Özil’s Contract, You Called Them Who? & More

I stopped what I was doing and listened. I waited and found I hadn’t misheard. The talking heads wittered on about what a great evening’s football we were witnessing and took us to Lisbon. Benfica’s match received the injection of adrenalin to the chest and livened up. They faced’Seska Moscow’. No they weren’t; CSKA Moscow, my friends, is a Ronseal club name. Each letter has it’s own sound: ‘C’. ‘S’. ‘K’. ‘A’. ‘Seska’? Where the hell did that pronunciation come from?

Nicely fatted, UEFA plucked the golden goose and found it was a turkey. Qarabag enjoyed the prospect of being in the Champions League, I’m sure; reality is proving harsher. Likewise Celtic; PSG found the Scottish champions – and let’s not forget unbeaten in 54 domestic matches – equally weak opposition.

This tweet sums up the situation neatly:

Not often I’d agree with Waddle but on this occasion, I’ll make an exception.

This morning sees more rumours and claims about Mesut Özil’s contract situation. He’s flown through the summer unscathed and while the scalding of Alexis continues without pausing for breath, the German gets a free pass. I said last season that if I could one of the two, it would be the Chilean and nothing so far has made me change my mind.

Employing professional PR to look after social media and his image is paying dividends. The fans treatment of the pair could hardly be more contrasting yet the situation is the same. Will that change when people realise they’ve been ‘played’?

While in Australia, Özil declared talks would take place when everyone was back in London. According to Sportbild, talks between the two parties ended in February of this year and they claim the midfielder has already informed Arsenal he will be leaving.

The story pins the blame firmly on Arsenal. Wenger, it’s claimed, was talking to PSG at the time and the club lacked direction to continue. Since then, the suggestions of salary offers of £250-300k are pure fantasy on the part of the media.

Get Up and Walk Away

 

Keeping it quiet serves two purposes. Firstly, the club fell into a dishevelled mess of their own making. Dick Law’s decision to return to the USA for family reasons puts considerable pressure on Ivan Gazidis, who seems to be extending himself too far by taking over some of Law’s duties.

The club doesn’t need the aggravation that will surely follow when the news becomes ‘official’ that the pair are leaving next summer. It damages the credibility of a CEO who claimed we could compete with the likes of Bayern by moving to the Emirates.

Wenger suffers as well; if players join because of him, these departures are down to his failure to build a squad which challenges for the title.

The second purpose is for Team Mesut. His image remains untarnished until the departure by which time we’ll probably be distracted by the falling out of the top four on a seemingly permanent basis. The manager will take the flak for that and departing players will glide out of the door.

It is what it is and the two transfer windows of 2018 will tell us how much of a cock-up we’ve made by allowing the contract situations to drift. More importantly, whether or not we have a plan.

Preachin’ From My Chair

Add into this, we’re back into the last year of Wenger’s contract again and that situation has to be resolved before the summer transfer window opens. Another season of ‘will he / won’t he’ will create more havoc and damage.

Thank god there’s a lot of football between now and then. 1FC Köln  on Thursday, Chelsea on Sunday. There’s not much of a gap between the two, according to Arsène which is an odd stance to take. It’s no different from Wednesday to Saturday, a normal flow of fixtures. At this stage of the season, fatigue ought not to be an issue although I understand that those who travelled long distances last week may need some rest.

With the trip to Chelsea ahead, I’d expect four or five changes to the starting line-up. Ospina, who appeared incredibly short compared to Cech and Macey in the official team photos yesterday, and probably Rob Holding in for the suspended Laurent Koscielny, are the two enforced alterations. I expect Theo, Giroud and Reiss-Nelson to be the others, although Ashley Maitland-Niles could be used at right back. I don’t think so although by tomorrow morning’s post, I’ll have changed my mind, I’m sure.

Finally, over at Dad’s Jukebox the previously thought of as anonymous year of 2006 proved momentous. Head over to this morning’s post to find out why.

86 thoughts on “Özil’s Contract, You Called Them Who? & More

  1. I would rest as many players as possible, bellerin, Monreal, kolasinac and mustafi as well as the other 6 who have been excused training this morning, plus the suspended koscielny. That will mean 11 players rested ahead of Chelsea.

