Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Arsenal looking good as Wenger finds ATM

Arsenal looking good as Wenger finds ATM

Arsenal looking good as Wenger finds ATM

Comment

I have often wondered why Andre Villas-Boas chose to manage Tottenham. Should he not be at Aston Villa? After all, Mancini was a multiple major-trophy winner at Manchester City and Arsene Wenger an even more multiple-trophy winner at Arsenal, so strictly on grounds of onomastics, Villas-Boas chose the wrong club.

That is of course unless there is a Boas United out there somewhere.

However, that arrant nonsense aside, it is Arsene Wenger who should be the happiest man in North London this week, as not only did his Arsenal outplay and beat their arch-rivals Tottenham 1-0 on Sunday, Wenger landed the outstanding Mesut Ozil the following day for a mere £42.5 million (US$66.3 million).

It is worth pointing out that in the last five years across Europe’s top leagues, Ozil has an assist count of 72, higher than any other player, including the greatest of all, Lionel Messi.

Furthermore, Wenger landed goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano from Palermo and it is beginning to look as if Arsenal now have a squad that can win a major trophy for the first time since 2005.

I personally believe that the Gunners have had a first team that could compete with the best for some time now, it is just that they did not have the back-up on the bench when those said first team players get injured.

For example, Arsenal had the best form in the Premier League last season from the turn of the year, which coincidentally was the time that Jack Wilshere returned to full fitness.

In fact, throughout the whole of last season, Arsenal conceded only 37 goals, the second fewest in the Premier League, so their problems were obviously at the other end of the park.

Those problems may well have finally been answered, as Olivier Giroud has seemingly started firing (even though all but one of his goals have come in games played in London).

Aaron Ramsey has grown in confidence and technique and is making more often the right choices in terms of the angle of his runs and the selection of his final pass. Wilshere, Ozil, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla are now all potentially in the middle.

That leaves Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski fighting for their places when they return from injury, which is not a bad situation to be in.

Furthermore, Mathieu Flamini has returned to offer four options in the holding midfield role, the others being the aforementioned Arteta, Diaby and Ramsey.

At fullback, Arsenal have four quality players in Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Nacho Monreal and Bacary Sagna.

The weakest links appear to be in central defence, where there is only three to call on – Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen – and in attack, as for me there is not enough quality cover for Giroud, hence the pursuit of Chelsea’s Demba Ba.

However, Wenger will be hoping that come January’s transfer window a certain Luis Suarez may suddenly become available, and he would of course be eligible to play in Europe at just the time that Arsenal will need him, should they qualify for the latter stages.

In the meantime, now that Wenger has finally splashed the cash, it has left Arsenal fans more relieved than an England cricket team celebrating winning The Ashes at The Oval.

Bob Morton is a British journalist now based in Singapore. He has a first class degree in Media and was previously a correspondent for Ladbrokes Racing.

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