It must already be the start of the silly season. As Arsenal fans cross their fingers, again and hope for a top four finish, an FA cup triumph, and a productive and busy summer in the transfer market, FC Barcelona have given us all an early laugh. And not only is the talk of a £30 million transfer bid for Mesut Ozil laughable, it could be construed as tapping up.
I’m sure that a lot of Arsenal fans thought they would be seeing a lot more of the young England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain once he had returned from injury. I know that I did. However, with all the problems the Gunners have had this season, I could also understand why Arsene Wenger was cautious in bringing him back.
But once he had been gradually re-introduced to first team action, his pace and power would surely see him start all the time. Chamberlain bagged a brilliant brace against Crystal Palace and scored the crucial opening goal as Arsenal beat Liverpool in the FA cup. His performances earned him the Arsenal fans Player of the Month award, but he has still started just six Premier League games and the Daily Mail have revealed why. Another injury!!
For almost all of the summer, it looked as if Arsenal would spend absolutely nothing on new players. With all the talk about our new financial strength, with Ivan Gazidis hinting that Arsenal were going to be challenging the likes of Man City and Chelsea in the transfer market, the signing of the unheard of, young striker Yaya Sanogo did nothing to cheer us up.
Despite missing over three months of the season, Aaron Ramsey is still the second top scorer for Arsenal, with 14 goals in all competitions so far. But listening to Per Mertesacker and his take on this weekend’s great win at Hull City, it is clear that our big flippin’ German values the defensive side of the Welshman’s game just as much as his goals.
Per accepts that the Gunners were under a bit of threat early on at the KC stadium, probably with the importance of the game, some nerves and some fragile confidence playing their part. But Arsenal grew into the game and managed to nullify that early threat, and Mertesacker feels that Ramsey’s work in the centre of the pitch was vital to that.
Imagine if we kept Ramsey and Ozil fit all season … by K.M.
The weekend finally saw Arsenal produce a good game and a routine win. It was easy to see the difference of having Ramsey and Ozil back in the squad. It seemed like we had two times more talent and we looked like creating chances from nowhere. Enough was spoken about the goals and the game, so I will shift the theme of this post as to why those players were run down to the ground by the manager until they got injured?
If things keep going the way they are, Arsenal fans will start to call Real Madrid our feeder club. It seems that almost every other player that the Gunners are linked with is currently playing at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Spain.
Having failed, for whatever reason, to land Gonzalo Higuain as well as Mesut Ozil last summer, media reports are suggesting that Karim Benzema, the French international that was preferred to Higuain, could be for sale at the end of the season. The Mirror is reporting that the giants of La Liga are planning to offload Benzema to make way for Sergio Aguero from Man City. Other reports suggest that it is Liverpool’s Luis Suarez that they are after.
Most Arsenal fans would admit to being slightly less than delighted in the way the club and Arsene Wenger have gone about their transfer business in recent years. We hear that this has all changed now that the Emirates stadium loan is no longer a millstone round our neck, but we have still to see much evidence of it apart from the breaking of the transfer record to sign Mesut Ozil.
Hull City 0 v 3 Arsenal Match Report Infographic by allArsenal.com
Finally Arsenal produced a routine win thanks to 3 well worked goals that saw off Hull City, providing a nice boost ahead of next months FA Cup final against the Tigers at Wembley.
The Gunners got off to a sluggish start and had to call upon Szczesny on a number of occasions, but a brilliant Aaron Ramsey opener and Podolski’s second consecutive brace maintained Arsene Wenger’s side in the fourth place spot.
Hull City 0 – 3 Arsenal Player Ratings by KJ
Szczesny – 8
Even though we won 3 – 0, this game wasn’t comfortable defensively and Szczesny had to make plenty of saves/claims during the game. He was composed with his control and kicks out.
Sagna – 8
He was very solid today defensively and offensively provided a good outlet for our attacking moves. Amazing that he’s managed to play 300 minutes this week and didn’t really drop in performance.
This was by no means a foregone conclusion for Arsenal, although the last two games had restored some confidence around the place. But Hull have rolled over some big names at the KC stadium and were on a high of their own after booking their place to face Arsenal at Wembley at the end of the season.
I must admit to feeling a bit nervous when I saw the team sheet, wondering whether Arsene Wenger had been a bit gung ho in his selection. For the first 20 minutes or so, that fear remained, but then we started to get it together. Aaron Ramsey started to show why he was unlucky not be named in the PFA player of the year shortlist and Mesut Ozil began to ooze class and bamboozle the Hull players.
Well I must admit to a bit of surprise at the Arsenal starting line-up today. The good news is that Mesut Ozil is back and will start the game, which the Gunners must win. I guess that is why the Prof has gone for a very attacking line-up, but it does seem to me to be a bit risky, especially considering our recent troubles away from home.
It’s okay Arsenal fans, I have already given myself a pinch to make sure that I really am awake, and it is not April fools day either. It really is being reported that Lionel Messi could be up for sale this summer. The Barcelona and Argentina forward has been out of sorts in recent weeks and it seems as though the reason is that Barcelona are preparing to sell their prize asset.