Monthly Archives: January 2016

Mesut Ozil Joins the 100-Club

When Arsenal signed Mesut Ozil for a record transfer fee in September 2013, the Gooners on social media went haywire and a whole lot was expected from the German midfield maestro. It took the lad just 11 minutes to make an impact as he went on to feed Olivier Giroud with an assist as the Gunners beat Sunderland 3-1. Two-and-a-half seasons later, the midfielder has notched up a century of appearances for the Gunners, scoring 17 goals and creating 37 assists. According to his personal website, Ozil has made 4,805 passes at Arsenal with a pass accuracy of 87 percent. (who counts these stuff?!)

In these 100 games Ozil has played, Arsenal has won 62, drawn 17 and lost 21. He has won two FA Cups with the club thus far and there’s the potential for Ozil to win the Premier League this season. Ozil’s time at Arsenal has been blissful for both the player and the club, and he has oozed class from the moment he kicked the ball against Sunderland till his last game with his laceless boots against Chelsea.

While he’s renowned for his wonderful pin-point assists, Ozil has scored some memorable goals and there are some that deserve honorable mentions – his maiden goal against SSC Napoli in the 2013/14 Champions League, his delicious placed finish against Aston Villa last season, his wonderful free kick against Liverpool last season, his delightful chip against Norwich this season and my personal favorite, his finishing touch from a team move that left Manchester United’s David de Gea rooted to the spot.

Here’s a YouTube compilation showing all Ozil’s goals with the club with the only notable exclusions being his strikes against Norwich and Bournemouth.

The official site has created an infographic on Ozil that’s worth a view.

Apparently, Ozil is the 59th player to notch up 100 appearances under Arsene Wenger. The record holder is Patrick Vieira (402 apps) but in the present squad, Theo Walcott (327), Aaron Ramsey (251), Tomas Rosicky (245), Mathiu Flamini (239), Laurent Koscielny (231), Kieran Gibbs (201), Per Mertesacker (197), Wojciech Szczesny (181), Santi Cazorla (168), Olivier Giroud (166), Jack Wilshere (154), Mikel Arteta (148) and Nacho Monreal (114) have made more appearances for the boss than Ozil.

This season, Ozil has been a creative force, amassing 16 assists in the Premier League, which means that he’s four short of matching Thierry Henry’s long standing record in the League. Since his virtuoso performance against Bournemouth that saw him score one goal and create an assist for Gabriel Paulista, Ozil has been somewhat subdued in his last three appearances for the club but we know that he is capable of doing the unthinkable on the pitch.

Here’s to another 100 games at Arsenal.


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What Impact Does Jenkinson’s Injury have on Debuchy’s Future?


Last season, Carl Jenkinson’s stock rose as a footballer under the tutelage of Sam Allardyce. He was an ever-present in the West Ham side that season, missing only six Premier League games. He also played a significant role in their FA Cup campaign, up until their elimination.

At the start of this season, he returned to Arsenal but with Hector Bellerin clearly Arsene Wenger’s first choice and Matt Debuchy still in the reckoning, a decision had to be made about Jenkinson’s future and he was sent back to familiar surroundings, as West Ham took the lad for a second loan spell.

Under Slaven Bilic, things haven’t been that straightforward for Jenkinson. He suffered loss of form and he has featured consistently under the new West Ham management. Over at North London, Debuchy has grown discontent in playing second fiddle to Bellerin and has been trying to facilitate an exit from the Emirates. It’s quite a dicey situation, bearing in mind that the only cover for Bellerin would be Calum Chambers, a relatively inexperienced lad that has been tried in several positions.

However, news emanating from East London is that Jenkinson has suffered a cruciate ligament injury and could be sidelined for nine to 10 months. This is terrible news for Jenkinson as his campaign has come to an end but looking at the situation holistically, Jenkinson will not be available deep into the 2016/17 season, so will the Gunners allow Debuchy to leave the club?

In Chambers, Wenger has a good deputy for Bellerin but with the experienced French defender hell bent on a potential move away, coupled with Jenkinson’s current predicament, Wenger would have a decision to make.

I wish Corporal Jenkinson the best and a speedy recovery.


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Thoughts on Mathieu Flamini Performances and his Future


Mathieu Flamini is one player that continues to divide opinions. Since his second return to the club, he has been on the fringes but found himself getting an extended run of games in recent weeks. This is due to the fact that Arsenal’s primary holding midfielder, Francis Coquelin, suffered a knee injury in November following a poor challenge from West Brom’s Claudio Yacob.

In the wake of that injury crisis, the manager has attempted Calum Chambers in the holding position and he has done his bit in that role but in Flamini, the club had a more experienced individual that could do a decent job when selected.

It’s not as if Flamini has been a world beater or he has done anything to justify his place when Coquelin is fully fit but I must say that he hasn’t been as bad as person believe he is. Maybe those set of fans are still thinking it’s the 2007/08 season where he was a phenom in the middle of the park with Cesc Fabregas. Wake up people!

Flamini still makes those rash challenges here and there that would want to make you remove some hair from your head, but if you consider the fact that he’s a stop gap option for an injured first team player, you would look at him in different light.

Then there’s the new signing, Mohamed Elneny. In all honesty, I’ve never seen the lad play. My best bet would have been to watch him in FC Basel’s Europa League games but I’m not all about Thursday night Tottenham football. Like many fans out there, I’ve feasted on some of that YouTube goodness but we all know that compilations don’t tell the full story.

I was hoping that Elneny gets a taste of the big time soon and he’s odds on to make his debut against Burnley this weekend, and due to his versatility, he can feature in the box to box role, or the holding midfield role. Will Wenger opt for Elneny has the holding midfielder to accommodate another box-to-box player? Will he feature in the middle alongside Calum Chambers? This is certainly the manager’s headache, not mine.

However, with Coquelin and Elneny very much around, it could signal the end of the Flamster. It is believed that he’s one of the senior players, alongside Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky that will not be offered a new deal at the end of the season.

It’s been a nice ride with Flamini that has seen him play 200+ games in his two stints with the club. Only heaven knows what the future has in store for Flamini but I know it won’t be at Arsenal.

I’m sure Mesut Ozil will miss the Frenchman. Their bromance is well publicized.