Arsenal benefit from the Özil factor
Mesut Özil's signing has had a positive psychological impact on Arsenal
Arsenal are in top form this season, as shown from their position at the top of the Premier League table, leading the way with 15 points from their first six games.
Their five Premier League wins have followed an unexpected and disappointing first day defeat to Aston Villa and have shown form that has miraculously appeared.
This has left many Arsenal fans confused, as the core team is hardly any different to last season, with the same defence and largely the same midfield as in last season’s campaign, when they finished in fourth place, a solitary point above their arch-rivals Tottenham.
Mesut Ozil’s signing, though, may have more to do with this transformation than is evident upon face value. In previous seasons, there have been integral players leaving Arsenal - the latest example being Robin van Persie - meaning that the emphasis has been on Arsenal having a weakened team.
The signing of Ozil, however, has been perceived in the media as positive and a world class signing, one that the football world had been hounding Wenger to make for several seasons.
Therefore, the Arsenal players have received a huge deal of confidence, as this positive exposure has made them believe that far from being a weak side; they are a side that can compete and win titles.
Thus, they are playing this way and where as in previous seasons younger players have looked lost and inexperienced at times, they are now fired up for the battle and allowing their ability to come to fruition, as they believe themselves to be a real force.
Furthermore, the psychological impact of Mathieu Flamini, who was part of the Arsenal team who won the FA Cup in the 2004/05 season, cannot be undervalued.
His experience of being part of a successful team can be imparted on the squad and as a leader, he has the same impact, encouraging the team to believe in themselves, something that at times over the past few seasons, Arsenal teams haven’t done.
As such, it appears that far from being a physical change within the Arsenal squad, it is a psychological change that has allowed the physical, on the pitch performances to improve drastically. It just illustrates that an increase in confidence can totally transform a team’s fortunes.
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