Monthly Archives: September 2013

No news so just a quickie

So it’s a new week and a new day but it seems like there’s pretty much nothing new to talk about today. Tomorrow we play Napoli at home so I can imagine there will be plenty of news over the course of the day, particularly after Wenger’s usual pre-match conference. However, for now, there is nothing. Zilch. Nuno.

I don’t mean to do a short blog but due to the lack of anything real to discuss I’m going to leave you with this video of Ozil showing off before Saturday’s game against Swansea. That is what £42.5m gets you. What a player.

Thanks for reading, more tomorrow.

Top of the league and an ever improving Gnabry

Top of the league and Man Utd are nowehre to be found

Top of the league and Man Utd are nowhere to be found

That table looks pretty good, right? I say pretty good because whilst Sp*rs are in the top four it can’t be considered perfect however we can take joy from the fact that we’re sitting top by points and not goal difference. It’s made even better by the fact that Manchester United are sitting 12th, tied on points with 15th place. Crisis? I think so.

Prior to the game both Manchester sides had lost their games and Tottenham and Chelsea had drew, meaning we was in prime position to capitalise on their points loss and go top of the league. Swansea away is a difficult game and in past seasons we probably would have ended up with a draw, but the team thrived under the pressure and delivered the necessary 2-1 win to get the three points we rightly deserved.

I won’t analyse the game too much as there wasn’t all that much to say. The opening goal from Gnabry was well taken and fantastic vision from Ramsey. The second was again involving Ramsey but he was the guy that put it in the net, adding another to his fine tally so far this year. We did concede a goal late on but it was a fantastic bit of football from Swansea so nobody can have many complaints. The pressure was very much on with the home crowd behind their team but we managed to hold onto the result in true champion fashion. After game, the boss said

Swansea played well, they were sharper than us. We didn’t play with enough purpose and they won many duels. In the second half we played in a more compact way and took advantage of every time we won the ball to be dangerous. We have seen a different Arsenal that is much more clinical and playing with much more purpose. We hung on a little bit in the last 15 minutes and they came back to 2-1 but overall I felt we deserved to win the game.

I don’t think anybody will disagree that the final result was a fair one. We both had possession during spells in the game but the difference in the end was our ability to be clinical. I think since that Bayern game the biggest change in the side has been the fact we’re now happy to sacrifice a bit of possession now but when we do have the ball we’re more clinical in front of goal. So you’re finding that yes we’re conceding goals but we’re always outscoring our opponent and at the end of the day three points is the most important thing, regardless of how it’s achieved.

One player that particularly stood out yesterday was the young starlet Serge Gnabry. He’s been thrown into the deep end recently with the absence of Theo Walcott and he’s really shone. With every game he seems to improve and he was probably the most energetic player on the pitch yesterday, which is a lot considering he played 120 minutes midweek. Wenger spoke about his performance, saying

He is surprising. He has the talent but the personality on the pitch as well. He doesn’t look timid, he looks to play with belief and of course talent. Unfortunately he is another player for Germany, he’s not English.

I think he’s going to continue to progress over the next few games and if he continues his positive contribution he’ll really make a step up this year. I long said that the sale of Gervinho wouldn’t be too much of a problem because Gnabry is able to contribute when called upon and he’s showing that now. He has a lot to his game that can help the team: speed, strength, a solid final ball and typical German traits like discipline and composure. He’s definitely one to watch and I hope he can maintain this form.

So now we sit top of the league but for now we can focus on a different competition as we have a very difficult game against Napoli on Tuesday to play. They just beat last years finalists Borussia Dortmund so they’ll be full of confidence ahead of the tie which will make it more difficult for us. The home advantage will be vital and if we continue to grind out the results like we have been, I’m sure we can get three points and go top of our group.

I’ll have more on that game as it approaches but for now we can sit back and enjoy the fact we’re top of the league and United are experiencing an early season crisis. Two years ago the shoe was on the other foot, isn’t that delightful? We just need to take every game as it comes and see where we end up.

Thanks for reading, COME ON YOU GOONERS!