    Alexis obviously needs to play. So this would be my team.
    Ospina
    Chambers Mertesacker Holding
    Debuchy wilshire elneny Niles
    Walcott Giroud alexis

    Macey willock Adelaide Nelson iwobi Nketiah akpom

  2. Good stuff Yogi.

    I actually disagree though, I think Ozil has taken more flack than Sanchez because most don’t even want to negotiate or want him to have a new deal instead wanting to hand the reigns over to Ramsey (which is crazy to me but to each their own). I think the other thing is Ozil takes a battering because of his style of play (which is funny because he is tied with Mkhitaryn for most quality chances created this season in the PL) and because of that he has taken more of a battering because the narrative with Sanchez is just what will his mindset be.

    Well the match day team is shaping up for the Koln match with the fact that Cech, Kos, Lacazette, Welbeck, Xhaka, Ozil and Ramsey all sat out of training today. Also reports say Jack is set to start with Sanchez set to atleast get 60 mins with Chelsea on the mind.

  3. I think Ivan is being nicely positioned to be the patsy for all ills.

    Don’t mess with the Arsene! Odds on Ivan gets the elbow next summer, for me

  4. If that’s the case, I would start:

    Ospina
    —-Holding—–Mert—–Chambers
    Maitland-Niles—Elneny—-Jack——Nelson
    —–Theo——–Giroud——–Sanchez

    I could also see Iwobi in the team to start ahead of either Jack (I know it goes against reports, but when has anything with Arsenal been that transparent) or Maitland-Niles.

  5. Damon,

    I said the same thing earlier this past summer. Ivan lost the war for the club and we all know how Arsene gets about his business when you betray him. With the BoD and Silent Stan backing Arsene, Ivan will be the fall guy for it all.

  6. Say it quietly but as the other engerlish teams enjoyed gorging themselves on the bloated champions league offerings last night I thought (a) I kind of miss being at this table, and (b) we’d probably be struggling if we were there !

    Can’t we just enjoy the roller coaster of the Europa Cup without feeling it is a lesser competition ?

  7. Afternoon,

    I have no expectations one way or the other this season now. I will likely change my view as the season progresses, but the madness of Wenger and inconsistent nature of the team means that we are equally as likely to take a beating as be dominant in any game.
    We have shown that we can beat Chelsea if our heads are in the game, but they are likely to be on a high from their CL win. A good result against Koln will hopefully mean we are ready for the challenge at Stamford Bridge, but who knows?
    The only game I am really expecting to be a banker is the Caribou Cup against Donny Rovers, so we’ll probably slip up in that one.

  8. YW, don’t think there are many being played by Ozil, just underwhelmed by the inevitability of the total cock up Wenger,

  9. Rested or not for the Cologne match, I would start Ozil on the bench against Chelsea and play Sanchez in his position. Almost never has Ozil delivered away from home in a crucial away game against the big guns (though I am happy to have my memory refreshed by other contributors). Time to drop our undroppable star. Let’s have the dervish like energy of Sanchez in behind Welbeck and Lacazette instead of the wIspish wimpish lolling of our “mercurial” German.

  10. As usual, we have put massive pressure on ourselves v Chelsea due to the undercooked underbaked soggy bottomed (bake off reference got in there) start to the season. if the manager had had them fully tuned up and at it against Stoke and had won we would be coming into the game perhaps with 3 wins and one loss – so a draw of defeat would not be as catastrophic.

    Now, if they lose and have three defeats chalked up the crisis will be called and flaky morale will worsen. The summer planning should have been for a fast start given the Liverpool, Stoke, Chelsea away cluster of fixtures so early.

  11. By the way, in case you hadn’t guessed Ozil drives me f—king insane. He is the ultimate Wenger technical player. An overrated indulgence, who might be worth the bother if we had a Kante and matic behind him to be the “water carriers” and give him the ball on a plate each time, without any work for him. We don’t have such players behind him though, just more Wenger indulgences – a 35m quarter back with a lovely sweet left foot but the pace of a Honda 50 and a Welshman who prefers the view from the penalty spot rather than the centre circle where he should be most of the time (maybe we could hire Lampard to show him what timing your run means?

