In his first article for The False Nine, and in the aftermath of Arsenal’s clinical Champions League performance against Napoli, Jonny Singer eulogises about another German international, instrumental to Arsenal’s recent form…
Last night, Arsenal were brilliant. Not just quite good, not good in patches, but brilliant. Napoli, supposedly one of the best teams in Italy, barely got a foothold in the contest, limited to a fraction of the possession and a few optimistic long shots.
For the Gunners, just a few weeks ago the crisis club of England, the future looks bright. The signing of Mesut Özil has quietened the dissidents, inspired the players, and added much needed quality. They’ll probably go and win everything now – or so the mainstream media would have you believe.
But the progress Arsenal have made does not date from September 2nd, when the German superstar signed for a club-record £42m. They may have won 9 games in a row since he signed, but that’s part of a longer sequence that has seen the club pick up 19 wins, 2 draws and just a single defeat since March 13th 2013.
That was the night Arsenal beat Bayern Munich 2-0 in Germany, not enough to keep them in the Champions League, but the turning point in this squad’s story. And it has not been down to the ‘wizard of Özil’ but rather built on the shoulders of another German – Per Mertesacker. Continue reading