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Hey, morning all. Did you see who won that FIFA Player of the Year thing yesterday? Amazing work, at last big Phil Senderos has got his just reward. I always had faith in him while others dismissed his talents, but the good people at FIFA, the good completely not at all corrupt people, have seen the light.

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Gianni Infantino, a shit Baldwin, Big Phil Senderos, and Paula Abdul at the awards ceremony

Some have suggested that Gianni Infantino, current FIFA President who will make things better and not simply a chip of the old Blatter block in a completely self-serving egomaniacal way, rigged the vote so another bald man might win it, but that’s completely far-fetched. What are you on about?

He then announced a 128 team World Cup which is to be held in Rupert Murdoch’s garden between August 2018 and June 2022. All league football will be put on hold until then, but it’s a move that’s for the good of the game as a whole and definitely not a way for FIFA to rake in even more money which they use to purchase gold ingots.

Seriously though, what a load of old guff these awards are. We’ve already had the France Football one after they broke away from FIFA, now we’ve got the FIFA ones rebranded imaginatively as ‘The Best’ (there’s a marketing agency laughing their coked-up tits off having charged Gianni a consultancy fee of £500,000 to come up with that – “Hey, we even know this Tina Turner song that could be your theme tune!”).

There’ll probably be another one next year sponsored by some gigantic petroleum corporation – The Oily Seabird Pollution Player of the Year – and they’ll get the Rolling Stones to play at it, and the only thing I’ll think of is ‘You fools, didn’t Michael Owen win this award, or one of its ilk, once? How can you expect any of us to lend it any credibility after that?’

Anyway, onto things Arsenal and following up on Mesut Ozil’s comments yesterday, we have a full transcript of his Kicker interview right here. There’s not much more to what he said about his future, but reading the whole thing gives you a greater insight into him as a person.

In this world we live in its easy to be cynical about almost everything that’s said. When a player is in the process of negotiating a new contract then it feels as if every utterance is manoeuvring of some kind, but as I said yesterday I can understand why he, or any player in his position, would seek some clarity over the managerial situation.

It’s also quite interesting how much more players are willing to open up in interviews done ‘at home’. I know some of that will be down to the language and the ability to express themselves in exactly the way they want, but bar a few notable exceptions the English press don’t seem to get as much out of foreign players when they do sit down with them.

Back to Ozil, I found this little snippet interesting too, referencing Everton and Man City:

Is the title out of sight after those two defeats?

A year ago we were top of the league and quite a few people thought we’d be champions. Now Chelsea are in that situation but the season is long. We need (to go on) a run, then quickly you’re at the top again. I am convinced that we can still reach our target. With the new players, for example Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi, we have more potential. And we have better team spirit.

How is that shown?

In previous years there were always players who were upset because they sat on the bench. Now they come on hungrier. Everyone feels this year we can really achieve something.

I guess we can only speculate as to who the players who didn’t take kindly to being on the bench were, but it’s not an insignificant thing to say that the team spirit is better without them. We also have players who when they are given a chance are strong enough and good enough to take it.

Look at Olivier Giroud, a bit-part player until recently but who is almost into double figures for goals scored. Lucas Perez too, with 6 goals and 5 assist from just 12 appearances. We have productive players coming into the team and while recent form has been sketchy, no doubt, I do think we’re being written off just a little prematurely.

If Sp*rs and Liverpool are considered title contenders, and we lie just 1 point and 3 points behind them respectively with 18 games of the season left to go, it seems a bit harsh to suggest we’re completely out of it. Of course some of that is down to people fearing the same old Arsenal, always choking thing, which I understand to an extent, but the table is the real measure and we’re still in there.

Win our games up until the Stamford Bridge test and you never know where we might be. I have my doubts, but football is nothing but surprising, so throwing in the towel seems a little defeatist. Maybe it makes it easier to do that now than being given some hope which is dashed later, but there we go.

It’s something we’ve also seen manifested in opinion of Ozil himself. Everton and Man City were bad, but not representative of his season as a whole. They say you’re only as good as your last performance, but they also talk a lot of bollocks. And I should know.

Right, I’ll leave you today with yesterday’s Arsecast Extra in which James and I discuss the futures of Mesut Ozil and Arsene Wenger, look back at the Preston win, the return of Danny Welbeck and lots more. Listen below.

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News throughout the day on Arseblog News, I’m back tomorrow. Have a good one.