  12. buckagh,

    IMO the Ozil/Sanchez contrast comes down to circumstance. I would put my life savings (😂) on the fact that if their positions had been reversed and we had a suitable suitor for Ozil but not Alexis then the club would have tried to sell him and at the same time leaked ‘inside information’ to suggest that he was a bad egg. Then leave the boo boys to deliver their verdict.

    The biggest problem for all concerned was that there were no serious bids or even much of a rumour that anyone was interested in Ozil. For all the talk of his talents it seems his perceived value isn’t shared by potential purchasers. As for the results it’s been yet another cock up whereby the club schemed to save face but ended up with egg all over it.

  13. I’d rather see Iwobi than Theo. I think we should rest Ramsey. He usually gets injured in the Fall after playing twice a week September and October–calf strain, hamstring and so forth–because he runs so much. I’d play Elneny with Xhaka.

  14. Damon,

    He may decide to leave himself for a similarly lucrative position with more decision-making authority. But if he were to be the fall guy and be sacked, I wouldn’t be shedding tears. He needs to go as well as far as I am concerned. I think he has done a so-so job even within his remit.

  15. Giroud has confirmed that he actually was set to leave before making a u-turn:

    “It’s true that I was close to leaving the club as I said I wanted to play but [I stayed] after a big reflection with family and close friends. In a sporting way I wanted to stay at the Arsenal and I thought the story was not finished.

    “The club believe in me a lot and I think I give it back. I still want to improve again and again and want to win some more trophies with the club.

    “As I said to the boss, our story was not finished and everybody was pleased with that.”

  16. DALM,

    I plan to enjoy it thoroughly. It is really the highlight of the season for me as I expect the league season to be another round of the fight for top 4 with little hope of challenging for the title. The only redemption in the league would be doing well against other big teams. So far we are an embarrassment in that respect. I suppose we’ll see at the weekend. After that we wait until early Nov for City and the derby. If we were to get 4 points from those 3, I’d start to be a little bit interested in our league situation if we have a good run of results in between (as I predict is likely). For now it is Europa League all the way for me.

  17. alanG,

    I could go for the plan of playing Sanchez as the creator and benching Ozil. We might lack some creativity but perhaps we need to be thinking more of the counter attacking approach away from home v Chelsea.

  18. Limestonegunner,

    Arsene confirmed Ramsey and Ozil both will be rested so Ramsey isn’t going to play. Personally, I would go with Elneny and Iwobi in midfield or Elneny and Maitland-Niles but reports say Jack is set to start.

    I would actually start both Iwobi and Theo. Put Iwobi in midfield next to Elneny and putting Maitland-Niles as RWB.

  19. C,

    Guess we’ll see him in January then! Joking aside, Coq seems a rugged type and probably will be back in mid October. Shame for him as he would have had many games.

  20. C,

    I believe his wife also did not want to leave London for Liverpool. That reportedly also factored into his thinking. But I am glad he stayed. We’ll need him. Rested, competing for a position, a point to prove, and a WC year–expect a good season from him as these are the ideal conditions for him to flourish.

  21. C,

    I don’t think that’s ideal for Iwobi. He’s a forward player, at worst an AM. If we need goals, bring Theo on. But Iwobi needs to develop and had a really good preseason.

  22. Limestonegunner,

    Yea, I guess that’s the personal family and friends he was referencing. I don’t mind him staying because he is now in his ideal role of CF2/CF3 behind Welbeck and Lacazette. I think the thing with him, especially now is that his place with the France team is actually in danger when you consider that now Deschamps can’t guarantee Giroud a starting spot even after telling Benzema (people have forgotten just how good he is but FFS he is still leading the line, though injured now, for Madrid and is not only scoring loads of goals still but creating and assisting and a KEY part for Zidane) your no longer welcome. I mean he is now legitimately in competition with Mbappe, Lacazette for match time alongside Griezman.

  23. Limestonegunner,

    Its why I would play Iwobi in midfield with Maitland-Niles as RWB as a real option. I think the thing with Iwobi is that he is the sort of player that can play either as a CM or ACM. Probably the most intriguing partner for him for me would be next to Elneny against Koln. Letting Elneny sit deep and dictate from deep while Iwobi gets about in midfield also driving forward but not really wanting to get into the box to score goals.

