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The Ox: Team Spirit Can Lead Us To The Title

I`m not sure how long it`s been since Arsenal last won a trophy, because nobody ever divulges that sort of information, but it must have been a year or two.

However there appears to be plenty of belief in the squad that this year we can finally break our very large duck.

Last week I predicted that our team spirit and bond created by our players having played with each other for a good long while would enable us to emerge victorious over the old enemies £110M squad, and so it came to pass, and after going on a run at the end of last season usually reserve only for champions elect, belief is high in the camp this season.

Especially after the signing of Mesut Ozil.

The Ox in particular thinks we can do great things.
"We've been contenders ever since I came to Arsenal. Or at least that's the feeling in the squad. We really think we can take the title."

'Obviously it hasn't happened in recent seasons. But in the form we showed at the end of last season, and - when I was watching from the sidelines - in the spirit we've shown at the start of this, in the derby, everyone was fighting for each other."

'That team spirit, you can't buy it. That, along with our manager and the signings, I'm full of optimism that this season can be a good one."
'We think we can win the title. Just like we believe we can win every competition we're in. If you don't believe that, then you don't deserve to be at Arsenal.'



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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday September 7 2013

Time: 11:11AM

Your Comments

It's good to see this belief from the boys. I'm not sure if we currently have the talent to win the league (though I'm of the opinion that our current squad (when fit) is better than the United squad that won the league last year) this season, but one thing is certain, you can't win the title without the belief or team spirit.
Rocky7
Or as Arsene says (like life of Brian) OOOoooooh yes he has a lot of Spiwit the little wapscallion.
Bradysleftpeg
It's good that they can apparently retain a positive spirit within the squad and the club itself. At times there seems to be almost unrelenting negativity outside.
Amos.
This window was nearly the death of us R7. The spirit and anticipation coming from Arsenal since the signing of Özil has been an amazing transformation. Just shows what a decent signing can do.
Bradysleftpeg
I think most of the negativity came from the fact that we knew we were close to being a great team, but lost a little faith due to the way some of our targets evaded capture. The signing of Özil will go a long way to appease the fans and reassure us that we are finally coming out of the wilderness.
Bradysleftpeg
Everyone must have hangovers like mine as no-one seemed to notice the glaring spelling error in the article title. Team "Sprit" indeed.
Rocky7
I've seen claims that Mesut replaces Cesc but I hope it doesn't seem negative to point out that we didn't win anything with Cesc. Signing Ozil was among the best possible of choices to meet our most pressing need for another creative midfielder but the signings of last year and the year before along with the talent we are nurturing will be maybe more important if we are win anything. No matter how talented the idea that one signing changes that much is probably going to have to meet with the reality before too long.
Amos.
There is actually a lot to be said for a collective belief, both from the fan base and players. Look at all those years Man Utd scored late goals ... it's not something you practise, it's because after a few late goals they would always believe they would get them, and then other teams started to believe it too, and so it would come to pass. It was the same with us (but negatively) for a while with conceding late goals a few years ago, we drew so many games that way. Once everyone believes something it generally happens.

Whether or not Ozil brings enough talent to the team by himself to give us a trophy is not something we can know, but he our players believe it, our fans believe it and then other teams start to believe it, we've got a fantastic chance of making it happen.
Rocky7
Of course it's just as important to have the talent, but as I said previously, you can have all the talent in the world, but you won't win anything if you don't believe you can.
Rocky7
I can agree wholeheartedly with the power of belief. Positivity has always been a key component of success in many fields. How many so-so results might it take before we hear condemnations of our failure to sign a 20 goal a season striker, a ball winning midfielder or dominant centre back? But I probably need to take a more positive view of some of our fanbase. :)
Amos.
Ha, very true Amos. It's said that we only see what we want to see, just as those tend to focus on the negative things mainly notice the bad things that happen, more positive people tend to focus mainly on the positive aspects ... which is the best thing up to a point, but after that they can become negligent.

