Mesut Özil: Quite Simply Breathtaking

Ludogorets Razgrad 2 – 3 Arsenal

There was but one question which needs answering from last night’s match in Sofia: Is Vic Akers impervious to the weather?

Whilst the Bulgarian bench covered themselves with blankets (or to be honest they looked like hessian sacks with the seams unpicked) and the Arsenal bench had the ‘stadium’ style coats, Vic was there in thin waterproof jacket with shorts. Not just shorts but shorter shorts than the players wear. And they were running around.

Fair enough he was a bit squashed in the corner of the converted bus shelter with Bould and Wenger hunching over him but the most activity he saw during the ninety or so minutes, was walking across the running track to the fourth official for the substitutions. Perhaps he broke into a light jog off camera, just to keep the extremities warm. Maybe he’s got a thermal cushion he sits on to negate the almost sub-zero temperatures?

It’s something worthy of investigation by the official website or a question for the next ‘Twitter Takeover’.

If you’re going to win by the skin of your teeth, that’s a hell of a set of dentures to have. An exquisite and deft lob over the goalkeeper, two defenders left sprawled on the backsides in front of the net, watching helplessly as Özil rounded them and slotted home very coolly.

The only goal I can remember which bears comparison is Charlie Nicholas against Spurs in 1983/84, the one which left Paul Miller flat on his face in front of the North Bank as the ball trickled behind him into the net.

Arsène was equally enthusiastic about his mercurial German,

You know, I would say the great players make the right decisions in the game situations they face. They always make the optimal solution. To me it didn’t look for a while like the optimal solution, but when the ball was in the net I thought it was! You wanted him to take maybe his chance earlier but at the end he had enough skill to prove that he was right.

At which point, you’re thinking that there were 90-odd other minutes in the game. Largely forgettable if you’re honest. And if I’m honest, all I’d do is focus on an utterly beautiful footballing moment. There is much about the modern game which is unpleasant and distasteful – more of which later – but I refuse to let in sully such a moment.

Please excuse my reverie for a moment.

Ludogorets opener was an excellently taken free kick, albeit dubiously awarded. The defence was badly positioned to defend it, leaving Ospina hopelessly exposed. The Colombian wouldn’t have got to the ball and had every right to expect his back four and midfield to defend the delivery.

The second was more calamitous defending. Gibbs was left one-on-one and committed too quickly to the tackle but one beaten there was a lack of movement to stifle the danger from the usually reliable Koscielny and Mustafi. Two-down with just about a quarter of an hour played.

It was a match which repeated the patterns of the first meeting a fortnight ago but also those at Sunderland. It was all a bit too easy for Arsenal in the first ten minutes or so. Flicks, flops and niceties; smooth passing which was undone by a manic three minutes.

Critically, the players didn’t lose focus on the task at hand, even if they wobbled a little. The same attitude which swept aside the Sunderland equaliser was evident as the two-goal disadvantage was first of all reduced by Granit Xhaka’s cool finish and entirely negated by Olivier Giroud’s header two minutes before the interval.

Arsène was pleased when he spoke to the media, that the side didn’t “panic” at 0 – 2; whether he approached the deficit so phlegmatically in his mind is doubtful but going into the interval level changed his team talk at half-time. Much to his relief, I should think.

Overshadowing the victory was the news that Alexis Sanchez is facing tax evasion charges in Spain with the taxman trying to take all his dough or a million euros of it at least. Interestingly, the only players so far hunted down are Barcelona’s although Real Madrid’s sins are far more unsavoury as a French court is going to find out. The original story broke in El Periodico, the original Spanish report is here.

Ultimately, Lionel Messi was pursued for far more cash, Javier Mascherano 50% more so if the tariffs are set by those cases, Alexis is looking at a fine and an 8 month prison sentence served on probation. It’s no different from the arguments that O’Leary, Platt and Bergkamp have suffered in the past with tax authorities. I’m sure some will attribute any loss in form to the legal action but if others can deal with case without incident, I’m sure Alexis will.

