I Ramble: 8 February 2018

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

Firstly, happy birthday to la Mama! She turned 53 today. Oh me, oh my. She was 22 when she got married. I’m marrying at 28 turning 29. That means I’m a little late in the game but hey, better late than never, right? And I met Mr. Right. *winks*

Secondly, holy moly. Aubameyang is in Arsenal. And you have his partner Mkhitaryan in Arsenal. Bloody hell, I’m pretty sure everything was organised smoothly, much like Ozil’s transfer. But typical of Wenger to play it off as coincidence. I must say, it feels like the former Arsenal strikers who left are a little salty about that. I personally feel for Giroud because out of the whole lot of them who left — Chamberlain, Sanchez, Walcott, and him — I have always felt Giroud’s dedication the most. They are all good. Sanchez prolly a rung up above them. However, the difference between them and Aubameyang is their consistency. I also think the problem was that they were having the feeling that they were not growing in Arsenal and they were pretty much stuck with the same players. The lack of trophies, not including the FA Cup and Community Shields, and having dropped to Europa League, might have made them feel like oh, the players around them aren’t good, which was why they were not performing well and Arsenal just couldn’t be the team it was supposed to be. If you take a glimpse of the squad, you would think that the players aren’t so extraordinary. They weren’t as glorified as Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, and the likes, what more on the Cristiano Ronaldo kind of calibre. In fact, there were many unknowns and youngsters, like Iwobi, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, and Xhaka. Those are all simply my postulations, of course. But imagine yourself as Ronaldo coming into the Arsenal squad. You’d prolly be like “Are you kidding me, I’m supposed to work with them?!”

Yes, if you catch my drift, in my opinion the Arsenal squad is not far from a typical underdog Hollywood storyline. If you were to go beyond a glimpse and actually examine each player, you’ll actually be surprised by the individual qualities. Most of them are good enough to be part of the first team for the international games, if not the World Cup. You look at the kids like Bellerin and Iwobi — they are pretty green in their experience but the pace they offer, really aids the senior players. The defenders like Koscielny and Monreal are hungry for goals. Monreal scored in almost every game recently and I remember when he was still quite new to Arsenal. Couldn’t say/understand a word of English and was like a blundering leaf at the right back. So many costly mistakes and was part of the team that took the massive humiliation at Stamford Bridge I think, during Wenger’s 1000th game. I can’t recall. But look at that lad now. Clever play and not shy of the goal and he can even translate to English for the less confident players. Koscielny has also become more comfortable in his role as captain on the field whenever he deputises for Mertesacker.

So when it seems like Arsenal was doomed, having sold almost all their attacking forward players to rival clubs, there was indeed a much needed lift and rejuvenation in the dressing room when Aubameyang arrived and Ozil extended.

And suddenly we were watching the forgotten quality of the Arsenal in the game against Everton. Suddenly everybody wants to get on the scoresheet, almost as though they want to impress Aubameyang. When you have somebody of a great calibre in the dressing room, you naturally feel the need to step up your game and save your own face. LOL. And well, it was also not unlike a form of gratification. Like saying, “We promise you won’t regret signing for us.”

What I hope that Mertesacker and Koscielny would instill in the dressing room is the belief in themselves, in their own qualities. In the knowledge that the success of the team does not rely solely on an individual’s qualities but on the harmonisation of many. Also a wake-up call that everybody is dispensable. You may be great and you may leave but there may always be someone greater than you taking your place. What exactly is the legacy you would like to leave behind?

However, if we were to recall, Ozil was in a similar situation to Aubameyang. The media were not very friendly towards him, especially during his transfer. Aubameyang who is currently surrounded by so many controversies, may be an unwitting replica of Ozil in time to come. I think we all still remember the time when Ozil did not applaud the away fans during a huge defeat and Mertesacker shouted at him. Recently, I discovered that Ozil shouted at Sanchez for not doing so. So hopefully, Aubameyang would calm down and settle down at Arsenal and London as much as Ozil did. I think Ozil has improved and matured remarkably. Even his English is filled with banter now!

As for Sanchez, I don’t think he quite settled as much as the rest did…and I don’t find him to be confident in his English! Hahaha! But whatever, he’s on another team now and scoring. Good for him. I’ll just enjoy the amazing link play that is signature of the Arsenal way, happy that my main man has extended his contract, and even happier to watch someone who closely resembled Thierry Henry in his playing style. I seriously got goosebumps watching the Everton match live. Although offside, that Auba goal was just…there was just something Henry-like in it.

And I think everyone felt it.

Up the Gunnners!

Ozil’s ENGLISH! HEHEHE.

And Allah is Always Fair. – MM

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