Hopefully we can ride this wave of positivity all the way till the end of the season.
Rocky7
Wanting the best is not too bad a trait to have. Waiting for the best is a virtue (cue Amos with wings). I'm guilty of the odd knee jerk because I care. We're all Gunners.... I look forward to the rest of the season with renewed hope and optimism and naturally sharing the ups and downs with you guys over the course of a season. GOYG.
Bradysleftpeg
Grrrrr I hate Saturdays without Arsenal, lousy stupid internationals. The only time I was remotely interested was Italia '90.
Bradysleftpeg
Yeah I agree BLP. There are Gooners who just live to criticise, but I'm certainly not one of them. All my complaints have been made because I care so much about my club. And I make no apologies for being emotionally attached to my club either. Plus I like to think all my moans were based on genuine issues we have every right to be worried about. There are still fans complaining about the signing of Ozil being not what we needed, and that's just moaning for moanings sake.
Rocky7
I actually believe this talk of team spirit - it doesn't seem to be only talk. Having guys like Arteta, Vermaelen, Mertesacker gives a good balance between youth & experience. And I can sense a feeling of togetherness about this particular squad. Hopefully, the team spirit can contribute to a trophy this season.
prits
There is decent chunk of our fan base who are realistic as well - praise the positives and criticise the negatives. Unfortunately, there is so much noise (from both the naysayers and the 'Wenger knows' brigades) that these voices are drowned out. There is not even an acknowledgment that they exist, to the extent that Rocky feels the need to justify times when he raises valid points of criticism.
prits
I hear you Rock I'm not too worried about the lack of a striker just yet as we both subscribe to project GettoJanuary™!
Bradysleftpeg
Everyone wants the best but not all are aware or more accurately I suppose, can agree when we are having the best of what we can be expected to achieve in given circumstances. There've been a lot of positives about the development of the club especially in the 8 barren years - which is the sole basis of the negativity that surrounds the club. The most positive thing about the Ozil signing, apart from the player himself, is that we can do it again, and again and continue doing it while the club continues to be managed as prudently and professionally as it has been. That we were able to sign a 'top, top, top class' player owes something to our track record of consistent CL qualification and that we did not fritter away resources chasing rainbows. We've actually spent less in this transfer window than in the last 2 seasons. The negatives are only that we haven't won any trophies for a few seasons which is what prompts many to see many of the positives as negatives also.
Amos.
Good call Prits. Although from my short term on VA I haven't noticed too much negativity from the posters here though.
Bradysleftpeg
Amos I like the sound of that bit "Again and again". Finally reaping what we have sewn. Sometimes its beneficial to take a step back have a deep breath and count your blessings. IE Wenger still in charge. World class stadium with a squad befitting our ambitions and hopes for the future.
Bradysleftpeg
Prits, you are right that realistic voices are often drowned out but in my view this is largely due to the grievance asymmetry that is usually evident among fans, and for which Amos is drawing attention to here. It is a human trait to place more emphasis on losses (negativity) than gains (positivity) and as a result even the 'realists' are pushed to swing between these two poles. If we have a larger prism through which we view the activities of the club --- especially future prospects --- perhaps we may be able re-balance the pull between negativity and positivity. I have to confess that VA has provided and continue provide an excellent platform for such efforts than any of the sites I visit. Rocky and BLP's posts are testaments to this. It is heartening to hear the acknowledgement that the club is being run well and mistakes by management, so long as they are within margin errors, would be taken in stride.
NYArse
Thanks for the kind words NYArse. You make me want to get on a plane and buy you a beer.
Bradysleftpeg
BLP, a business travel to the home country is in the cards. Would surely take you up on the offer one of these days.
NYArse
You know the last time I was in the US was 1981. I have 2 cousins in Spartenburg SC. I don't know what it is with me, I love to travel and live in different places.
Bradysleftpeg
Whilst continual negativity is a bore and should be discouraged, contemptuous responses by those who would arrogate the monopoly of wisdom to themselves, and who became worse than school yard bullies, is just as condemnable. We are football fans, and that entitles us to extremes that are impossible to rationalize as some demand, and it is extreme myopia, to demand zen like discipline from fans, for most of whom football is essentially an escape from the harsh realities of daily existence. Football's roots have always been populist, and passion has always been its fuel. Passion and reason rarely travels together. The capture of Ozil is fantastic for the team, and I am overjoyed at the sheer quality of the man, I am further heartened by what the signing means, and I am happy, that the job of correcting what has been glaring for some time, has commenced. I am not happy that we have somehow failed to address obvious areas of deficiencies in the team, I hope and pray, that these deficiencies will not come back to bite us in the ass, I speak especially of the striking department, and the missing extra body in defense, and I say that whilst mindful of the dynamics of Flamini's versatility. Ozil's capture enables us to go back out their in January to address the problems from a much stronger negotiating position, lays the foundation for future successes, off and on the pitch, but it shouldn't be held up as evidence of some successful transfer strategy by Wenger and the board. Our recent handling of transfers, have been less than encouraging. And Mesut's signing, cannot paper over that. I know of no other coach I would rather have at the helm of our darling team, and it could very well be, that there are mitigating factors not in the public domain, but I am a football fan, I make my comments as a fan, I have never called for Wenger's sack, few ever have, on this forum, but Wenger must accept the blames for the team's deficiencies, just as he laps up the praises for its successes. Somebody, wake me up after the inter lull, I need to unwrap my Mesut! COYG!
deledudu
http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11670/8911741/ciprian-marica-could-be-set-for-move-to-england-according-to-reports-in-romania Is he any better than Bendtner? I suppose he can play on the wing as well and he would be a low risk signing if it's on a short term deal.
bowiecokemirror
Reason doesn't have to be abandoned if you are passionate about a cause. You would hope that all the players play with both passion and reason. Passion is often confused with emotion. At the same time nobody should expect or wish emotion to be removed from football whether in the joy of celebrating achievements, even if it's as modest as CL qualification, or just giving vent to frustrations. Blowing off steam is perfectly understandable. It's also perfectly understandable for anyone to wish to comment on any misrepresentation or generalised unsubstantiated assertion about any aspect of the club, its officials or players if it appears to be emotionally driven but factually incorrect. Emotion is great, we should all embrace it, but needn't allow it to make us over sensitive if others feel it is blinding us to reason.
Amos.
"In some way, that conversation flicked a switch in me and made me realise what I had lost at Madrid – transparency, trust, respect. Arsene told me exactly how he saw me, how he wanted to use me, what he expected of me. I would have even joined Arsenal for free." Interesting admission from Ozil, and goes to show how vital a role Wenger played in this. Also how important having a vision for the future is for many players.
Wyn Mills
Wyn, I saw those comments earlier. I think this is where we benefited from not having a DOF. With a DOF there can be clashes in vision, with Arsene making all the big decisions there is less likely to be confusion as he decides which players to buy and how to use them. I never felt a DOF was a good idea and this has further reinforced my opinion on the matter.
bowiecokemirror
Watch out for the new round of negative stories....this time about Mesut Ozil. Turns out he would not give us his all because he has a reported weakness for beautiful women and the farther away they are, the better. Plus, Madrid only sold him to us because United was late with their bid for Khedira. Oh, again, Madrid wanted him out, etc. etc.