  24. Great post Yogi.

    I think the biggest reason that Ozil has not really caught a lot of flack about his contract is because anyone who has watched him play during the last 18 months knows that giving him a big money long term contract would be a huge mistake. Ozil’s best days clearly look like they are in the past and he is probably going to become even more invisible on the pitch as he moves past age 30. We already had to do a wage dump this summer and a 4 year $250-300K per week contract would be a financial mega mistake. We are not going to get a big offer for him so there is no point in selling. I think most people agree the club should pretend to want to keep him for PR purposes and then let him go on the free next summer. I think most agree with the club’s reluctance to negotiate seriously so its a non issue to most fans.

  25. I think most people care a lot more about Sanchez and they would like to keep him and have him sign another contract if possible because unlike Mesut, Alexis can still be a difference making player on a somewhat regular basis.

  26. Arsenal have added some youngsters to their Europa League squad. They have added Pleguezuelo, Osei-Tutu, Zelalem, Dragomir.

  27. Yogi, we all pour scorn on the so called “news” which emanates from the British sports press, so why would we give any credence to to the offering from a German tabloid. They are probably just as good at making up a story to boost their sales as our own hacks.

    All we know for certain is that Ozil hasn’t yet signed a new contract.

  28. Limestone

    I agree with C. I think Iwobe’s best long term position is central mid. Even at the academy level Alex has never been that much of a goal scorer and historically we have seen that hoping someone develops into a good finisher and a scorer as they mature has always proven to be unrewarding. Just like a player like Draxler, Iwobe is not going to thrive as a forward over the long term if he does not score enough goals.

  29. I think Iwobe’s skill set profiles very well for a box to box or perhaps the most forward central midfielder. Providing consistent end product is not as critical for someone in those positions.

  30. The reason why Ozil hasn’t copped as much flak as Sanchez is because many fans don’t value him for what he is, a class player who can provide excellent passes and does the link-up job very well indeed, unfortunately for those fans he is not the blood and guts midfielder so many of them crave.

    I am quite sure that any unbiased analysis of his contribution to he team would show him to be far and away more productive than many see as his alternative ie Ramsey.

  31. Could there ever be another Perry Groves, ah the memories, number 1 is Perry Groves and number 2 is Perry Groves, and number 3 is Perry Groves ………

  32. C,

    If Iwobi could defend well, I’d say it was worth trying him as the Santi replacement but it requires a great deal of nous that he hasn’t had the experience there in CM to develop. I’d rather play him in Europa where Ozil/Alexis play and see how he does.

  33. Iwobi’s situation is another indictment of Wenger’s poor management of young players. After a full season of involement with the first team neither he nor Wenger have any real idea of his best current position let alone where he will ultimately fit in.

    I suspect that he will follow Oxlade-Chamberlain out of the door in search of a club and manager who can aid his developement and define just waht his future role will be.

  34. Bill,

    I think he deserves a chance in Europa this season to play more forward in group games. If it doesn’t work out, we can start retraining him for CM or sell.

  35. Orson Kaert,

    That is spot on about Ozil! Stats aside, he will never be a blood and guts type of player yet so many hold that against him because they see a player like Ramsey running about covering every blade of grass. I also think that his languid style plays against him too as he doesn’t look like he is always trying but I think he is an efficiency type of player, for instance last season for all the flack that he took he was in the top 5 for tackles won in the attacking third in the PL and halfway through last season he was tied for top spot with Sanchez.

    Another thing that I think works against him is that he was given the label as the “assist king” so people think that every pass he plays should lead to a goal but it doesn’t always work like that. I think his link up play is one of the most underrated parts of his game. Yes Lacazette’s goal against Bournemouth was sublime, but it was Ozil who spotted him and made the pass that led to the goal.

  36. The Europa League is the only realistic path towards the Champions League open to us, so while it’s all very well to give some youngsters a bit of European experience, it would be utterley foolish to make more than three or, at the most, four changes to the team that started against Bournemouth.

