Lukas Podolski to return sooner than expected, Mesut Ozil to push for trophies; are things as good as they seem for Arsenal?

Well what a week
it has been, possibly one of the biggest weeks in our recent history. You don’t
need me to recap, unless you’ve been on the moon.

I’ve
written as much as there is to say on Mesut Ozil on my own personal blog, which
you can find by clicking here. I want to focus on the here and now of the
signing. I’ve quoted Gary Neville on several occasions with his line:

“Things
are never as bad as they seem and they are never as good as they appear.”

Now
after we lost to Aston Villa, I found it very hard to believe that things
weren’t as bad as they seemed at the time. I was furious and bemused by our
lack of activity and even in hindsight I feel rightly so. However, the reaction
has been first class. Initially it was put down to poor opposition but then the
“How not to spend £100m” brigade came to town.  I had this to
say last week: 

“They
couldn’t cope with Jack and Santi in tandem last season and
they’ve never dealt well with Theo’s inside forward play”

Any
surprise that Theo Walcott sets up Olivier Giroud, as their defence was all
over the shop, not at all.

“I
haven’t paid any attention to Sp*rs league form to date, all I know is they
have six points and haven’t scored from open play so far this season. A run I
hope will continue beyond Sunday.”

A run
that has continued, I thought it was comment that would come home to bite me on
the arse but prior to writing I heard that their front three would consist on Nacer
Chaldi – Roberto Soldado – Andros Townsend. I mean come on people, how bad is
that. 

So we
beat a decent opponent and that we shattered our previously pitiful transfer
record. If Gooners couldn’t get any higher that they already were, word spread
that we had a chance of getting Ozil and just over 24 hours later he signed and
the doom and gloom of Twitter blossomed into a beautiful open forum of
positivity. Users changing their names to incorporate umlauts, staff from the
club shop stating how busy they were printing shirts with Ozil 11 on them,
random tweets of “Mesut Fucking Ozil”. I can’t express enough the
happiness I have felt about our club this week.  Which leads me to ask
“Are things as good as they appear?” the answer is it probably isn’t but
we are on the right track. 

The
squad has been under focus from the support for the entire summer and in the
end we recruited four players. I think we are adequately covered in every area
of the pitch now, except perhaps the strikers. I get that some are still
frustrated by our lack of signings at centre forward but we have Walcott and Lukas
Podolski that can operate there, so the lack of strikers debate seems pretty
temporary. Yes Podolski could be out for 8-10 weeks but I’m
pretty confident he’ll be back sooner than we think. I’m no medical expert
but what I can tell you from having suffered many a hamstring tear (including a
grade 3), is that a return is possible after five to six weeks.

When you
tear a hammy, there are two factors, how high is the tear in the hamstring (the
higher it is, the longer it takes to heal) and how do the fibres piece
back together. The latter will be a doddle, as he’ll be having intensive
treatment. Then he’ll be getting massages galore, as they try to circulate the
blood flow in order to get as much of the blood supply as possible to the
affected area. Podolski will undergo bike work to build up his confidence and
also test out how it reacts. Then it’s a case of pushing it slightly harder on
each day and he’ll progress to treadmills etc. Once he’s managed a flat out run
they’ll introduce him to light training and the twists and turns and at that
point you reintroduce him to contact and away you go. The one thing about
injuries now is they are over-exaggerated because international breaks reduce
the amount of games they’ll miss. In terms of Premier League games we have four
between now and the home game with Norwich City on October 18th. It’s certainly
not as bad as people seem to think. I’m also not an advocate of buying
players to replace injured players. The notion that a player is out for six
months means you have to buy a player on 4-5 year deal is just flat out
ridiculous. Despite everyone’s concerns about the ability of our medical team,
these players (including Abou Diaby), will return.