The media has been so pathetic as every effort over the last week has gone into taking the shine off Arsene's pull and the club's attractiveness to big players; I have seen so many articles trying to "justify" how Arsenal got lucky with getting Ozil, like the club and Manager have never gotten the services of world class players before. I think we should be ready for similar stories, going into the season with Ozil; of course, nothing in these stories that cannot be silenced by one class display after another. I live in hope.
Naijagunner
I made the observation earlier about how the team looks like they do appear to be carried on by a strong bond, developed going into the end of the last season. At this level, there is no limit to how far a team can climb with team spirit; so, if the Ox feels it, long may it continue. I think our lads have been smashing with the way they have acquitted themselves in the face of such negativity in the media and amongst our fans (emotional or passionate?). Our players do read the papers and blogs, listen to all the outcry and you have to admit it takes belief of immense proportions to go into the next game to fight for 3 points. One can only presume Wenger has something to do with that attitude. The signing of good players can only help to increase that level of belief and as soon as more fans key in to it, the boys will find expression in that new groundswell expectation and win trophies again.
Naijagunner
Not sure its that black and white Bowie. Depends on personalties. I think the right kind of individuals working together can sell a joint vision, but its not easy. The chemistry has to be there.
Wyn Mills
And the oracle speaks.
deledudu
i dont think the criticisms leveled at the club for not spending on top quality players over the past 8 years were negative and emotional. in fact the pressure could have served as the catalyst for the signing of ozil. we compliment when the club are doing well and by the same measure, we point to them their weaknesses when we feel they have lost their way. that's because we really care
Joe_@**
Ah the information age.... we'll get done 3-0 at Sunderland now with Ozil giving away 2 penalties.
shewore
 

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