A tough trip to Swansea, Gnabry can shine and Arsene’s new contract

Bit of a rushed blog this morning as I’ve gotta go out so we’ll crack right on and get through the news floating around. Today at 5:30pm we take on Swansea away in what will certainly be a more difficult test than West Brom mid week. Swansea have the ability to hurt any team in the league on their day, particularly at home, so we need to be making sure that isn’t the case and be coming away with all three points.

Winning the game will keep us in first place and it’s likely that the points different will remain that way as Tottenham face a strong Chelsea side tomorrow where hopefully they get absolutely tanked. Fucking Sp*rs twats.

Ahead of the game, the boss gave a further and more in depth update on the injuries and fitness test results to see who might be involved, saying

Overall we don’t have any more injuries than we had before the West Brom game. Flamini has a small shoulder problem. Ramsey we have to check him today [Friday]. I believe that there is nobody really injured from the West Brom game.

I’m quite optimistic about them. Ramsey has a little thigh problem but he should be alright.

But you know Aaron Ramsey is a tough boy. He has a test and I think he will get through. No [I wouldn’t want to take a risk on him].

Santi Cazorla is on schedule [to return] after the international break.

I can imagine that both Flamini and Ramsey will be ok to start and therefore the squad will be pretty much identical to the one that played Stoke on Sunday. That team definitely has the ability to win the game and collect the three points but as I pointed out, Swansea away isn’t an easy game.

Santi Cazorla is hopeful he’ll return sooner than the international break but you can imagine Wenger is trying to protect him so that the Spanish national team don’t try and use him and injure him (again). The boss also confirmed that Theo is “Optimistic, three weeks. Realistic, five.” away which again is probably down to the international break.

Theo’s temporary replacement seems to be 18-year-old Serge Gnabry. Should he start today it’ll be his third consecutive game and his biggest run in the side to date. He’s looked the part already and is highly rated at U21 level, which has been further backed up by Wenger’s clear belief in him, he said

To play in the Premier League today is very seldom for a young boy who is 17 years old, but he has the body to cope with the duels and he is ready to do that.

We have some other boys who have the technical quality to play in the Premier League but are not resistant enough yet to compete physically, but he [Gnabry] has that.

It is a good opportunity for him. I haven’t decided if I will start him tomorrow [at Swansea] but he of course has a good opportunity. He is still a young boy but he shows that he has quality.

And although he’s actually 18, Arsene, it’s still all very true. When you’re trying to contribute in the Premier League you need to be strong, if you don’t have that you’ll always struggle. The only position that perhaps has some flexibility is midfield because it’s more about retention and possession. Fabregas for example wasn’t built like an ox at 16 but he was still able to play.

Gnabry has the strength and the ability to make it for Arsenal, I have no doubt about it. If Theo isn’t back for 3-5 weeks that means he’ll have between 5-7 games in the side to play. In that time he can really get some confidence and show he’s good enough to be part of this squad or show that he’s too raw and needs to go on loan. It’s a massive opportunity for the lad and I’m going to say now – I think he’ll do just fine.

A lot of talk has been about Arsene’s new contract the last few months and after Stan Kroenke admitting in the last few days that he’d love for him to stay it was inevitable the manager would be asked about his future. The boss was honoured by Kroenke’s words and said

I said I want to focus on the quality of our season and I don’t believe that anybody can question my commitment to this Club. I want to feel that I do well and then the question of me staying will be secondary after that.

The good thing with me, if I have one quality, [it’s that] you don’t need a lot of talks to extend the contract I have.

I don’t know [when I will sign a new contract]. When we find time. I don’t think that’s the most important problem at the moment. It’s straightforward and I don’t think there’s anything more to add to that.

Despite Wenger’s large group of haters I don’t see how anybody can say he’s not been anything but loyal and committed to the club. As he rightly points out here, the stadium move had a massive influence on our resources and therefore ability to challenge but that’s changed now and Wenger is a key reason for that. He deserves all the respect we can give him because without his vision and dedication it’s hard to imagine any manager on the planet would have gotten us to where we are today with the resources he’s had over the past eight years.

