Mesut Özil Could be Out until 2015

Arsenal midfielder out with knee injury for up to 12 weeks

Can you believe it? Arsenal’s most expensive ever signing looks set to be sidelined until 2015

As if Arsenal are not struggling enough with injuries, their most expensive player has now succumbed to a knee injury and could be out for up to 12 weeks.

 

It was revealed recently in The Independent, that Arsenal are the most injured side in the Premier League over the last 12 years, suffering over 100 more injuries than Manchester United, their closest rivals in the injury stakes and nearly twice as many injuries as Liverpool over the same period.

I don’t know how much investigation has gone on within the club into this phenomenon, but it needs to be a top priority.

It can not be the surface that they play on, as they spend their home games on possibly the most manicured carpet in world football.

Arsenal’s squad has tended to be a little on the small side, maybe these boys are less resilient than their more solid counter parts. But Olivier Giroud’s long term absence tends to discredit that theory. However he did have a long run without serious injury before his recent broken tibia.

In the close season Arsenal appointed the German national fitness coach to their backroom staff. I’m sure that the club and the fans hoped that this would help combat the never ending run of injuries to key players. But it looks like that has had no significant effect, with Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, Olivier Giroud, Mathieu Debuchy and now Özil all picking up long term injuries.

But some solution to this problem needs to be found. The figures quoted by The Independent can not all be down to bad luck. And there is no doubt that the length of time that so many players have spent out of the game, have cost Arsenal success, trophies and no little amount of money.

Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks with a knee injury.

The 25-year-old midfielder, who is on international duty with Germany, played 90 minutes in Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday.

But he arrived at the German camp with a problem in his left knee and an MRI scan in Munich on Wednesday showed damage to the joint.
The Gunners are already without injured midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta.

A statement on the German Football Association website read: “The MRI examination revealed a partial rupture of the outer band of the left knee joint.

“The treatment is six weeks of immobilisation of the knee joint. Mesut Ozil is likely to be [out for] 10 to 12 weeks.”
Ozil complained of a sore knee after the defeat at Chelsea on Sunday and Arsenal say they advised the German FA of the situation. The former Real Madrid player has now returned to the Gunners for further assessment.

“It is too early to say how long Ozil may be out of action,” said Arsenal in a statement on the club website.

If the diagnosis is correct, it means Ozil may not be available to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger until after Christmas.

The playmaker signed from Real Madrid for a club record £42.4m in September 2013 and has scored eight goals in 46 starts.

He has been criticised for some of his performances, but helped the Gunners win the FA Cup last season – the club’s first trophy in nine years.

The injury gives Arsene Wenger further selection problems in midfield, following injuries to Ramsey and Arteta earlier in the season.

Ramsey could be out for a further month after limping out of Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham on 27 September.

Olivier Giroud (broken tibia) and Mathieu Debuchy (ankle) also remain out of contention for a lengthy spell and Theo Walcott is still a few weeks away from returning to training after sustaining a cruciate knee ligament injury in January.

Ozil will miss Germany’s Euro 2016 qualifiers against Poland on Saturday and the Republic of Ireland next Tuesday.

He looks certain to be out of the national team’s fixtures against Gibraltar and Spain in November.

More at Mesut Ozil: Arsenal midfielder out with knee injury for up to 12 weeks

Now I know that many Arsenal ‘fans’ see Mesut Özil as their whipping boy, someone to complain about when the team does not achieve the level of success that they demand. But that is ignoring the numerous goals and assists that he as provided since joining the club, let alone his other contributions. Add to that the fact that Arsenal won their first major trophy in nine years in his first season with them and you know that he will be missed.

Get well soon Mesut, the Gunners need you.

Arsenal Snatch Runners Up Position on Final Da

Arsenal Legends Depart on St Totteringham’s Day

You can not make this stuff up!

It is days like this that are the very reason that so many people around the world put football and sport in general, first in their lives. A team of Hollywood writers, or British soap opera makers, could not create the drama of the final day of the Premier League and have anyone believe it.

Arsenal, their manager and many of the players, written off by the pundits and even a large section of their fans, showed, once again, that form is temporary and class is permanent.

The media, Tottenham and some Arsenal supporters were convinced that a change had come. Former Spurs man Jermain Jenas even wrote a much publicised article, entitled ‘Tottenham are no longer living in Arsenal’s shadow‘. This kind of black and white, all or nothing, thinking of these people is both a symptom and contributory factor of several mental disorders. This could explain the glass half empty mind set of many Arsenal supporters this season.

Spurs were in the box seat to take the Premier League title only a few short weeks ago and finish above Arsenal, for the first time since 1995. But as the wheels came loose and eventually fell off of the Spurs wagon, Arsenal went on a run of 10 undefeated Premier League matches, scoring 21 goals in the process. The show is never over until the fat lady sings.

Arsenal 4 Aston Villa 0

Villa had already been confirmed as the bottom side in the Premier League and could do nothing to avoid relegation, long before they arrived at Arsenal. But, surprisingly, they went with the defensive tactic that most lower table sides opt for at Arsenal, lining up with five men at the back.

The numbers, however, did not compensate for the lack of commitment, or stoicism, of the Villa defenders. Arsenal ran them ragged for the first 15 minutes, Giroud scoring with a header, when he was practically unmarked, in the 5th minute.

When a cricket score looked to be on the cards, Arsenal seemed to take their foot off of the pedal. Villa made some intrusions of their own, with Jordan Ayew and Scott Sinclair both denied opportunities to put the Birmingham side on the score sheet.

As the match wore on, news of Newcastle‘s goals against Spurs filtered through and the crowd let the Arsenal players know, in no uncertain terms, that second place was theirs for the taking and take it they did. Giroud added a second in the 78th minute, assisted, of course, by Mesut Ozil.

