Arsenal under Arsene Wenger for so long had been accused of being non-English and derided for the paucity of English players in the squad.It’s fair to say that we had an overwhelming French influence Henry, Petit, Viera, Pires and Arsene himself but I believe the idea behind that was the success of the French national team in the major competitions in the late 90’s and Euro 00 and also Wenger knew the French market first hand something which his contemporaries had little or no knowledge of.
By the late 00’s a new style that was so successfully actualized by Spain and Barcelona revolutionised football-tiki taka, losing the ball is a cardinal sin in this style.Wenger built a team programmed to play tiki taka and unsurprisingly Cesc Fabregas, a Spaniard was at the centre of it all. The team composed of technically gifted, nimble midfielders who were comfortable with the ball and had excellent control. In full flow the football was a beauty to behold but more often than not it ended up with one pass to many that frustrated the supporters.The tiki taka football ultimately proved futile and Arsenal’s landscape changed after the departure of El Capitan Fabregas.
Last season Bayern Munich, the team that wins its league by picking the best players from its opponents brought Barcelona crashing down to earth humiliating them 0-7 over two legs and signalled the fall of tiki taka.
Arsenal increasingly started to buy German players and playing a style you would closely associate with Germany- winning efficiently. Wenger recently spoke of the quality being produced in Germany and he is right, they are the happening team at the moment in terms of producing young players. Mertesacker, Poldi, Ozil all bring the Germanness to the side which has helped us along with the Gallic flair, Spanish technique and the English spirit.
Arsenal’s recently adopted style has suited them well in their title charge – winning without expending too much energy. This Arsenal team can also boast of the steely resolve that was so sorely missing in the previous sides. A piece of silverware is what is required and I believe in this Teutonic Arsenal. COYG