It’s great to see him so confident and laid back about signing a new contract. It’s almost like he’s in agreement it’ll come and when it does he’ll sign on the dotted line because he loves the club. It seems that everybody at the club wants him to stay and he does too so it’s only a matter of time now before it comes to fruition.

Anyway, that’s all for today, my predictions are a tough 2-1 win, with goals from Giroud, Ramsey and Michu. Thanks for reading, more tomorrow.

Swansea tomorrow, Bendtner stuff and Eisfeld/Pires comparisons

Gooners outside The Armoury

Great photo of Gooners outside The Armoury

Hello and good morning, I’m feeling a bit cheerful today because it’s Friday which means the weekend is almost here. Tomorrow we play the late 5:30pm kick off against Swansea who are a side that have so far been very up and down this season. After an impressive win against Valencia a week or so ago, they went and lost 3-1 to Birmingham midweek therefore eliminating them from the Capital One Cup competition. It makes you wonder what team will turn up tomorrow – will it be one that wants to bounce back with a win or one which is still feeling quite sorry for itself?

The fact we play away from home makes me think the former is more likely. However, make no mistake, their confidence is low at the moment and ours high, so they’re very much aware that if they go 1-0 down they’ll find it extremely difficult to come back and win the game. That makes the first goal crucial, scoring in the first 15 minutes will completely kill their game plan and leave them scratching their arses. Ahead of the game the boss gave an injury update, saying

We rested many players yesterday at West Brom and some others players came back like Arteta, who played 90 minutes in his first game, and Bendtner. We have to check everybody tomorrow [Friday] morning but, from last Saturday, all the players should be available.

I imagine we’ll play very much the same team we played against Stoke. The questions mark will be surrounding Mertesacker and Gnabry – both of whom played 120 minutes on Wednesday against West Brom – but I can imagine they’ll both start the game regardless.

The boss has been talking a lot about Bendtner since the game, in particular his ability and fitness, but also rather interestingly his affection for the club. Despite almost leaving the club in the summer, Wenger said

He’s still an Arsenal boy, you don’t arrive at a club at the age of 15 like he did and have all these years here without having any feeling for the Club.

I think he has an honest feeling for the Club. He wanted to leave because he had some turbulence in his career. He wanted to play, you can understand that completely and I accepted it. It [the move] didn’t work and now he’s ready for a fight. He will get his chance.

And I think he’s completely right. Ask yourself this: if you’d moved from Denmark to England at 15 and spent close to ten years at a club, would you hold some affection towards that club? Of course you would. Spend ten years anywhere and you’d probably find it feels a bit like home. I think his frustration towards the club was born out of the lack of playing time when he felt he merited more. After loan spells at Sunderland and Juventus, I think he’s ready to play for us now and do a job.

It may be a little too late now, but the fact of the matter is it’s a long season and we’re going to need him. If he wants to get a big move at the end or even a new contract, he’s gotta roll his sleeves up and earn that opportunity because it isn’t going to fall into his hands for nothing.

Another player that Wenger has been admiring is Wednesday’s goalscorer Thomas Eisfeld. Although he went missing during periods of the game, he showed great composure to put away the opportunity to score when it was given to him. The boss spoke of his goalscoring ability and gave high praise, saying

He is a Pires type, he appears to be in the box without being noisy and appearing suddenly. When he is there, he finishes well.

He has that kind of quality that some midfielders have – not many. They have the timing to get in dangerous situations. When they have those dangerous situations, they are like snakes. They bite you to death because they don’t miss their first touch.

He scored nine times last season and if I remember correctly even more the year before. He certainly has a knack for scoring goals but it’s the rest of his game he needs to develop if he wants to make it at the club. His movement was a bit timid on Wednesday but that could be put down to nerves. Sometimes these young players almost think too much about what to do on the pitch and it ends up having a negative effect, when in reality they need to be calm and follow their natural game. He’s certainly a talented player so perhaps a few appearances and a loan may be the answer to him breaking through.