There are wider questions to answer though. Barcelona have just finished a ban for breaching transfer regulations and these tax cases are coming with an alarming regularity. Is there something wrong in the heart of Catalonian pride or are players getting bad advice? In Alexis’ case, it seems the latter.

Nonetheless, it’s a distraction I’m sure club, manager and player could do without. And a salutary warning to football clubs and players around the world.

Which rather dampens what should be a happy occasion. It’s been five seasons since we won all our games in the Champions League group stage. After than we went on to…oh, a Round of Sixteen exit. Where’s that video of Mesut’s goal?

’til Tomorrow.

 

66 thoughts on “Mesut Özil: Quite Simply Breathtaking

  1. AK says:

    Morning,
    What a beauty of a goal. So good Yogi just had to post.

  2. Adebanjo says:

    Am wondering whether YW had a preview of the goal and has this post just waiting or the goal left him drooling so much he couldn’t go to sleep until it was written. It such a beauty of a goal you want to see it over and over again. No doubt one of the contenders for goal of the year. I will also note that the attitude of the team keeps improving. That’s a game we would have lost a few years back. Onward and upwards- COYG!

  3. Damon says:

    A peach of a goal, worthy of winning any game

    Glad to have qualified with three wins and a draw to date. Pity Basel couldn’t hold on for us. Would have meant a draw at The Emirates would put us too of the group. It probably will, by goal difference, but it gives PSG something to aim for against the Bulgarians, as it stands

    As much as it’s good to see a comeback, I can’t shake the feeling that we’re using up a lot of “Get Out Of Jail Free” cards at the moment. They aren’t an endless commodity!

    There had better be at least one more in there, as Sunday is not the day to pull a fuck up out of the bag. No excuses, must win game

  4. buckagh says:

    Morning all,
    You can enjoy a goal like that forever, and forget about the negatives for now.

  5. -DFS says:

    That one passage of play forgave an awful lot. However…

    Only two players hit such a transcendent level – Messi and Ozil.

    You have gifted athletes with remarkable co-ordination such as Ronaldo, Bale or Suarez, and you marvel at their talent. But often you need to repeatedly watch something Messi or Ozil execute because it is so hard to grasp. I think the only way to describe them is footballing savants.

    Goal of the season contender.

    And, let’s also give credit, first to Giroud who raced back and stripped the ball. Then to Elneny, who with one glance spotted Ozil breaking into a run and struck a 40 yard perfect pass over the defense to Mesut’s feet.

  6. Jonnygunner says:

    Mornin all……although some of you lot are certified night owls ?
    Rambo-no.
    Jenkins-no.
    Gibbs-no.
    Boy how much we realised just what Santi,Hector and Nacho mean to this team.
    We were lame on the right flank till Rambo came off-with most of the attacking work done by our right back.
    I hope to God Ramsey isn’t a starter for Sunday-we’ll get taken apart.
    What last nights performance made me realise is that with a fully fit first eleven how much we’ve moved on.Jack will really struggle to get in that side if he ever returns-which I don’t think will happen…….and I know I’m banging the drum a lot here…but….project Ramsey must stop now.Swallow your pride Arsene-he should’ve been hauled off way before 75 minutes with his Hollywood flicks and bollocks.Keep it simple Aaron.
    Ozil…..class.
    Elneny…..every week,every game ,he just gets better.He’s a solid performer.
    Ospina…just as I thought he was worth a reprieve……he’a a liability again.
    Xhaka……jury’s out.

  7. Jonny says:

    Liability is far too harsh. Cech has wobbled this season too. All keepers do it from time to time.
    He did not have a great game but he did also dig us out of a few big holes.
    The defence had more to answer for – especially our full-backs.

  8. Damon says:

    Jonnygunner,

    In the main, I agree. Xhaka though, is proper pedigree. I’d play him every game if it were up to me

  9. Ras says:

    Well what can further can be said?The Ball from El Nenny was exquisite. It shuts those up whom say that El Nenny has eyes in the back of his head. The arcing run by Ozil and then to finish with the aplomb that he did. WUNNNDEERRRBBARRRRRRRR……….

  10. Bob says:

    Ozil provided an assist to himself. That lob over the keeper should count as an assist.

