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July 2021

The Per-factor

By Walter Broeckx

With Arsenal bringing in a real world class player to the Emirates in a record transfer we might look at a few things that might have helped this transfer taking place.  It seems that PSG also was after Özil and even offered higher wages than us. But Özil chose us over the money. Something that makes him even more likeable of course.

In his own statements he said and I quote: “I am thrilled to be joining a club of the stature of Arsenal and am looking forward to playing in the Premier League. It will be great for my own personal development as a player and I am particularly looking forward to working with Arsène Wenger”.

I think this is almost the same with every transfer we have done over the last seasons. They all mention that one of the reasons they picked Arsenal over another team it has something to do with Wenger. I really wonder if those who want Wenger out realise what an attraction he has been and still is for players who want to get better. Because that is the key word for me. If you see at his track record it is clear to see that a good to great player only benefits from playing for Wenger. He made world best players from Henry, Fabregas, Van Persie and players know that. I could give more names but I think you got the point.

You can also give names of players who didn’t work out. But then you have to maybe also look at the player himself. Did he listen to the manager? Or was the level too high to reach? It is not because the potential being there that it will work out for sure.

And if you do want to know what it could be like when Wenger leaves us you can look at Manchester United. They bid for every big player that moved (or didn’t move) this summer and at the end of the day in the closing minutes they finally got Fellaini. And that is it really. With Ferguson gone the attraction to join United has dropped at an insane speed. This could happen to us also. So be careful what you wish for.

Another thing we should keep in mind with this transfer is the fact that Özil is not walking in in  a complete strange team. When Özil played for Werder Bremen in his early Bundesliga days he had a big teammate. It was Per Mertesacker who could follow the rise of Özil from close distance. And together they played for the German national team. So our Big Friendly (we will keep it clean) German knows Özil very well.

And just as with Podolski who admitted having talked a lot with Per about Arsenal before deciding to move to us, I can imagine that Özil will have talked about Arsenal with Per before he decided to join us. And with Per being a boy hood Arsenal fan it is easy to understand that he will have done his best to tell nothing but good about Arsenal.

I must say that I was thrilled when we signed Mertesacker because I rated him highly as a defender in the Bundesliga and I think since then he also has shut up the doubters and the moaners and showed them what a good defender he is. And what a great person he is.  He is an impressive figure on and off the field (I would have to really look up to him) and being the fine collector at Arsenal shows that he as a big role to play in the squad. And now in the absence of Vermaelen and Arteta him being captain also shows that Wenger really rates his big central defender.

I also noticed that he does all he can to link the players and the fans. He is usually one of those who really wants to interact with the crowd after the game and I have seen him gesture to his team mates to do the same. When he speaks he talks with a rather soft voice and you can see him doing his best to find the right words in English and that it isn’t always easy for him. But the effort he makes is what I like. Germans are (like many Englishman) not that good in foreign languages or seem more afraid to talk another language.  And so he looks hesitant a bit when speaking.

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But I think in private he is one of the more influential players in the squad the last months. Last season I noticed him becoming more vocal in the run in of the season. Shouting at players, pointing at them where to go and what to do. He became the organiser of the defence. With the captains arm band now being handed over for the moment he looks even more the guy they look up to. Not for his playing skills but for his calming influence and the fact that whatever happens he seems cool and relax and has that: we will get over it attitude. Dare I say the German attitude?

We will probably never know the Per-factor of Özil coming to Arsenal. But things will be revealed after a while in interviews and the we might find out that Per Mertesacker is not only a big player on the field, but also a big player outside the field for Arsenal.

With now 3 full German internationals at the club, 2/3 French internationals and maybe in short time a 4th, 2 Spanish internationals and 1 Spanish forgotten international, and the British core with Theo, Jack, Aaron, Kieran and The Ox I think we are getting to an almost ideal mix in our team.  We have something of the better countries in European football at our club. And if we can get that coming together we might get some nice surprises this season.

And finally let me point at these important words from Per after the win against Tottenham:

“You heard some things from the stand during the Villa game that we should spend money,” he said. “But [on Sunday] everybody was calm and just encouraged the team to fight.

“We played well and that’s always the best answer to the rumours and the criticism. We just kept clam and did our best.