There isn’t much else going around this morning. There’s a good article in which Wenger talks about his desire to be the best manager he can be, to keep the fans happy and to win games, which is worth reading if you have a spare minute or two. There’s also some words from major shareholder Stan Kroenke about his hopes of winning the league and his affection towards Wenger. It made me think that a contract renewal must surely be in the pipeline? I’m certainly in favour of it, so let’s get him to sign on that dotted line and move on to Sagna and Mertesacker afterwards.

Wenger will have his usual pre-match conference today in which he’ll give a further update on injuries and more. I’ll have an overview on all that stuff tomorrow along with the usual pre-match analysis. Enjoy your day!

Penalties decide the game, youngsters impress and Chelsea next

Celebrations after Monreal scores to put us through via penalties

Celebrations after Monreal scores to put us through via penalties

So yesterday a very young and inexperienced Arsenal squad ran out against Premier League side West Brom and managed to pick up a win which was only decided via the dreaded penalty shootout. The lineup had a few surprises in it, with several youngsters such as Eisfeld and Hayden starting the game in typical Wenger fashion.

The first half and in fact 60 minutes were rather dull. Neither teams looked likely to score with both keepers having a relaxed time throughout. I guess Arsenal didn’t want to concede because they knew it’d be extremely difficult after that and West Brom didn’t want to concede either because they’d effectively be being beaten by kids.

The scoreline changed in our favour when a sublime ball from Nicklas Bendtner fed Thomas Eisfeld through on goal for the young German to put it pass the goalkeeper and make it 1-0 to the Arsenal. I’ve been following Eisfeld for a few years and he’s always had a knack for scoring goals. He’s a bit similar to Rosicky in the sense that his energy and positivity always results in him going forward.

Unfortunately less than ten minutes later we conceded a goal to make it 1-1. I can’t say I saw who scored it or how we conceded it due to my poor stream, but I do know it was a header and it beat Fabianski and that’s all that’s important. It made the rest of the game extremely difficult for the team especially in the closing few minutes of the 90 minutes and similarly the second half of extra time.

In the end penalties were the decider for who qualified to the next round and when Gnabry missed our second it really put our backs against the walls. I didn’t panic though because I reminded myself that this is West Brom and that there’s no way that five of their players can score goals consecutively. I was right, they missed two and we went on to secure a tense 4-3 win and qualify for the next round. After the game the boss was asked if he was proud of the side and said

I am because we played with many young players and they have shown that not only are they good football players but they can fight as well.

It’s good to know you can win even when you think you are dead and tired but if you dig deep until the end you are rewarded. That’s a very important lesson for a young player because that will happen to them again. That was the most important thing about tonight. We kept going forward and tried to win the game until the end and that is very positive as well.

I think we’re all proud. We knew that it’d be anything but an easy game and considering the amount of young players fielded – I think a total of seven including substitutions – we did rather well. There were several positives to take from the game and a number of players had solid performances. I was impressed by pretty much everybody at some point and it gave me confidence that we can cope over the course of the season because that was effectively a second team out there, even with all our injuries.

One player that deserves to be spoke of is Nicklas Bendtner. Despite a lot of negativity and controversy surrounding him prior to the game, he delivered a very professional performance. He was understandably a bit rusty at times – like when he took a little too long to shoot and passed up a good chance – but the quality was still evident, highlighted by his perfect pass to set up Eisfeld. Credit where credits due, that was great vision and as good of a ball as it gets.

Captain Vermaelen taking a photo with a fan... wait that's Bendtner?!

Captain Vermaelen taking a photo with a fan… wait that’s Bendtner?!

He even spoke of his performance and the game on his official Instagram, saying

Very emotional return, but what better way than with a win! Fans was absolutely incredible throughout the game and help us in difficult periods. For myself I was very moved by my reception and hearing my song again made my heart skip!

I think he’s accepted that the last two years haven’t been great for his career and he’s not where he thought he’d be by now but that this is realistically as good as it’s going to get. If he fucks up now, will he ever be able to play for a club like Arsenal again? I doubt it and I bet he does too. Being the second striker at one of the biggest clubs in the world isn’t a bad position to be in, he just needs to prove that he deserves to be there now. His contract runs up at the end of the year, he needs to work his socks off to get a new one and show that he can and will perform for this team.