    By all means bring them on for the last twenty minutes if all is going well, but we need to be sure we are in a winning situation before doing so.

  37. Limestonegunner,

    I agree, Iwobi does need to work on the defensive side of his game centrally but I think in a match like Koln he would do well to play there. He will learn and improve but I also fancy him to provide that link both carrying the ball and with the pass in that CM role that we have missed. Wouldn’t mind him playing in the front 3 because he can and will be effective there but I could also see him next to Elneny in midfield.

  38. C,

    Yes I do think his apparrent laid back attitude militates against him, but no player would get to represent Germany and Real Madrid in the way he has done if that was his real persona.

  39. Orson Kaert,

    Possibly. I can’t remember, but Santi wasn’t a great wide option in our set up for that reason and there were concerns about that–physicality and defensive ability–when dropping him into CM. But he was an experienced and top class player. I think it would take quite some time to develop Iwobi into a CM. I’d rather start by giving him a chance to play one of the forward positions in early Europa group stages. Let’s evaluate his progress then. I am not opposed to the idea–I’ve thought about Iwobi as a CM as well. I just don’t think we’ve seen him get a chance to develop in a more attacking, creative role. I can see him as AM in 433 as well. I do think AW mishandled his development up to this point. He had a good preseason. He has talked about knowing he needs to add goals and assists to his performances. Let him try to do so in a 3 Europa games and EFL cup before we try to retrain him in a totally different position is what I am saying.

  40. Orson Kaert,

    that’s a reasonable approach but it is clear that AW is resting Kos (I think he is suspended anyway), Laca, Ramsey, Xhaka, Ozil, and Welbeck. That’s 6 changes already. Alexis will likely play to get fitter. We have lots of established first team squad players who are competing for places like OG, Theo, Elneny, Merts and several younger players who are first team players like Iwobi, Holding and Chambers. I don’t see a problem fielding any of these. I don’t see it as a massive drop off in quality and talent frankly. Keeping them fit and firing is a good policy. Like you, I think it better to play some of the younger guys and injury returnees like Nelson and JW from the bench if we are already up.

  41. C,

    Ozil actually led the team in sprints against Bournemouth. Most of those are running forward of course. He does wonderfully against lesser opponents. If we had a stronger midfield behind him and had bought Lacazette or similar a few years ago, we’d be able to get the best out of his talent. Unfortunately, despite years of continuity and adequate to ample funds, AW has failed to build a balanced side with a coherent approach that could challenge. I feel for Ozil. I think he lacks some of the qualities needed to be a difference maker in our league against top opposition to some extent but much of the fault lies with AW in not building a proper team around his talent. Sanchez gives much more in goals and assists than Ozil does despite his liabilities in giving the ball away and playing a rather individual game. He still creates for others. I’d like to try Sanchez and Welbeck behind Lacazette in some league match, like Bristol. We might have enough creativity and would have more defensive energy and goals.

  42. C,

    I’d try that against BATE or Red Star at home, if at all. Koln finished 5th and although they have been terrible to start the season and lost their striker, they have some decent players and are super motivated and excited for this game. Let Iwobi come in from the bench or start in an attacking position, I think.

  43. Orson Kaert,

    I’m not even sure we should characterize the EL as a “realistic” chance. We are the oddsmakers favourites, but we are talking about 7-1 or 8-1. Look at the past winners: MU, Sevilla 3x in a row, Chelsea, Atletico, Porto, Atletico. Those are good teams. And there will be some quality teams dropping out of the CL, which will change matters: BvB or Spuds, RB Leipzig or Porto, likely Roma but one of Roma/Chelsea/Atletico, and probably Sporting. Those are pretty strong teams, some of which are definitely better than us right now.

    We need to take the competition seriously in the knockout stages. One way to handle this is to pretend not to take it seriously until we get into the quarters or semis!

  44. If Wenger is going to make wholesale changes he should at least play his strongest defensive unit available. for that reason I would like to see:-

    Cech
    Mustafi Mertesacker Monreal

    Bellerin Kalasinac

    By fielding a strong defense he can afford to try a few experiments further up the field.

    In terms of the competition as a whole, it is vital not to lose this first home game.