The
biggest challenge now if for Arsene Wenger to get this right. He will get a new
contract and remain at Arsenal for another couple of years. I personally don’t
feel his performance with the side has done enough for him to warrant a deal
but one thing is clear, he was the deciding factor when signing the German. We
can’t underestimate his influence and the things that this sort of acquisition
will bring to our club over the coming windows, therefore Arsene deserves a
crack at it, as his war chest get blown into smithereens. So with a big signing
comes the expectation and with that, it brings pressure on Wenger.

A
pressure he hasn’t been under for some time but he’ll have known this as soon
as this signing became a reality. Our upcoming games are Sunderland > Stoke
City > Swansea City > West Bromwich Albion, not the hardest run of games
but also not the easiest. If Wenger can get this side off to a flyer, then
it’ll be interesting to see how far this team can go. They’ve shown they can
play catch up but can they set the pace? One thing is for certain, this club
should now be setting the pace. 

My
expectation of silverware in recent years has dwindled to the point where I
know we will not get to finals but in one fantastic signing that expectation
has returned and  this side can I have no excuses. This is the squad that
has been formed and we will get to know over the course of the next few months.
We have a difficult group in the Champions League but they’ll have been taken
aback by our transfer activity and it stands us in good stead. Let’s just hope
we aren’t getting too carried away.

Michael Jeffares


, , , , ,

9 Responses to Lukas Podolski to return sooner than expected, Mesut Ozil to push for trophies; are things as good as they seem for Arsenal?

  1. Benjamin Peter Kleboe September 6, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    Good article but my only concern is that players win you games and squads win you titles and ours is very thin. Ozil is of course fantastic and will no doubt help us secure suarez or another top top quality striker but a bit of luck with injuries and a cup shouldn’t be beyond us. The CL or Prem can only be won with a striker who will win you the tough matches and Giroud is not that guy. Lets hope this signing is not a one off otehrwise the positivity could turn sour by this time next year.

    • Michael Jeffares September 7, 2013 at 7:43 am #

      .

    • Michael Jeffares September 7, 2013 at 7:55 am #

      I think you are being a little harsh on Giroud, he has after all just won us a tough game. I think Suarez is a realistic target in January. In fact the better they do without him during his suspension, the more they’ll be able to contemplate life without it. It would also add an extra dimension to our side for the rest of the season. I think Ozil’s signing has raised the bar and we’ll see higher calibre signings in future.

  2. James Gregson September 7, 2013 at 1:55 am #

    Podolski is out for 3 months. Maybe 10 weeks before he plays a game for the first team. Not sure you can compare your hamstring tear to that of an international footballer. Sorry I’m not sorry.

    • Michael Jeffares September 7, 2013 at 7:59 am #

      I was more relating to the hamstring injury and the rehab involved than making it a direct comparison. You are right though I can really compare because his treatment will be far superior, so considering I nearly ruptured mine, he should make a quicker return.

  3. Kєssä September 7, 2013 at 5:44 am #

    I like your optimism and honestly i share it. i think we are 1 top world class striker short from gunning down city, chelsea and utd. I see Arsenal as Arsene’s last club before he retires so a new contract for him will happen and i am pleased he will stay. i have every reason to believe we will make more top signings because let’s face it he wants to win the title a few more times again and it will happen with the current squad and a new striker. the current squad has great harmony, balance and quality and is capable of winning the fa cup this year and push for the runners up spot without any injuries to our important players. i predict it to be 1. man city, 2. arsenal 3. chelsea 4.liverpool.

    • Michael Jeffares September 7, 2013 at 8:05 am #

      I a trophy would be a great start, the FA Cup is certainly being touted and that would be a brilliant start wouldn’t it? It would also give us a fantastic platform to build upon. I think I’m right in thinking City won the FA Cup before winning the league. Come January I fully expect a striker to sign and that’ll add another dimension, If that man happened to be Suárez then all he better.

  4. richard morgan September 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    well they had scored from open play in europa league just not in premiere league it was a good win against decent opposition. but we need to carry that on against the other top four sides

    • Michael Jeffares September 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

      I’m not denying that Richard, I just didn’t feel we’d lose to them and their attack reinforced my belief. As you say though, the test will come against City, United & Chelsea

Leave a Reply