The next round of the cup has tied against Chelsea at home which will be a far more difficult test than West Brom but we should be able to do it. Wenger was asked if he’ll take the same approach as this game and play young players and said

Honestly I don’t know yet because it depends on the injuries. Tonight I had no choice but to rotate because many senior players are out.

Of course it will be an interesting game. Even for the League Cup they have a very large squad so we know we will play a Premier League team. And on our side at home it will be interesting.

And to be fair we didn’t have a choice, that’s the reality of our injuries right now. However by the time the Chelsea game comes round on October 29th we should have Cazorla, Rosicky, Walcott, Sanogo and potentially Podolski all back in the side. That’ll mean we can inevitability field a significantly stronger side that stands a better chance of winning and qualifying to the next round. The home advantage will be crucial and could prove to be the difference, which is a positive to take from the draw.

So we’re now on 11 consecutive away wins and have our sights set firmly on making it 12 when we play Swansea on Saturday. I wonder what will happen from a defensive standpoint as Mertesacker must surely be pretty tired after a long 120 minutes yesterday and so too Vermaelen. I can imagine he’ll have a day of rest today and perhaps be involved regardless. Whatever the case, it’s a must win as we look to continue our strong start to the campaign. More tomorrow.

Difficult West Brom tie ahead as the squad gets thinner

Olsson, Gnabry, Ozil and Mertesacker (kind of) in training yesterday

Olsson, Gnabry, Ozil and Mertesacker (kind of) in training yesterday

Hello and good morning to you all. After yesterday’s lack of Arsenal news it seems that today there is an abundance of it, meaning there’s plenty to discuss ahead of tonight’s Capital ‘Nobody-Cares-But-Liverpool’ One Cup game away to Premier League side West Bromwich Albion.

The boss had his usual pre-match conference yesterday and gave a load of hints to how the team might set out today. He gave an update on the injury front, talking about the players that are still out and when they might be due back, saying

Rosicky is the first back [of the injured players], but not in time for this week. He could come back in the squad for Sunday or Monday.

It’s fine, they [Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Diaby] are doing well but they are nowhere near ready. The next one back [of those three] might be Lukas. Alex will be one and a half months more.

Fabianski and Viviano are the two goalkeepers in the squad.

Rosicky will most likely be in the squad next week but I doubt he’ll be anything more than an option on the bench. As for Podolski, I did hear a few weeks ago that his progress was going extremely well and would be back sooner than expected so hopefully that’s the case as we’re beginning to look thin on our wings. To make matters worse, the boss confirmed Theo Walcott’s need for surgery, he said

Theo will be out for a few weeks. He has developed some damage to his posterior abdominal wall. It’s not a hernia, but it’s a little structural problem in his abdomen.

Apparently Wenger went ballistic when he heard the news, effing and blinding like a mad man and who can blame him? In terms of front three we now only have Giroud and Bendtner up front and Gnabry and Miyaichi as our only recognised wingers. Yes, Wilshere has been doing a good job there but it’s hard to deny that we’re looking incredibly thin from an attacking perspective. We do have Rosicky and Cazorla returning to the side in a matter of weeks but until then we’re going to have to make do with what we have.

Based on the Stoke game you can imagine that Theo’s injury represents a chance for Serge Gnabry to show his ability to the manager and the fans. He’s been dominating the U21s league for two seasons now and looked solid in our pre-season tour of Asia, too. I’ve long been a fan of him and questioned why he hasn’t played more from the bench but now it seems circumstances has given him a fantastic opportunity and he’s gotta take it with both hands. The manager thinks he’s ready and capable to face such a big challenge, saying

I believe against Stoke what I liked in his game is that he grew through the game, he became better and better.

He has the quality to be creative because he can dribble, he can run with the ball, he can be a good passer and he is a great finisher, on that front, once the confidence level [rises] he will be alright. His physical qualities, his technical qualities are at the requested level.

