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Friday September 20, 2013 MYT 8:46:00 PM
Friday September 20, 2013 MYT 8:49:03 PM
by hariati azizan
Mesut Ozil's arrival has masked Arsenal’s appalling performance in the transfer market. – EPA Photo
ELEVEN. That was the magic number for Arsenal last week at Sunderland – their new marquee signing No. 11 Mesut Ozil took only 11 minutes to make his mark.
Sure, there was the refereeing controversy, but it simply could not mar the Arsenal faithfuls’ weekend. In Ozil, the Gunners may finally have a talent who can reverse the club’s eight years of decline.
So what if Ozil’s arrival has only masked Arsenal’s appalling performance in the transfer market that has left the squad precariously shallow?
To dredge up some Wengerism – they have “like-new signings” in Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey!
Ozil might have been the star at the Stadium of Light last Saturday, but Ramsey was the match winner. And he proved himself again in Arsenal’s opening Champions League game, helping them clinch a crucial away win.
Ramsey and the rest of the Arsenal attack force will need to be on top of their game when they go up against Stoke City on Sunday to save the blushes for their dodgy defence – captain Thomas Vermaelen’s mistake-prone tendencies have somehow rubbed off on Laurent Koscielny who has been making silly mistakes including the send-off in their disastrous Aston Villa match.
The Gunners have a good home record against Stoke, having won all five of their clashes with the Potters at the Emirates. The Potters, however, are like a new team this season with an impressive start of two wins and a draw against Manchester City under their belt. In fact, Stoke only failed to nick the game because of their poor finishing.
New manager Mark Hughes has managed to get them to play a more flowing football, and they are bound to be confident and pesky against Arsenal on Sunday.
Stoke striker Peter Crouch also seems to have a good record against Arsenal and can give the back four a merry dance around. We can only pray that nothing will be wrong with Per Mertesacker on Sunday night; the Koscielny-Vermaelen pairing will be risky especially since Stoke have been doing well in set-plays – Stoke’s goals this season have come mainly from set-plays.
Still, Arsenal are showing that their attack is again their best defence, so hopefully Giroud will shake off his injury problems and continue his “goal spree”. If not, Ozil or not, it will be back to square one for the Gunners.
Arsenal to grab a narrow 2-1 win, but without the referee’s help.
Tags / Keywords:
football, Arsenal, Gunners Blast, Hariati Azizan, Mesut Ozil, Arsene Wenger, Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey
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