of favour with every manager, even citing that as a person he got on with everyone. What I will say, however, is that Monreal’s last line in that article on the website is interesting because it almost seems like a cursory ‘he missed a lot of games through injury’ and I just wonder if there was a view in the various squads that he was in, that he got special treatment, that sometimes some of those ‘injuries’ were just pandering to a pampered star. I remember going to a game up at Newcastle and because I was inside the stadium and didn’t get much chance to see the team news, the first I saw Ozil was missing was when the players came out and he was nowhere to be seen. Wenger put it down to injury but he was back and fin the next week. It was almost as if he just didn’t fancy the trip.
Of course there is no way of knowing the reality of what happened that day, but plenty of noises have been heard over the years about his absences and how he was pandered to. I’d always been a fan of his and thought he was a fantastic footballer for the first half of his time at the club, but you hear little stories, or see throwaway lines like that final one from Monreal (who himself was an exemplary professional), which lead you to start questioning the character of the man himself. We still don’t exactly know what happened with his acrimonious exit from the club and whilst again some have speculated, it would have been good to get the Amazon cameras in on some of the conversations that took place between Ozil and the club. If only the crews had been in there at that time a couple of year’s back.
But that is part of our past that is now best left consigned to history. It was a dark time and as it stands nearly all of us agree that we have put that behind us and are currently witnessing a rebirth of form and belief in The Arsenal, brought about by Mikel Arteta and his young charges. So whilst I would like to know the details as to what exactly happened with Ozil, for now I’m happy to just leave it be and focus in on the team of the moment and how the remainder of our season will pan out.
The rest of the news taking centre stage from an Arsenal perspective is all about transfer rumours and if you’ve read my nonsense before you’ll know I’m not really somebody who wants to write about it too much if I’m honest. I do it during the summer as it’s something to discuss when there’s no football on, but it always feels like such a redundant exercise nine times out of 10. That’s because if Arsenal are linked with 100 names over a period of time, the only ones that ever seem like they’re even getting close to reality feels like one or maybe two of those 100 names. So if you spend all of your time and energy talking about players that will never put on the famous red and white, what’s the point? I am not interested in players who ‘could have’ signed for The Arsenal. It’s why I always rolled my eyes when people talk about how Ibrahimovich could have signed for us, or that Yaya Toure could have signed for us after a trial. I don’t care about how Wenger got close and could have taken Cristiano Ronaldo at The Arsenal. The fact is none of them played for us and it feels completely pointless mentioning it after the fact. It is why I have the same feeling about most transfer rumours. Particular during the season.
Of course when that all stops and it’s all we’ve got left to talk about, I’ll give it a go, but I don’t really watch enough football outside of The Arsenal to every properly have an opinion on some of the guys we’re linked with.
I also think that it feels like an impossible objective to try to suss out what players would be good for us or not. That’s because footballers are human beings and the variables involved in a signing are so many. Take Lucas Torreira, for example, who was EXACTLY the kind of profile we should have been looking at when he signed for us. Combative, ball-winning, had a decent passing range on him, looked every bit the type of signing to sit in our midfield. He was a little on the small side, but so was Kante, who has bossed midfields for years. Yet after an initial good spell we had a manager in Emery who didn’t play him in his correct position, confidence hitting his form, then there was the fact he never really settled in England and apparently struggled with the language. How can you legislate for a player who doesn’t settle? You can’t really, which is why with each passing season I find myself less and less enamoured with taking too much time to invest myself in transfer tittle-tattle.
Not until June, anyway.
Right, that’ll do it for today I think. Have a good one and I’ll see thee in the morrow.
Ozil always got his winter break!
This is the one that stood out to me. I was freezing my tits off whilst he was sat at home in the warm. We drew 0-0.