And believe me when I say that they certainly are at the requested level. People were full of praise after the Stoke game for the young German but you’ve not seen anywhere near what he’s capable of. Right now I think he’s playing with a bit of pressure and is perhaps a bit timid, probably both due to a fear of making a mistake. Once he finds himself and gets the confidence flowing through him, you’ll be really surprised at just how good of a player he actually is.

In terms of who else might start the game, Wenger has pretty much outlined how he’s going to approach the game so it’s not hard to work it out. He said

I will try to find a good balance between experience and youth, at the back you will have players you know well. Up front, you have a bit more improvisation and young players.

You will see Gnabry again – everybody knows him already. Maybe the return of Bendtner as well, who will get a chance. That’s the kind of team we will have.

We want to win this competition as well. I try to find the right balance between giving a needed breather to some players like Wilshere and Ramsey, who have given a lot.

Having a solid defence will give us the best chance of not conceding any goals, which is first and foremost an essential target today. We’ll almost certain to score a goal so getting a clean sheet is crucial in terms of a final result. Giving Wilshere and Ramsey rests is a no brainer as they’ve both played their socks off in recent games so a well deserved rest should be on the cards.

Considering the manager will have one eye on Saturday’s game against Swansea and another on Tuesday’s game against Napoli, you have to imagine he’ll try and rest a number of players to give us the best chance of winning both games. Therefore I can see us lining up something like this

Fabianski
Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal
Flamini, Arteta
Ozil
Gnabry, Bendtner, Miyaichi

I can imagine our bench will be pretty strong but the manager will be hesitant against using anybody unless absolutely necessary. I think perhaps Ozil and even Flamini could come off at some point just for the sake of keeping them fresh for Saturday but generally speaking that’ll be the team for the majority of the game. It’s certainly got enough talent and ability to beat West Brom, but whether or not it happens is a different story.

The big questions surround Bendtner, who has a lot to prove after a few chaotic years at the club with much controversy, loan deals and problems. Wenger seems to be bigging up Bendtner, as he does with all his players I guess who are short of confidence, saying

I personally believe in his qualities. It’s just down to attitude and fighting [spirit]. When he has that, Nicklas can be an unstoppable striker. He gets his chance. Our job is about that. Take your chance.

I see him as a centre forward he can use his body [with his] back to goal. He’s an intelligent player, he can play intelligent passes and protect. He’s a similar type size-wise to Olivier Giroud. The central role is perfect for him.

Bendtner’s ability has never really been in doubt it’s just always been his application. He’s got 45 goals and 26 assists for the club, that’s a direct contribution of 71 goals which shows he isn’t completely shit. One thing that will work in his favour is that, as the boss points out, he is very similar to Giroud. That means the squad will already be able to play to his strengths whereas before we was more suited to van Persie’s style of play.

Wenger talks about chances and that if he takes his chance he’ll win over the fans and he’s absolutely right. Stranger things have happened but who’s to say Bendtner can’t help us over the course of the season and recapture the form and ability we all know he has? Damn my optimism!

Anyway, that’s all for today, my prediction is a scrappy 2-1 win with a Bendtner and Ozil goal. Question marks will be over who is captain of the game if both Vermaelen and Merteascker play but I think our original captain will get the nod, regardless of whether or not he’s been out of the squad for so long.

COME ON YOU GOONERS!

Viviano and Bendtner to start? Great Ozil interview analysed

And it’s Ar-se-nal! Arsenal FC! We’re by far the greatest team, the world has ever seen!

Good morning all, I’m feeling a bit grumpy today because a little bit of fog seems to result in 50% of drivers losing all ability to actually fucking drive. I swear our country is the only one in the world that struggles with weather when driving. Any sign of fog or snow and peoples ability goes out the window, heck even rain results in people driving at 40mph on a 60mph road. If you’re honestly that unconfident in yourself and your driving skill, then go hand your license in and get a fucking bus or train to work, because I do not want to be stuck behind your stupid arse the entire journey to work.

