Who Has Been Arsenal’s Best Player Over The Last 10 Years? Vote Here!

I was having a debate with a friend and fellow Arsenal supporter about who has been Arsenal’s best player over the last 10 years. Several names came up, and we agreed that the shortlist would include:

  • Alexis Sanchez
  • Theo Walcott
  • Cesc Fabregas
  • Aaron Ramsey
  • Robin Van Persie
  • Jack Wilshere
  • Andrei Arshavin
  • Laurent Koscielny
  • Olivier Giroud
  • Santi Cazorla
  • Mesut Özil
  • Hector Bellerin
  • Pierre Emerick Aubameyang

I argued that Alexis Sanchez was the best Arsenal player we’ve had in the last 10 years – simply because he the closest thing we’ve had to a world class player in that time. He scored goals that no-one else could score, his desire and determination was something else and his overall play was unreal – we talk about Messi and Ronaldo as players who are from another planet, but I tell you what, Alexis Sanchez’s level was close to those two.

He was that good.

My friend however said that the best player we’ve had in the last decade was Cesc Fabregas. He believed that in terms of having the most impact and doing most for the team, our former captain edges it.

Anyway, below are a couple of videos to look through, with the players best goals, skills, etc. so take a look at those first and once you’ve decided, cast your vote and thoughts below!

Alexis Sanchez

Cesc Fabregas

The Vote

Remember, when casting your vote below you’re not voting for the player who has done the most for the club, but for the player who was the best in terms of outright quality, talent, ability and class!

survey software

What Should We Do With Mesut Özil? Cast Your Vote Here!

There is no player in the Arsenal squad that divides opinion more than Mesut Özil.

Some people think he’s lazy, others think he’s under appreciated – it’s hard to know what to think of him.

On one hand he is capable of doing things no-one else can do with a football – and that is no exaggeration. I can’t think of anyone else who can see a pass like this guy. In terms of vision, execution and delivery he is a one off. He is consistently top of all the assist leader boards, and has been for the last few seasons. He was a massive part of Germany winning the World Cup in 2014 and has won honours with Real Madrid and Arsenal. On his day, he is unplayable.

But on the other he is frustrating. We all know he is capable of 10 out of 10 performances but they don’t come often enough. The problem is he isn’t like Messi, Ronaldo or even Neymar – players who earn huge money but can in the blink of an eye pull off something special – score from a free-kick, lash one in from 30 yards, take on 3/4 players and score – basically inspire the team when the going gets tough. If Arsenal are having a bad day at the office, then so is Özil.

The problem now is Emery is (quite rightly) a manager who expects certain things from his players. If we want to support the new manager and want the club to move forwards then the players have to adapt. We’ve seen a marked improvement from players like Granit Xhaka, Hector Bellerin, Alex Iwobi and others, yet some like Özil have been left behind.

The other big problem is the size of Özil’s wage packet. He’s on superstar money and according to various sources the second highest paid player in the Premier League.

List of highest paid players in the Premier League:

1. Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United) – £500,000 a week
2. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) – £350,000 a week
3. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) – £290,000 a week
4. Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City) – £260,000 a week
5. Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) – £250,000 a week
6. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) – £220,000 a week
7. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) – £200,000 a week
= Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) – £200,000 a week
= David de Gea (Manchester United) – £200,000 a week
= Pierre Emerick Aubameyang  (Arsenal) – £200,000 a week
= Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – £200,000 a week
= Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) – £200,000 a week

As you can see Manchester United, unsurprisingly, have some mega stars on their books, which makes sense as they are constantly at the top of the richest football clubs in the world. City have a few names in there, which also doesn’t surprise anyone and we also have Aubameyang on high wages, as he was cheap from Dortmund and to his credit, he keeps scoring goals.

But to have Mesut Özil as the second highest earner in the entire league is just ludicrous! And he’d be the highest earner if we didn’t balls up the whole Alexis Sanchez situation and kept him at the club (which for the record, we should have).

Arsene Wenger did many great things at Arsenal but giving Özil a truly astonishing pay rise was crazy. The money would have been far better spent trying to keep Alexis Sanchez (who was our best player by a mile) as well as trying to hold on to Aaron Ramsey.

The issue now is finding another club who would be stupid enough to pay Özil that kind of money. The only way Arsenal could find a willing buyer would be to drastically reduce the fee for the player – so a footballer who is probably worth around £45 million in the current climate is probably only worth around £20 million now, and that’s if we’re lucky.

But what do you think we should do with Özil? Keep him? Sell him in the summer? Sell him now? 

Cast your vote below and leave your thoughts in the comments section!

Premier League – Key Transfers

With the television deals continuing to bolster the spending of many Premier league sides it will come as no surprise that the league spending has long surpassed the £1 billion mark. Most of the top sides have been looking to invest in top talent as they not only push for Champions league football but for the Premier league title itself. It is certainly a time of transition for Arsenal as Unai Emery takes over the reins following the retirement of Wenger after 22 years in charge of the North London club.