Giroud topped off his second hat trick of the season two minutes later with a very similar finish.

To round off the fairy tale, club captain, Mikel Arteta, took to the field for the final time in the 88th minute and scored in injury time. Alexis Sanchez deliberately picked him out of a box crowded with Villa defenders and Arsenal attackers. Arteta‘s shot hit the cross bar, then ricocheted off the back of Bunn, the Villa keeper, into the net. Now, records show this as an own goal, but when a goalkeeper trying to make a save is deemed to have scored an own goal, you really have to question the mindset of the people who make this decision.

Don’t worry Mikel, everyone at Arsenal will remember that you scored in your final game for the Gunners.

Legends Say Farewell on St Totteringham’s Day

As any Arsenal, or Tottenham, supporter knows, St Totteringham’s Day is the day in each season when Spurs can no longer catch Arsenal in the league. The fact that it fell on the final day of the season this year was very frustrating for a long time, but ended up making it all the sweeter and left people like Jermaine Jenas and many others eating their words.

It was also a big day at the Emirates for the fact that some legends of the club were departing.

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta has been vastly underrated by many, especially sections of Arsenal supporters in recent seasons.

Mikel arrived after the leaving of Cesc Fabregas and proved to be more reliable than the departing former captain. There is a vast gap between Fabregas‘s best and worst games, this was far less the case with Señor Arteta.

Mikel took on the defensive midfield role and captain’s armband, when seemingly no one else was available to do it. It is not the role that he came to Arsenal to fulfil, nor, I suspect, the one that he wanted. But in a club flooded with creative midfielders he took it on admirably.

Mikel Arteta has been a great servant to the Arsenal football club and hopefully will now get the recognition that he deserves. I hope that he can stay on as a coach, no doubt he has been a great assistance to Wenger with the arrival of so many Spanish speaking players who followed him. But it seems Manchester City are no longer satisfied with ripping off Arsenal‘s talented players, they now want their potential back room boys too.

Tomáš Rosický

The Little Mozart and Sick Note are a couple of the nicknames that the Czech international picked up at Arsenal. He could orchestrate the midfield, score spectacular goals and I always felt that the whole team sped up when he was on the field.

But sadly Rosický spent too little time on the field and too much time on the treatment table. He did enough to be an Arsenal great, but I believe that he would have been an all time legend, had he had better luck with injuries.

If you want to bring a smile to your lips, do yourself a favour and watch this montage of Tomáš Rosický‘s Arsenal goals.

I believe that Tomáš wants to represent the Czech Republic in this year’s European Championships. I sincerely hope that he can do so and go out on the high note that he deserves.

Mathieu Flamini

Mathieu Flamini did not get a send off on the final day of the season, but I am almost certain that he is leaving.

Like Mikel Arteta, Flamini’s contribution has been vastly underestimated by many Arsenal fans. Also like Arteta, I feel that he often played where the coach needed him, rather than where he wanted to.

Mathieu Flamini had two spells at Arsenal. Proving an absolute bargain, when he was picked up on a free transfer, second time around. He scored some spectacular and important goals and was never afraid to put his foot where it needed to be, even if that meant picking up a card.

Rumour has it that Flamini‘s Biochemical Company could make him a billionaire, so he has no financial incentive to continue playing football. But, if he wants to, there is also a strong rumour that newly promoted Middlesbrough are keen to pick him up.

Granit Xhaka

I have never been one to believe transfer rumours, until the player is wearing the new team’s shirt, at the new team’s ground. But this one is persistent and from numerous sources. When I checked Wikipedia, it already listed Granit Xhaka as an Arsenal player, before the transfer window had even opened. We all know how reliable Wikipedia can be.

With three retirements, there is certainly room for Xhaka in Arsenal‘s squad and this would be a big signing, ₤30 million is being bandied around. This is no stop gap to give Coquelin time to recover, like Elneny was.

Elsewhere on the Final Day

Leicester

Leicester City‘s final day was somewhat of a damp squib, having confirmed their title status two weeks ago, on a night when they were not playing. They closed their campaign with a 1-1 draw at Chelsea, meaning that they were only beaten in three games all season (two of them to Arsenal).

Congratulations are undoubtedly due to the little club from the Midlands, who managed what no one else could, with a cut price squad. No one would begrudge them their title, if their own cub could not win it and Claudio Rainieri seems like a very nice man, who has journeyed through numerous clubs without anything like this kind of reward. Maybe it is fitting that his season should end at Chelsea, who had previously dismissed him.

Leicester fielded fewer players than any other Premier League side this season and had remarkably few injuries. There is no doubt that there will be big bids for some of their star players in the close season, so any chance of them replicating this achievement is even more remote than winning this one was before. But anything can happen in football, which is why we watch it.

Manchester United Bomb Scare.

Manchester United‘s final fixture, against Bournemouth at home, was abandoned, due to a bomb scare at Old Trafford. The news today was that it was a replica device left behind by a security firm, in an exercise. The whole thing is being labelled a fiasco, but my suspicions are alerted. We’ve all seen episodes of Spooks where terror threats are written off as gas explosions. I don’t want to cause undue alarm, but my spidey sense is tingling on this one.

The one thing for sure is that it gives United a narrow gap between their final Premier League game which has been rescheduled for Tuesday night and their FA Cup final on Saturday.

So, apart from that match, the Premier League is all over for another season. We’ve got the FA Cupto come, the Champions League Final, the UEFA Cup final featuring Liverpool, then the European Championship, before it starts all over again.

For those Arsenal fans who believe that it is time for a change, I remind them that in the last three seasons Arsenal have finished, fourth, third and now second. It’s been a long time coming, but a change is gonna come.