  45. Limestonegunner,

    When I say “the only realistic chance” I should say the only chance as we are not going to make fourth or better this season. Sadly winning the FA Cup and the EFL cup (whatever that’s called this time around) won’t get us into the Champions League, so we need to go all out in the one competition available to us.

    Risking dropping points in the first game would be suicidal.

  46. Orson Kaert,

    Exactly, and not just that but think about the managers that he has played for: Low and Mourinho, two managers who have absolutely no problem dropping players yet there Ozil is/was a key cog for both of them. I know people will and still say, “Well at Madrid he was always subbed off with 20-30 mins left.” well that was because he had already done his job and they were up normally off of a couple of his assists.

  47. Limestonegunner,

    Agree with you in some parts about Ozil. I think this notion that he can’t perform in big matches is kind of strange given he has featured and played well in El Clásico’s, in the World Cup and World Cup Final, as well as winning the German Player of the year something like 4 times which is remarkable since 2 or 3 of those he has been in an Arsenal shirt. The one thing I do completely agree with you about is that the team hasn’t been balanced and I’m not talking about building a team around him, just balanced in general to take advantage of his skillset (along with others). I actually am really excited to see a front 3 of Ozil/Lacazette/Sanchez play together because all of their skill-sets actually compliment each other tremendously from Ozil the playmaker and brilliant passing to Sanchez’s willingness to run all day(we already know those two work superbly together when played near each other) and Lacazette is a goal scorer who not only makes the runs but has the futboling IQ to see the space and move there. Funny thing about Ozil is I keep seeing people say that he only performs against the lesser sides but both of our wins over Chelsea last season he was the catalyst in the attack exactly like people wanted.

    I know most don’t want to go to a back 4 but (even though I know it won’t happen and can’t now) we did go back to a back 4 I would love to see how this team would look with 2 more ‘defensive’ pivots and a front 4 of Lacazette/Ozil/Sanchez/Welbeck because I think it not only would be sound defensively but devastating in attack. Something like:

    Cech
    Bellerin—Mustafi—Kos—Sead
    ——-Le coq——-elneny——
    Welbeck——Ozil——-Sanchez
    ———–Lacazette

    we could less sitting back and actually press.

  48. C

    The forward pass that Ozil made before the Lacezzette goal was a speculative 30 yard pass to Welbeck and probably should have been intercepted but the defender misplayed it. Welbeck and Lacazette played a nice 1-2 and it still took a very good finish to score the goal. When we bought Ozil the idea was for him to be the assist king and someone who can make things happen on the attacking end. Any player who spends as much time as he does with the ball at his feet in the final 1/3 of the pitch should be giving us more production.

    Orson

    Arsenal fans have always been very appreciative of technically talented players when they are productive such as Fabregas and Cazorla and no one had any expectation of Ozil being a blood and guts midfielder. The critical thing for any flair player is he has to be productive One of the biggest complaints has been that Mesut does not get involved in linking the midfield with the defense. He prefers to stay forward and try to make something happen in the attacking 1/3 and very often our midfield gets over run and out numbered against the better defensive teams when the opposition presses players like Xhaka.

  49. Based on my view, Arsenal have a sound plan for the next two years.
    Arsenal knew when they gave two more years to Wenger, that we are in the Eurpoa League next season and the first plan is to get back in CL. To do that we need our best players, which means keeping hold of Ozil and Sanchez. However, if we do that they will leave for free next summer. This means we will need loads of money next summer to replace them, which in turn means we needed a profitable transfer this summer. This is exactly what they’ve done, basically we are saving money for spending loads next summer.
    Only catch is quality players will come to Arsenal only if we are in CL, but not sure who would want to come to our Club when they see star players leaving for free!

  50. Limestonegunner,

    Koln is quite the unknown as to what we are going to get, as you said their form hasn’t been up to it but they have decent players. Based on that, I would actually start him on the bench based on what your thinking but for me, next to Elneny it seems to be coming down to Iwobi or Jack (though I wouldn’t mind Adelaide but I didn’t mention that because I don’t see Arsene doing that) then it would be Iwobi simply because I don’t feel like we should rush Jack back.

