Yesterday’s post match review was full of the delights of Rambo, ensuring to most lyrical of waxing ensued for the Welshman, but in doing so I sort of clouded over the return of another player just returning from injury: Mesut Özil.
The German came back into the team and performed very well, so I’m using the beginning of my working week and today’s blog to talk up our record signing, because I thought what he did on Sunday was exactly what he often does. He has an impact on games without the bells and whistles. He’s the guy – to use an American Footballism – that runs the yards, receives the ball and throws it a short distance to the fella that runs through and slams the ball down, beating his chest in the process. He’s a player that makes us look instantly better, without seeming to be the man in the limelight.
There was a number of occasions on Sunday where he played in players, threaded some accurate balls through to more forward lying players, involved in build up to most of the goals as well. Those accusing him of not earning his wages would do well to look at his contribution and how he makes this Arsenal team tick even when not supposedly performing to his optimum.
Per recognises it and has been quoted over the last 24 hours as saying that injuries to players like Özil and Ramsey have been telling, as we all saw for the first time in the teams performance for a number of months on Sunday.
Özil is as vital a cog in the Arsenal machine as Ramsey and Per are. The trouble we have had is that we haven’t had too many replacement cogs for when one needs removing, polishing and replacing. The machine has just ground to a halt. In a way, it’s why I can see some logic to the stories about a possible return of Cesc to the side, especially with news that the Catalan is being jeered by his own people. Remember when he had Barca DNA and we were denying his birthright? How’d that work out for both parties over there as well?
Having seen our performances after the last six weeks or so, I can understand the logic of bringing someone like Fabregas back to the club. Had we been able to call on Fabregas to fill the void left at number ten by Özil, then he would have been that well fitting cog to replace like-for-like in the team. However, in my opinion, enough time has now passed for us as Arsenal fans to admit that we have moved on as a club and I’d like to politely suggest that we have other priorities come the summer. So from this humble bloggers perspective, I won’t be shedding too many tears if Fabregas isn’t rocking up at The Emirates for the home side in August.
I’d also like to point out a bit of information I got from somebody who had spoken to people within the club on Cesc. His behaviour in the last season of being at the club was apparently appalling; a sulking figure around London Colney who didn’t exactly enamour himself to the staff at The Arsenal. Given that behaviour, do we really want someone like that back at the club? I’m not so sure.
Where would he play? Would he replace Özil at number 10? Doubtful. You don’t spend £42million on a player that you want to replace with another one a year later, so I’d wager that even if we did sign him, he wouldn’t get too many attempts at his best position.
What about as a deeper lying midfielder? There’s little doubt that he can play the quarter back role, but with Ramsey having stepped up to his box-to-box midfielder position with such aplomb, we can’t afford to not have a more defensive minded player alongside him. A Flamini or Bender alongside Ramsey would be far more effective than a Fabregas in my mind.
Cesc was a wonderful player for us. He scored some great goals, was our talisman and was a player from which Arsene began to build a team around. But he left and we had to change our style and set up as a result. Having left the club we had to find another way and Fabregas has to go his own path. However, don’t let this blog fool you into believing I wouldn’t take him back at the club, oh no. He’d be a great addition to the side. My only reticence in his possible arrival comes from an innate fear that it would mean one less marquee signing in a position where we are in desperate need of strengthening. Before we go out and starting collecting midfielders again, we need a top-notch centre forward, perhaps a left winger with pace, a defensive minded midfielder to alternate with Flamini and the ageing Arteta, a right back, centre defender and a squad rotational ‘keeper. With all that activity needed, and our shoddy transfer dealings over the last couple of seasons, do you really believe our team of negotiators capable of landing a host of players and then going to get a Cesc shaped icing on the cake?
So yes, let’s take Cesc, but let’s spend the majority of this summer strengthening our squad in needed places and then, if we have a spare £15million and Barca want to offload, let’s go and have a little splurge.
There’s some other newsy bits around today from The Ox about how tough the run in over the next few weeks will be, but it’s hardly soundbite gold, so I’ll leave you to dig out the comments yourself if you like. Oh, and there’s some stuff from his agent about how Vermaelen will decide his future after the World Cup, but if he hasn’t already decided he needs to play more football somewhere else then I’ll put on my ‘look surprised’ face for you. Other than that, it’s a regular old Tuesday with just under a week until the next game, so plenty of time for the players to recharge, refresh and be ready for the visit of Newcastle on Monday night.
I suppose I should say something about David Moyes this morning too, but all I can think of is: Oops.
Have a good’un folks.