In case you missed it, today was our favorite club's Annual General Meeting, in which Arsenal top brass address shareholders who like to think that they have some input over the course the team is charting. Last year, of course, the fresh departure of a certain Dutch striker and a certain Cameroonian defensive midfielder/deep-lying forward led to a rather unhappy meeting and a sober, cautious Arsene Wenger speech in which he basically said how badly he felt that all those players left. This year? Pretty much chocolate fountains and unicorns, as Wenger heaped tons of love on the Mesut Özil acquisition (read: LOOK WHAT I DID), and predicted happiness for Arsenal fans come May, which we'll assume means TROPHEEZ. (As ESPN UK assumed in its writeup.)
The full speeches from Wenger and popular American owner Stan Kroenke are published on the Arsenal site, but here are some Wenger highlights.
Wenger on in-house player development:
That is why we make huge investments again in our youth policy. I believe that has to be the core and the strength of our club. If you go today through our squad, for example we have completed or partially educated Szczesny, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Wilshere, Ramsey, Chamberlain, Gnabry - all these players who have made their debut in the Premier League with us.
They know how we want to play, they know how we want to behave and they bring their qualities and these values to the team.
Wenger on scouting really good French players:
The second level of the development of our club has to be based on the intelligence of our eye. That means players who are unknown and who can become big players here, through our connections, the quality of our scouting, through the quality of what we have seen in them and how they could develop.
For example Koscielny has come here, nobody knew him, today he is an international with France. Giroud has come here, not many people knew him and he has now become an international player with France. Many people have come here and through the quality of our coaching and our development have become international players. They can complete the part of the players that develop inside from the youth level to the top level.
Wenger on Özil:
Then, the third part of our development and ambition is to scout and buy recognised world-class players. This season for example we have bought Ozil. You don't need any scout to buy Ozil. You just need money!
I am quite happy that we have shown to you that we are not scared to spend money when we think the players have the quality and we have the funds available to do it.
Wenger on how the season's looking so far:
I believe that our future is very positive. Of course the Premier League is tight again this season. We will need your support and we had some moments where at the Emirates we did not always feel that, but I can understand that, because it is up to us to give you the belief and it is not for you to give us the belief.
Our attitude, our commitment on the pitch has to bring everybody on board. I personally am convinced we have the team that has the attitude and the desire to do that.
We are top of the table, we are in a very strong position, but if you look the schedule, then by the end of November you will have a much clearer situation of where the strengths of everybody lies in this Premier League.
When we get all of our players back, then at the moment I am confident we have a very big part to play in this league. I am confident that at the end of May, we will be happy.
Also, as the Mirror reported in its MBM account of the meeting, there might have been an Ivan Gazidis dig at Spurs no longer being an Arsenal rival, at least one question about a leaky section of Emirates Stadium, and jokes about Wenger's puffy parka and zipper.
And finally, just because it's too funny to not include, the often-hilarious Arseblog highlighted its own Top 10 questions from the AGM. While nothing they do will ever be as great as this summer's Aaron Ramsey infographic, this is worth a chortle.