  51. Orson Kaert,

    I think it is more likely we’ll finish 5th or 6th this season but we probably have a higher chance, not a great one, to come in 4th than we do to win a knockout tournament in Europe overall. But I support taking it seriously. Playing a consistent defensive unit–back 3 anyway–makes sense. However, if we can’t win this group by rotating in many first team squad members and some younger players at least off the bench like those I listed, we aren’t going anywhere in this competition with our best 11 either. I do think Koln might be the strongest so caution is advisable and maybe we need to send a message to our own team about commitment to this competition. But at home to Bate and Red Star, we should be much freer to rotate and see what Iwobi, Nelson, Holding and Chambers can do.

  52. Bill,

    I would be a ton of money that there was nothing speculative and the pass was clearly intended for Lacazette and yes the 1-2 had to be played but it was the pass from Ozil that created the opportunity. The thing is, you talk about him linking the defense to midfield to attack, well that play has summed up exactly what he has done since the switch in formation with Ramsey bombing forward. The thing that I don’t get is this notion that he spends all of his time in the attacking 1/3 when we have the ball; watch him, he actually allows Ramsey to bomb forward and does all the link play stuff that Ramsey is supposed to be doing thus he is creating from a deeper position. Ramsey’s best season was in no short part to Ozil creating chances for he and Giroud and the way they played. The thing is, he is still creating chances but you need finishers. The other thing is this notion that Cesc was some double digit goal scorer in the PL and yet he only did it once other than that he scored 2, 3, 2, 7, 3 and 3 goals in the other seasons and only finished with double digit scoring in all competitions twice (13 and 19). If your going solely by stats and goals, Ozil is actually more consistent goal scorer than Cesc as he has scored 5, 4, 6, 8.

    the other thing is, Ozil has played a key role in helping us win 3 FA Cups and we won fuck all with Cesc.

  53. CEOs like Ivan rarely get sacked – they are given fair warning and exercise their right to first ‘resign’ to protect their professional reputation.

  54. Bhavesh,

    That’s the flaw. The other one is AW himself. He isn’t the draw he once was. Even if he is, he’ll be on one year himself. I think recruitment is going to be seriously difficult even on the off chance we do get into the CL. What we will need is to modernize our set up and get in a new coach to start a fresh new project. And spend massively and wisely to have a chance to build a winning team. Tall order.

  55. I suspect the one thing that almost anyone would agree with is unless something changes with the way Ozil has been playing it would be a big mistake to give him an ultra high wage long term contract at this point in his career.

  56. In the Bournemouth game Ramsey made the pass that sprung Kolasanic down the left wing before our first goal and Ramsey made an inch perfect final pass and got an assist when Welbeck scored the last goal with his left foot. I am not suggesting that Ramsey deserves a whole lot of credit and I didn’t mention it because neither of those passes was really that difficult. However if we are going to start talking about hockey assists for Ozil then Ramsey deserves credit for his pass on our first goal and those inch perfect final passes that he gave to Welbeck for the final goal is exactly what we have expecting from Ozil. No one mentioned either of those passes that Ramsey made.

  57. That was a stand out pass by Ramsey, for the simple reason quality passes from him are as rare as rocking-horse shit.

  58. C

    I am not trying to make a case that Ramsey is a great passer because in reality the final pass to Welbeck was easily the best option and it was not a difficult pass and most any one of our players could have made that pass. However, if Ozil or Xhaka or someone you rate had made that pass you have made a big deal about what a great pass and great vision and great touch on the pass.

  59. C

    If that pass Ozil made before Lacazette’s goal was actually intended for Lacazette then it was not a very good pass because it somehow luckily ended up at Welbecks feet. A better defender would have intercepted the pass.

    With regard to Ozil playing deeper when Ramsey is in the squad. Ramsey has missed a lot of games in the last 18 months and Ozil has not been any better when he S out of the line up. Ozil was just as invisible against Leicester when he played with Elneny.

    My comment at 6:47 alludes to this but again it shows how differently we interpret what we see depending on predetermined bias and whether we like the player or not.