Emery has been busy looking to improve the squad ahead of an important season and one of those players he has brought in is Uruguayan Lucas Torreira. He impressed at the World Cup over the summer and looks just the player Arsenal have been missing for some time. He is a physical defensive midfielder and a very exciting young talent looking to the future. Arsenal will be hoping this change can result in them not only returning to Champions league football but again challenging for the title. So what about some of the other key transfers from the top sides in the league? Check out the infographic below which covers this.

Many of the other sides in the league have also been busy in the transfer market as newly promoted Fulham and Cardiff for example will be pushing to stay up. The latest Premier league relegation odds make Cardiff 4/6 and Fulham 9/5 to head straight back down to the Championship. There is no doubt that excitement is continuing to build amongst fans ahead of the upcoming season.

Infographic - Premier league summer transfers

What Do Mesut Özil’s Germany Statements Mean For Arsenal?

The big news today regarding Arsenal was the lengthy statement from Arsenal’s new number 10, Mesut Özil, in regards to the Germany national team, and how he has been treated since his photograph with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoga at an event in London back in May.

I have to say after reading Mesut Özil’s statements, I didn’t realise the scale of the issue until today. I knew from various Arsenal sources that the photograph was causing problems in Germany but not to the extend of personal threats against him and his family.

Özil’s statements in full can be found on his Facebook and Instagram pages:

Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 20.47.58

He talks about the disgraceful treatment he’s had and essentially the racist attacks he’s had to endure.

The abuse he’s been receiving is clearly unacceptable and a player who (well, I thought) was loved by Germany has had to retire at the age of 29 which is still young in todays game.

My thoughts on this? Well I don’t know enough about it all really. From the skim reading of the comments on social media the whole thing has clearly divided opinion between Germans, Turks and everyone representing in the left and right wing political parties. Politically, I have no idea if it was right or wrong because I don’t know enough about what the Turkish president is all about.

And from a footballing perspective, it’s hard to make a call. Should footballers get involved in politics? It’s certainly a new one as Özil’s case is about Germany and Turkey, so there is obviously conflict there. In England, we’ve seen the England squads line up for a photo opportunity with whoever was Prime Minister at the time and no-one batted an eye-lid, and although thats obviously in a different context it’s the only thing we can compare it to.

I don’t know. In a world where (some) footballers live for social media, the fact this photo happened doesn’t surprise me, but what does surprise me a little is that footballers have such large entourages surrounding them that someone (who certainly knows more about German politics that I do) didn’t tell Özil it might not be the best idea.

For Arsenal fans, you’re left wondering where this leaves us really. He no longer plays for the German national team and as a man who divides the Arsenal support, he will be under the limelight even more so now.

From the social media posts Arsenal send out of Mesut Özil and related topics, there is clearly a large Germany and Muslim fanbase who follow Özil and his performances at Arsenal. Will this be intensified further? Or will Arsenal fans rally round and support the young German?

The next few weeks will be interesting now as the focus was on Özil and the German national side, but now it will be firmly on Arsenal Football Club.

Do Arsenal Need Mesut Özil? Should They Sell Him?

Exciting times are ahead for Arsenal – we’ve got a new manager in Unai Emery which is a seismic change after the reign of Arsene Wenger and we’ve also made a lot of signings to boot, with the signings of Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Lucas Torreira and Mattéo Guendouzi who will all add strength and depth to the squad.

With all the new faces coming in, we’ve only really lost 3 players, and even then two of them hardly featured last season. Per Mertesacker has moved into a coaching role at Arsenal, and Santi Cazorla was victim of a horrific injury / surgery scare and has gone back to Spain. Jack Wilshere to West Ham on a free is the only real departure of note so at the moment at least, the squad is a bit heavy on numbers.

So the question is after spending around £67 million on new arrivals, who are we going to see leave? Jack Wilshere has gone for nothing (one of the many failings of the Arsene regime) but the fact is some players will need to be moved on. And a big consideration is how much we can recoup.

And that’s why Mesut Özil’s name pops up. Is he an Unai Emery player? From my limited knowledge of his tactics and style of play with Sevilla and PSG, I had the impression he liked teams that pressed with intensity and purpose, and sadly Özil is a luxury player in that regard.

We have Lacazette and Aubameyang who look like they might start together, and the bottom line is that Mkhitaryan is a player with Özil’s vision and passing, but also runs for the team and has more pace and has a better team work ethic – so in that sense Özil is almost surplus to requirements.

He is also a player who would still command a decent price, so would make the Arsenal accountants happy.

So what are your thoughts? Should we cut Mesut Özil loose and get some money back? Or do you think he has a place in this Arsenal team and would be a key to any future success?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!