In Arsenal news there isn’t a great deal going about. I guess the fact that later today the boss will give his usual pre-match conference ahead of tomorrow’s Capital One Carling Littlewoods Nobody-Gives-A-Shit-Except-Liverpool Cup game against West Brom is to blame for that. I’m sure as the day rolls on the news will trickle out and we’ll have plenty to discuss tomorrow.

There are rumours that new goalkeeper Viviano will start the game in order to allow Szczesny a bit of a breather but you can’t help but wonder why Fabianski isn’t involved? Is he injured or has he perhaps upset the boss or his teammates? Maybe he’s set to leave in January or at the end of the season? It could be something as simple as Wenger wanting to see how he performs against a Premier League side in comparison to Fabianski. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can offer as I have absolutely no experience of seeing him in goal.

The other surprise inclusion could be that of Nicklas Bendtner up front. With Giroud being ever present in the side so far this season he is deserving of a small break to boost his fitness ahead of this weekends game. With Yaya Sanogo out we don’t really have any other options than that of Bendtner so really when I said surprise inclusion I really meant logical conclusion.

It’s a bit of a tester for the Dane to show how good he actually is. He’ll have a chance to highlight his ability and prove that he can contribute over the course of the season to the team and it’s goals. He could play completely awful and be binned off for the remainder of the year, but isn’t that the beauty of football? Unsellable, immoral, drink driving footballers holding the teams hopes of progression to the next round. Woohoo.

As for the rest of the team I can imagine players such as Monreal, Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Arteta, Gnabry and Miyaichi will all get a run in the side as the manager tries to give as much of the first team time to recover ahead of this weekends difficult away game against Swansea. I’ll have more of an analysis ahead of the game tomorrow once Wenger has had his pre-match conference.

One player I get the feeling will be included is one Mesut Ozil. He’s picked up where he left off at Arsenal, continuing his fantastic ability to assist goal after goal, and will probably be part of the starting line up in tomorrow’s game. He’s still adapting to the physicality of the Premier League so giving him another game against a mid table side is experience that he’ll find useful and beneficial.

Ahead of Sunday’s game against Stoke this video with The King of the Assist was shown in which he speaks his first bit of English on national TV. He was asked about the invincibles, what he remembers of them, his favourite players in the side – who were Henry and Bergkamp – and why. He said

Because, the guy makes many goals and scores many goals for his club.

Both is important for the team but for me, as a player, I like more to create goals.

Although his English is slightly broken as you’d expect, the message was loud and clear – he loves to create goals. It’s not really a surprise coming from the man who has the highest assist rate in Europe over the last five years, but it’s still pleasant to hear. Wenger has always gone for unselfish creators in his side, players that do more than just score goals. It’s a great philosophy to have and an important attribute to look for because as the end of the day, football is a team sport, not an individual one.

Ozil continued the interview in German but gave all the right messages that us fans want to hear. He spoke of the team and their goals this season, saying

Our goal is to evolve and to do what the coach expects from us. We definitely have a good chance of achieving our goals with this team.

I think the team began to evolve after that Bayern win last season and have continued to do so since. The younger players are maturing, the experienced players are becoming leaders and the mentality in the team has become one of the strongest in recent years. This evolution has continued thus far this season, highlighted by the fact we’re currently top of the league where in the past we’d be playing catch up by now.

The best part of the entire interview was right at the end, when he was asked “Can Arsenal win the Premier League this season?” to which he replied

Of course.

The interviewer then said “Confident?!” and Ozil said

Of course. We have a great team, great players and in football anything is possible.

Watching him come across so confident and believing was a magical moment. One that even made me believe his words and think “You know what, he’s right, we can win the league this year!”

I can’t help but feel if he can make me feel that way in a matter of seconds then surely he can have the same impact on the players mentality and belief, too. This confidence, enthusiasm and optimism is what champions have and hopefully it rubs off on our other players and can be a springboard towards success. The best thing is that this is just one £42.5m player, we could potentially buy a second in January and give the team and even bigger lift.

Did anybody else just get really excited?

More tomorrow.