    Orson

    I don’t think Ramsey is a great passer but I suspect he would make that same pass to Welbeck nearly every time but so would almost any player on our squad. IMO. It was a very straightforward pass and Ramsey got credited with an assist. The strange thing about Ozil is haven’t seen very many passes like that from him in the last 18 months despite all of the time he spends on the ball. Stats can fool you but Mesut’s lack of assists helps to add more credibility to the subjective impression that he has been mostly invisible.

  60. Mesut Ozil is a creator probably the best since Bergkamp – the guy is dead good and has a high football IQ. Of a truth he can go missing in matches, especially when the team is suffering, but that only tells you he’s not some kind of leader that will pull the team up. He functions well when those around him ain’t messing up.

    His vision for a pass is exceptional (watch the Lacazette goal again) – there’s nothing speculative about the pass but one to quickly bridge the midfield gap – the defender saw it late, stepped up and therefore mistimed his interception.

    I hope our strikers make a good conversion rate of the chances and big chances he creates this year. The guy has led the EPL in chances for seasons now and chances become assists only with a strikers conversion rate…. His assists stopped at 19 two seasons ago because our strikers were not efficient enough (16 assists at December I think).

  61. C

    I watched the goal a couple of times and I think you are right the first pass was probably intended for Lacazette. It looked like the defender got a toe on the ball and tipped towards Welbeck to start the move. The outstanding thing about the goal was the finish. Lacazette looks like a very good finisher.

  62. Not sure how that wasn’t a foul or 2 on Kane cause he dragged back 2 Dortmund players who were clear favorites for the ball but 2-1 Spuds.

  63. The squad for the Koln match should be well varied from the guys who have been working it since the season opened. That’s the essence of having a good squad depth and replacements that are mostly internationals.
    Sunday’s match at the Bridge should not be prosecuted with fatigue – I hope the guys are fired up.
    Ospina
    Holding, Mertesacker, Chambers
    Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Iwobi, Nelson
    Walcott, Giroud, Sanchez

    These guys should comfortably beat Koln.

    Sanchez needs match fitness.
    I support the argument on Iwobi playing as a CM or AM – he can carry the ball forward and sees a pass too.

  64. Oludotun,

    “Sanchez needs match fitness”.

    Hasn’t he just played two full games over the International break and had a run out against Bournemouth, can’t be that rusty.

  65. Terrible offsides decision as Pulisic was clearly onside and was the one controlling the ball but called Aubameyang offside because he was standing next to Pulisic.

  66. Oludotun

    The fact that Ozil led the league in assists by a long margin in the first 1/2 of the 2015/16 season demonstrates that he does create assists when he is playing well. Since Jan 2016 his assist totals have dropped dramatically and the most logical explanation is that for the last 18 months he is no longer playing at the level he was playing when he led the league in assists. 18 months is a very long sample size and not just short run of bad form. The drop off in assists is probably the best objective evidence we have to suggest that his best days are behind.

  67. Bill,

    A more likely explanation is that our strikers have not been good enough to take advantage of some of the most sumptuous passes from Ozil. Welbeck can rarely hit the proverbial cow’s arse with a banjo, Giroud likewise, and our best chance converter, Walcott,can’t even get on the pitch.

  68. Orson Kaert,

    I have to agree that 5 years of substandard levels at the striker position has been a hindrance to appreciating Ozil’s good final ball in the attacking 3rd of the pitch.

  69. Orson.

    Any creative player is going to look better when they are passing to C. Ronaldo. Our strikers was the excuse we used in the second half of the 15/16 season when Ozil started to become invisible more and more often and perhaps it was a legitimate excuse back then. However he had the same group of strikers in the first half of that season and lead the league in assists. The striker explanation does not really fit anymore and now its just an excuse.

  70. I doubt that the Spurs can be as good in the league games this season as they were last year but they are not just going to fade away. They are certainly going to be in the fight for the top 4 again this season.

  71. Bill,

    From last night’s performance I’d say that they’ve strengthened their squad successfully. They certainly look to be top 4 material, so where they end up this season will depend on their head to heads with the other teams vying for the title. The game against Chelsea doesn’t provide much of an indicator as they hadn’t brought the new players in by that point. The weakest of the five who will likely be above us in the league this season are Liverpool and they rolled us over without batting an eyelid.

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