  11. C says:

    Top stuff Yogi.

    I don’t think enough credit is being mentioned about Elneny’s pass that sprung the German, picked him out in stride and then Ozil’s first touch was pure class and the lob and finish was even better. I watched the match and most of it left me scratching my head but then from Elneny’s pass to Ozil’s finish, it left my smiling.

    I think other than that, the match and some of those that played fairly or not were poor.

    Xhaka, for me at least, is in that Ozil, Sanchez, Bellerin, Theo(when fit this season), Kos, Nacho and Mustafi realm of he starts when fit and in most matches. Yes Le Coq has been superb when called upon, but Xhaka is the complete DM.

  12. Jerry says:

    Are we comparing to Bergkamp v Newcastle…? Jury out on Xakha? Blimey I think he outstanding

  13. C says:

    Ras,

    Not just that ball but then off another corner, Elneny immediately won the ball, turned, drove up the pitch and looked to release Ozil again but Ozil looked a bit gassed and the ball was slightly overhit.

    At least he can’t be blamed for the slow pedestrian play last night.

  14. C says:

    Another thing is that Sanchez just seems so much more comfortable and impactful playing centrally, as I think he will against Spuds.

  15. C says:

    I also read that Ozil’s assist to Xhaka was potentially his 200th of his career!

    I honestly believe that not re-signing Ozil would have a greater impact than Cesc leaving and we all know how well that turned out.

  16. C says:

    The most important thing though was that we got the win and now top the group on goal differential.

  17. C says:

    Looks like Ramsey will be called up to the Wales squad……

  18. Jonny says:

    Ozil has to stay, for sure, I just hope he isn’t too head-turned by the eye-wateringly enormous contract Bale has been awarded by his previous club. His Mr 15% may very well be negotiating with that yardstick as ammunition.

    Let’s face it – we may need to offer pre-tax £250K.

  19. -DFS says:

    Well, my personal jury is out on Xhaka – not quite a question of talent but temperament.

    A poster on another forum a while ago said he was yet to be convinced re Xhaka and I felt the same.

    The red card against Swansea underlined my reservations. The referee gave it because it was a petulant act. He lost the ball and gave away a goal earlier in the game. When he fouled in the second, it was an irritated lash out as much as a professional foul.

    Well, the bookable offense yesterday was also a silly, quite nasty tackle.

    Someone genuinely flying into a 50/50 situation, mis-timing the tackle and picking up a booking is one thing. Picking up unwarranted red and yellows, not for being a hard tackler but for being a dick, is another.

  20. C says:

    Jonny,

    Didn’t think about that, but could play a role. I do wonder though if there is something close to being done. The other thing is, is Ozil and Sanchez waiting for each other?

  21. fabrechenko says:

    ozil’s goal should be contender for, goal of the year, goal of the decade and goal of the century. give him 200k, no 10 jersey and ramsey’s girlfriend if he demands it.

  22. C says:

    -DFS,

    I think both fouls were the type of professional fouls you see week in and week out; the only difference now is that we have a player that is willing to take that foul as opposed to letting the attacking player take off.

    Last night’s foul was certainly well taken, if you look, Jenks is high up the pitch (and without the pace to get back) and Ludogorets were on the counter and instead of letting them counter, he “takes one for the team”.

    For me at least, he is a no-nonsense type of player that we need and have been missing for some time. I understand and respect your opinion but for me (and maybe this is because I watched him in Germany too) he is exactly what we have been missing, that modern DM capable of playing as a box-to-box type because of his range of passing and instincts but defends and takes no prisoners.

    The other thing for me, is that I have seen so many (not you specifically but your comment made me think about it) say they prefer Le Coq and his style but Le Coq is known not only to pick up a yellow but make plenty of rash challenges match in and match out.

  23. -DFS says:

    I do not want to forensically drill down through the negatives too much but, there were two overarching issues on display for the umpteenth time yesterday.

    Again, on another forum someone asked…“Why can’t Wenger crank them up from the start?”

    Succinctly put, as we gave the impression we were neither up to speed or focused and were promptly 2-0 down in minutes. How many times can you ask WTF goes on at the pre-game talk?

