Welcome to Monday on TremendArse. Please stay a while. Have a read of some of my earlier posts and feel free to share this blog with as many people as you like. Honestly, be my guest. I won’t mind. My server can cope.
As promised, I have more today from Jens Lehmann who has been speaking to The Sun recently. The 45 year old expressed his disbelief at Arsenal’s 11 year Premier League title drought, suggesting the lack of experience in our squads since 2004 is the major contributory factor for our famine.
I cannot believe it has been eleven years now since the club won the Premier League. We had another two chances to win it when I was still playing there but they then got rid of all the older guys along with that dressing-room experience and winning mentality.
But he feels that oversight – or financially-forced necessity, depending on your reading of that period – can now be corrected:
With someone in there like Petr, with Per Mertesacker now as captain, they can re-establish this winning attitude and mentality.
Jens also had a word or two of advice for Wojciech Szczesny, saying:
It’s disappointing when you lose your place. With Wojciech, if you want to become number one again, you have to work really hard. You have to know that nothing else counts apart from performing hard on the training pitch and in games.
And finally, he praised his compatriot Mesut Ozil whilst challenging him to stamp his authority on the ‘big’ games. He said:
Everyone knows he can be a fantastic player. But you need to be a fantastic player in the big games. You don’t need to be a fantastic player in the small games and mediocre player for the big games. He can definitely do that but now he must prove it. You need to know how to think and how to programme yourself. Of course he can improve. You can’t get better on the day that you retire from football, but you can every day before that.
I have to say I think that is a little harsh on Ozil. I don’t think anyone could ever call Mesut ‘mediocre’, and although he may have been guilty at times in his debut season of being under-prepared for the more physical side of Premier League football, he worked on that weakness during a lengthy injury spell in his second season. He came back in January 2015 noticeably more muscular, with a new-found steel to add to his silk.
He’s no longer bullied out of possession as he was in 2013-14 and even his stamina seems to have gone up a notch or two. Arsene Wenger said he wouldn’t bet against Ozil being voted the Premier League Player of the Year before last season began, but his inevitable post World Cup hangover combined with injury put paid to that suggestion very early on. Next season however, if Ozil can stay fit for the duration, the boss may not be so far wide of the mark.
Particularly if the team as a whole are getting the right results – something Hector Bellerin is very confident of. Speaking to Arsenal Player, the right-back said:
I’m really, really excited for the new season. The way we finished this season, the team have really come together and we’ve had some great performances, especially since the New Year. The team really feel like we can beat any team in the world with the performances we’ve had, so we’re all really, really excited to hopefully start the season with the right mindset and with the right results. Hopefully by the end of next season we can win some more trophies. We need to start with the confidence that we finished this season with. That’s going to important for us, to keep pushing and start where we left off at the end of last season.
And that has to be the hope and the aim – to start the new season in the same manner we ended the last, outclassing Aston Villa in the FA Cup Final. Even without Alexis Sanchez, who will miss the opening weeks of the campaign, we have the players to make that happen.
And that’s all for another day.