And then tell me again that all that negativism in the stadium doesn’t affect the players….

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33 comments to The Per-factor

  • mart

    Well put Walter spot on!

  • Stonroy

    I think our biggest problem with Wenger is not his talent as a manager and teacher but more the fact that he has too much control at Arsenal. There is no reason we shouldn’t have bought a striker in this window…no reason but Wenger has his value on everyone. Now this doesn’t take away from him as a coach but he is FAR from perfect.

  • Legolas


  • colario

    The ‘Optimistic Arsenal’ headline: ‘Smelly totts sell to champions league club. Arsenal buy form champions league club.’

    The ‘Pessimistic Arsenal’ headline: ‘Arsenal donate £42.5 million to a champions league club welfare fund. Arsenal indirectly donate £42.5 to smelly totts nappy fund.’

    On a serious note up till this last TW all our critics were singing the mantra ‘Arsenal are a selling club!’. They can’t sing that any more unless they want to be laughed at.

    Its time they woke up to the fact that the difference between spuds and us is that spuds sell or lose players to champions league clubs like us and we buy who we want in the champions league.

  • Lobster

    A more positive vibe at the Emirates, which I hope will be the case after the özil signing, will do us a world of good.
    We had championship-winning away form last season, yet we dropped a lot of points at home due to reasons we will know a bit better after the end of this season.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    We won’t have any problems attracting a top striker in one of the next two transfer windows and assuming he stays fit Giroud will be a very good ‘punt’ for the Golden Boot award this year. I’m just gutted that a family commitment means that I can’t be at the Stoke game!

  • Rang

    Yes Fergie’s gone and United’s no longer that attractive for big names but don’t you think the matter lies on other fact as well? Had it been other top manager replacing him instead of Moyes, thing would be very different.

    The main reason Ozil is here is not because Wenger. Let’s face the truth. Wenger was here all the time but we’re not that hot among world class players. This time we have Ozil simply because we are willing to pay his worth. We haven’t done that for a mighty long time. Wenger has a very big role behind it.

  • Stonroy,

    Yeah, the article is about the PERFECTION of Arsene Wenger.

  • NW

    Wenger is good at developing the career of players and reviving t their careers. No doubt about that.

    In a way, the team can suffer because it takes time on and off the pitch and wage to give them trainning and experience.

    Think about Ramsey and RVP and more who’s written off after injuries.

    Some players thank him verbally, others thank him with action, whatever it is I think fewer players have bad words about him than other players to their managers.

    It is interesting for the cases of young players who develop under Wenger though. They grow up under him, become a star and leave. On the other hand, other more experienced players come in when their career seem to hit the bloc and then starts going forward again at Arsenal.

    May be its just the way it is these days. Players change team at least once or twice in their career. No one stays forever so if Arsenal developed someone, he will leave someday. Some experienced players with other skills transfer into the team and they reach another level.

    That is the way it is. Its disappointing to see people like RVP go but that’s just the way it is. What is good/ bad about each transfer is the way it plays out, the amout of money brouhgt in, and whether the player is replaced.

  • nicky

    Can’t agree with you, I’m afraid. The last thing you need in a football team is cabinet government.
    In any case I don’t believe Wenger is the control freak you think he is.
    On tactics, selection etc he will no doubt draw on the advice of Steve Bould and others but at the end of the day
    the final decision must be down to the chief coach….Arsene

  • americangooner

    Wrong walter! it wasn’t Per or AW or Poldi that persuaded Ozil to come to arsenal. It was the ‘spend fecking money brigade’. They were tirelessly chanting in the Emirates and maybe outside too. This made wenger realize fans weren’t happy. And so an spark went in his brain and suddenly the ‘idiot’ became a ‘genius’ and signed Ozil. This made the ‘spend brigade’ happy but then came the ‘squad depth brigade’ to continue to moan. passing the baton.

  • Jax

    Apparently Per did a bit of a sales pitch to Ozil, but Arsene also spoke directly to him and in German. Can’t failed to have been impressed.

