September 6, 2013

"We need one or two super players and we will try to add that. We have 24 more hours, so maybe we can surprise you."

Those were Arsène Wenger's words after the supremely satisfying 1-0 win over Spurs on Sunday. It was a deserved victory over a club that had spent huge amounts of money during the transfer window in hopes of finally leapfrogging us after decades of futility.

But it was Arsenal who deservedly earned the three points. We played a wonderfully cohesive game and the important players all stepped up. Olivier Giroud scored the game's only goal off a cross from Theo Walcott while Wojciech Szczensy made some big saves and kept a clean sheet.

Aaron Ramsey – Arsenal's Player of the Month for August – once again put in a brilliant performance in the midfield. After the game he said that the win sent a message. "The manager believes in us and we believe in what we're capable of doing and producing great performances."

Rasmey then touched on the subject that has been hanging over the Club for months., "Maybe the manager knows as well that maybe we're a bit short on numbers. I'm sure they are going to do as much as they can over the next 24 hours."

 So despite the win -- and the ability to feel wonderfully smug after Spurs' big spending got them exactly nothing, -- the players and the supporters were very conscious of the fact that Arsenal still hadn’t spent a dime in the transfer window, and there was very little time left.

And then the manager said those words. In fact he said them more than once after the game. Something in works.  But as ever, Wenger wouldn’t reveal what was going on behind that knowing smile and Arsenal fans had to just sit and wait to find out what this "good surprise" could be.  

The next day the Internet exploded. Arsenal signed one of the top players in the world. Mesut Ozil.

The German is Arsenal's record signing ever and probably the most important since Dennis Bergkamp. How good is he? Among all of his impressive stats, one figure puts it into a pretty good perspective: over the last two years he has set up more goals that anyone in Europe other than Leo Messi. And they are tied.

"He is just so outrageously talented," says German journalist Raphael Honigstein."He's been brilliant for Germany since 2010. He's one of the first names on the teamsheet despite loads of competition in that area. He makes the team tick, certainly as far as the attacking third is concerned."

And at just 24, he still has plenty of room for improvement. "Mesut is still not at his top level," says Ozil's father Mustafa. "I’m sure there is still 15 to 20 per cent to get out of him and Mr. Wenger will help him to do that."

Wenger's influence was a recurring theme in most of the post-move analysis. Even Ozil himself said, "I’m really looking forward to it because I have the faith of the coach. I had spoken to him at length on the telephone and he explained his plans and that he has faith in me and that is what I need as a player."

And of course, the boss said it to him in German. Show off.

We got our fist look at the player in an interview on Arsenal Player on Thursday. He touched on many topics, but the most pleasing to Arsenal supporters should be his confidence that Arsenal will win trophies this season.

The hype over Ozil almost completely obscured the fact that he was not the only deadline day deal for Arsenal. Emiliano Viviano signed with the Gunners on a season long loan to help provide cover and competition for Szczesny in goal. The 6' 5" Italian played for Fiorentina last season where he kept 11 clean sheets in 32 appearances. Upon arriving at Arsenal he said, "It is a club with a fantastic story, with a boss who is one of the best in Europe and for me it is a dream. It is special."

It's also good to remember that in the last week we also picked up Mathieu Flamini on a free transfer from Milan. He made his re-debut against Tottenham and came out of the gates at top speed. "I wanted to show everyone how committed I am to this club, how I am ready to give everything on the pitch. I hope everyone saw it; I really did my best when I came on."

Not such a bad transfer window after all, eh?

With an international break upon us, it’s going to be a little while until we see the new additions in action. In fact, Ozil won't have a chance to make his home debut until September 22 against Stoke. Until then, more than a dozen Arsenal players will be on national team duty this week and next week before returning to London to prepare for Sunderland a week from Saturday.

Until then, we can look back at wonderful week, a solid month, and - lest we forget - an amazing 100 years in Islington.

Stay tuned, folks. There's a lot more to come.

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Kevin Mooney 6 Sep 2013