03 October 2013

Daily Links: The Basking in the Glow edition

What a difference six weeks makes...

Arsène Wenger praises ‘outstanding’ Mesut Özil as Arsenal beat Napoli 2-0 telegraph.co.uk The Arsenal manager lavishes praise on his team, in particular record signing Mesut Özil, after the Gunners beat Rafa Benitez’s Napoli 2-0 in their Champions League
The new Bergkamp?
(Photo courtesy Hasegawa Takashi)
After 10 consecutive wins in all competitions, Arsenal are looking much better than they did in mid-August. The beginning of October finds the Club top of the Premier League and in charge of their Champions League group, and the plaudits are coming in from far and wide. In researching today's links, I found many recent articles, posted in the aftermath of the Napoli win, praising both Arsene Wenger and Mesut Özil. Things are looking good now, though with a tough November coming up, the Club will be looking to continue its form through October and hoping that key injured players will return soon. Until then, let's just bask in the glow, and enjoy the praise of journalists who were so eager to write us off at the start of the season.

Elsewhere, the rest of the Champions League teams played yesterday. Manchester United continued their poor form as they drew 1-1 with Shakhtar Donetsk (though that is a tough place to visit), and Manchester City once again experienced defeat in the CL as Bayern Munich took them apart at the Etihad stadium with a dominating 3-1 victory. Of the other big name teams, Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain both had convincing home wins. There's some kind of soccer being played today, featuring Eastern European teams whose names I won't even attempt to spell and some team from deepest, darkest Middlesex.

The Club are set to extend Arsene Wenger's reign beyond the end of this season - when his current contract expires - by offering him a new 3-year deal worth £8million per season. (Daily Mail)

Le Prof may look to add another German to the ranks in January as Arsenal continue to be linked to Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund. However, Dortmund claim he is very happy there, and any bid would likely face competition from Manchester City. (The Daily Star)

Mesut Özil deserves all the praise coming his way. He is clearly a world-class player and has given Arsenal a massive boost on the pitch. This writer breaks down 5 key components of der Rabe's* game, while another wonders whether Özil could be the new Dennis Bergkamp. (The Guardian)

This writer is getting slightly ahead of himself, but he too is encouraged by Arsenal's recent form and the acquisition and performances of Özil. (The Mirror)

Former goalkeeping coach Bob Wilson has noted that Arsene Wenger seems a lot more relaxed after this run of form. Wilson can see "relaxation in every muscle" of le Prof's face after each win. (The Telegraph)

Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph has compiled a list of Arsene's top 10 signings. Three guesses as to who is number one... (The Telegraph)

Jurgen Klopp will watch his side from the stands when they visit Arsenal after UEFA extended his one-match ban. The Borussia Dortmund manager was dismissed during their defeat to Napoli in the first round of CL fixtures. (BBC Sport)

Former Arsenal youth player Rene Steer has made a name for himself at St Neots. The defender scored what can only be described as an absolute screamer in an FA Cup 2nd qualifying round replay. Despite scoring what may well end up being the goal of the competition, Steer couldn't help his side win the match. (The Metro)

The FA and London Underground are celebrating their shared 150th anniversaries this year, and have come together to re-imagine the Tube Map. The stations have been replaced by player names and the lines tie together players in a theme, like "Goalkeepers" or "Greats of the World Cup". (The FA)

After watching Napoli take to the pitch in a flattering camo ensemble, The Telegraph has put together a list of the worst kits of the 2013-14 season. To no-one's surprise, it includes Liverpool's away and third kits. (The Telegraph)

*Özil's nickname include "der Rabe", (The Raven), the German Messi, the German Zidane, and for some reason, he was supposedly called "Nemo" at Real Madrid.

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