  • Mick

    Explain to us exactly how much control does Wenger have? In which areas of the running of the club? Do you have some inside knowledge of how this control manifests itself for better or worse?
    Or are you just repeating a well worn cliche you got from the media.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Can you imagine Moyes picking up the phone to Özil and speaking with him? I think Özil can speak German, Turkish and Spanish but doubt he knows much English yet. Poldi will teach him I think. A HA. 😉

    But having a French manager of an English team picking up the phone and talking with you in German gives you a good feeling as a player.

  • The font

    In all the rubbish that is written your assumption of the crowd persuading. Wenger to buy is the most outrageous statement I have ever witnessed now put your school uniform on and run off to school

  • The font,

    That was clearly a sarcastic comment from americangooner. You are on the same page.

  • The font

    Apart from having Walcott giroud. Sanogo. Podolski akpom bendtner who all can play. Centre forward we now have ozil. The best playmaker. In the world wenger tried to sign Suarez ba. But it did not come off. People say sanogo is not ready. This experts have seen two cameos from the lad yet suddenly. It’s obvious . He is not ready this same people had never heard of him 6 weeks ago. But after watching him for a few minutes everyone is qualified to judge I challenge. Anyone who is still. Unhappy about the way things are going at arsenal . best playmaker in the world . Beating spuds
    Ramsey’s form. Having jack. Back. Kos the most coveted. Centre back. Out there . Giroud scoring a goal a game. Cazorla. On fire. Chezzer making world class saves and lets not mention zelalem

  • The font

    Sorry americangooner
    Not up to speed today still celebrating ozil

  • Sam

    Revenge is dish better served cold. Wenger took revenge on RM for taking Anelka from us. Sweet.

  • Nathan

    It makes me laugh that fans are still criticising wenger, come on really all season we’ve asked for a big name and now Ozil is here. Vivlano is a great signing who will push for the No.1 spot, flamini may not be the greatest holding midfielder but he help us win the league and he was a Major part of the 06 team that got to the champions league final who played a left back, an as for as far as our home form last year well maybe that was down to us as fans booing and moaning instead of showing faith in a talented squad

  • colario

    Back in history when it was announced that Arsenal had appointed Arsene Wenger all the ‘AAA’ experts including a certain Arsenal player were shouting derisively ‘Arsene who?’

    Why was he appointed how? What was the remit given to him?

    We only know what we were told. Basically he was a successful manager in Europe and almost without saying to bring success to the club not only in England but in Europe.

    Was he directly told to bring in the best players in Europe to the club? We don’t know. We can be certain he would have been told that money would be found to buy player, for this is the Arsenal policy as with most clubs.

    In appointing Arsene as our European manager Arsenal got a bonus for what other manager can phone a player and speak to him in any one of German, French, Italian or Spanish and English? Yet if you were to believe the AAA brigade and their followers/believers you would think that Arsene is the worst manager in Europe and in the history of Arsenal.

    From wiki: ‘Wenger is fluent in French, German and English and speaks Italian, Spanish and Japanese’.

  • Stuart

    I really hope the fans get behind the team this season. We won games when the stadium was quieter due to the boo boys staying away, then they came back the next week because we won and they boo’d again at the slightest error / hicup and it affected our performance.

    They away support is second to none but many of the home support need to take a long hard look at themselves.

  • sharpshooter

    Per and Arteta were some of the best buys AW ever did for Arsenal. Both are composed, calm, experienced, professional and leaders on the pitch. And BFG is an extraordinary intelligent defender. I can’t remember a single time when he made a nasty foul. And as a central defender who’s not very mobile or speedy and, unbelievably, is not very good in the air, he manages to compensate all those minuses with excellent positioning and a very smart play.
    Who says AW doesn’t know how to pick defenders?

  • sharpshooter

    And, btw, I believe that Mr. Sanogo will surprise a lot of people big time this season. Remember, when AW buys an unknown guy who’s 20 years old, the player is generally a very good buy. All I hope is AAA brigade won’t begin to boo him or something similar if the guy has a bad game.

