From ‘Sack the board’ to ‘We’re going to win the league’ – the Arsenal 2013/14 story so far…
Let’s rewind three weeks…
Arsenal have just lost their Premier League opener at home to Aston Villa. Boos rung round the Emirates, which was filled with a vitriolic atmosphere from start to finish.
Fans were angry that Arsene Wenger hadn’t properly entered the transfer market, when they believed their team was crying out for reinforcements…
Arsenal are loving their Wenger banners right now, check out this one at the Emirates! pic.twitter.com/tFrSSg95cx
— Coral (@Coral) September 1, 2013
To make matters worse, Lukas Podolski then picked up a nasty injury, and the centre-back positions were extremely thin following Laurent Koscielny’s suspension and Thomas Vermaelen’s injury…
Wenger: Podolski out for 21 days
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) August 27, 2013
Arsene Wenger parody videos were circling the internet, and there were genuine calls for his head from a selection of the Gunners faithful who have remained fiercely loyal to the Frenchman for 17 years…
So why did it all change?
The Ozil positivity factor:
In the blink of a £42m signing, apparently.
Mesut Ozil’s surprise deadline day arrival injected a wealth of good feeling back into Arsenal fans…
The same fans that were lamenting Wenger for being out of touch, and stubborn, were praising their French boss for splashing the cash on the outrageously talented German.
The 24-year-old went on to enjoy a brilliant debut against Sunderland, in which he assisted an Olivier Giroud goal on the way to a 3-1 win.
This one signing has changed everything. Ozil is already the best player we’ve had since Thierry. #Afc
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) September 14, 2013
— Ömry ♚ (@dannmwagi) September 14, 2013
Aaron Ramsey’s form
Ramsey has suddenly turned from frustrating talent into a seriously good midfielder. No player in the country has made mroe tackles than Ramsey in the league this year, and he’s also scored four goals in all competitions. His from has taken the weight of expectation of 21-year-old Jack Wilshere’s shoulders, and allowed the super-talented Englishman more room for error.
With Ramsey playing like this, it seems Wenger now has a genuine box-to-box midfielder who will aid defence and attack.
Arsenal didn’t need a striker afterall…
Olivier Giroud would have been well aware his manager was chasing a world-class striker all summer. After missing out on Luis Suarez and Gonzalo Higuain though, Wenger had to rely on the French striker he signed last summer. Giroud has not let him down, and has started this season in blistering form, bagging five in all competitions, including four in the Premier league.
His relationship with Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil looks very promising – but Wenger will need the hitman to stay fit, as he is essentially the only established, available striker at the club following Podolski’s injury.
It was never that bad in the first place…
The truth is: Arsenal were never in a crisis in the first place. Fans were merely swept up by huge frustrations regarding early failures in the summer transfer market. With every big name the club missed out on, Arsenal fans seemingly became more deluded about the state of their team, when in fact, there squad is more than good enough to qualify for the top four.
In Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud – Arsenal already had a selection of attacking players who would walk into virtually every team in Europe.
With the inclusion of Ozil of course, barring no injury set-backs, it’s probably good enough to challenge for the title.