  • Nathan

    Sharpshooter and staurt
    Unfortunately the fans who boo, are not real fans and they have nothing better to do than boo the players, people forget the good that wenger has done for us, it is unimaginable to picture anyone else leading arsenal yes we’ve had a trophy drought but wenger has made sure arsenal will survive as a club in a time where bad business cost history when you look at rangers football club they lost their history, the good thing is spurs may have closed the gap but I can’t wait for them to build there new stadium, try and keep hold of there players and finishing in the champions league spot which they can’t do anyway IN WENGER WE TRUST COYG

  • para

    Our team are getting back our injured players soon and the squad will be nearly complete again. Our midfield will be the best, some people call Arsenal a team of midfield players, but i think Jack needs to be nurtured a little more right now, else he is in danger of trying too hard too early to regain his performance. I am interested to see how we now play with the different options we now have, finally Arsenal are on the next step of our progress back to being the great Arsenal.
    One of the things i’m looking forward to is getting revenge on Manu. We owe them a humiliation and i want it to be a good one. I have been waiting patiently(some may call me sad) that this may come and have been waiting for SAF to retire.

  • Ben L

    I watched the Wenger interview again after the Spuds game and did anyone notice his little smirk when he replied about revealing a signing?

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Oliver Bierhoff is claiming he influenced the transfer of both Poldolski and Özil (thank dog this is a Mac) to Arsenal.
    As an aside, Podolski eh? Bayern fans made all sorts of insulting comments about him when he signed for us (thick/lazy being some of the more repeatable ones). Bitte schöne!

  • bob

    Found this about the Spuds being the gift that keeps on giving (to us) most interesting (from the She Wore a Yellow Ribbon blog today): “How does this benefit Arsenal? Florentino Perez has a great admiration for Wenger who he has tried to pry away from Arsenal three times in the last decade. This admiration helped lead him to make a promise that he would not accept any other offers for Özil after problems arose into the separate deals for Higuain and Di Maria. Perez is a man that likes to deal with the familiar; he would rather lose money and maintain an outward appearance of grace than to sully himself, his club and his reputation over money. Levy’s actions on the Bale deal, then his actions on deadline day trying to stop the Özil deal and the subsequent press clippings regarding both has sat badly with Perez I’m told. That admiration for Arsenal and Arsene in particular along with Özil being at the club and the class shown by Arsenal to keep things quiet can and will now lead to similar transfer opportunities coming out of the Bernabeu… With the class shown by Arsenal in this situation and the seemingly new willingness to spend on top talent; Arsenal are now on the inside looking out – at last. Thanks Levy, you did Arsenal a huge favor. Again.”

  • bob

    “Our team are getting back our injured players soon”
    Sounds comforting, but c’mon, how soon (Podolski being the key piece right now) would you say? It alarms me.
    Then again, because of Ozil, the next transfer window may see the further benefits of our attracting the additional quality striker to complete this phase of the makeover. It will cost, but the money is there (if only from all the house-clearing that’s been accomplished, and more).

  • Mandy Dodd

    Per is a superb player, but like Arteta, transcends just his playing abilities for our club. Also heard Arteta was active in trying to help get Suarez.
    But in addition to Per, Wenger, Gazidis and probably Kronke, we must thank Levy and Spurs for this amazing aquisition, without their so called special relationship with Real, this may never have happened

  • colario

    After enduring all the vitriol from our loyal AAA supporters and others for our lack of activity in the TW we knock out, hit them for six in the last hours of the TW.

    Spuds having sold their best player to Madrid we then buy from Madrid their best midfielder and key German international with a record of destroying England and he is the same age as Bale!

    Reports are that no one in Spain or Germany can believe that RLM have been so stupid as to let him go.

    Who needs ‘Directors of Football’ when you have Arsene as manager.

    Arsene was once asked if he would accept a director of football at Arsenal. Arsene replied ‘Yes of course I would, but he would have to do as I told him!’ I can hear the great Bill Shankly laughing at that one.

    The only bit of an ouch is the fact the we have indirectly donated £42.3 to the totties nappy fund.

  • Rufusstan

    If the rumours are true. While Wenger was doing his job in the Emirates, Ivan was doing his by Negotiating with Perez in Madrid, and Dick Law was doing his by getting things sorted with Özil’s agent/dad.

    Bit of a team effort as far as I can see. (if you add in Arsene’s phone call).

    As far as funding the neighbours: they’ve spent it, we’ve seen it, not particularly impressed.