    Ditto the training ground. I already made the point when our form evaporates it appears all the basics you expect drilled down at training have been ignored. Defense should be solidifying and strengthening as the season progresses – but yesterday we played like a pub team.

    That said, yeah, Gibbs looked out of sorts but he had a great weekend game, so I’ll excuse him for that showing.

    Re Jenkinson, I am not so sure. I think the choice of Jenkinson and Ramsey on the right was farcical – suicidal even. But at least if Jenkinson had a brain he would hold his position, like Bellerin will do, as he knows Ramsey will go AWOL (starting 2 minutes in yesterday for what it’s worth). Instead of which he bombed forward on a regular basis which shows a patent lack of awareness (that said…it was Wenger who chose the set up, prepped them for the game….)

  24. -DFS says:

    C-

    Okay, well see how this develops with Xhaka, but I am not quite conceding these are well taken professional fouls (though if you see my interim post – yes, Jenkinson was frequently too far upfield)

    It’s the style of the fouls that is the giveaway to me, they’re too flippant.

  25. C says:

    -DFS,

    I can see what your getting at about how physical they are, but he is a physical lad and the good and quality he bring generally overshadows the yellow.

  26. kelsey says:

    We never mqake it easy on ourselves but talking about A Culture left Foot , I don’t think you will see better than the composure shown by Ozil for the winner.

  27. Colts says:

    Mornin. Pretty good one too.

    What an emotional rollercoaster that was, like we should expect anything else from les arsenals. They finally removed the lanvins after the two goals went in, but even after the two I wasn’t too worried to be honest.

    So glad we got a dude who is prepared to do what is necessary even when coming off a red for similar.

    I’ve downloaded that goal, boy, my screaming at the screen for him to hit it earlier turned into open mouthed bemusement. Magic indeed.

  28. C says:

    I wonder what Shrearer thinks of Ozil’s goal.

  29. nicky says:

    @-DFS,
    Jenkinson and Gibbs are quite a pair. Both tend to go upfield at every opportunity (which is good) but tend to find difficulty in quickly regaining defence duties. 😉

  30. C says:

    nicky,

    I think that’s a bit of a problem, wouldn’t you say my old friend….you know since their primary role is to defend. 😉

  31. nicky says:

    Much is being said about Xhaka and his bookings. Whether his attitude is faulty, only time will tell. I recall the early days of Vieira when similar thoughts were expressed. Xhaka will soon learn that he has sufficient ability without the expense of coloured cards. 😉

  32. Orson Kaert says:

    Xhaka arrived with a reputation as a card magnet. He is just the sort of player we have been needing for years. I don’t agree with the petulant and malicious characterisation, he is their to break up attacks before they can cause trouble and that’s precisely what he did against Swansea and again last night. Of course he’s liable to get booked, even sent off but if he can prevent a breakaway goal where’s the harm.

    I’d far rather see someone putting in a tackle than watch the pathetic attempt at defending so characteristic of some of our players, Ramsey in particular.

  33. Bill says:

    Great review Yogi

    Great comeback win and a wonderful individual goal from Ozil for the winner. He has as much technical skill as any player in the world. We have more then enough creativity in the team and hopefully he can continue to turn that skill into goals scored because I suspect we will need that at some point this season. We sure could have used a few goals from the #10 position for the last 3 years.

    Ramsey gets a lot more grief then he deserves but I don’t think he is going to be an influential player for us this season. He had a great summer and he often plays well for his country but other then his amazing breakout season in 13/14, he has consistently struggled to be effective in our system irregardless of which position he plays. I thought we should have sold him when his value was sky high after Euro 2016 but I doubt that will happen. I don’t think he hurts us playing wide right or in central midfield but I don’t think he makes us better

    I suspect Giroud is about to go on one of his hot streaks and that certainly will help. If that happens you ride the hot hand while you can. Hopefully this year someone else will be able to pick up the slack when his form drops off.

  34. C says:

    Orson Kaert,

    Yea, and the strange thing is the fact that Le Coq is good for a yellow in more games then not and generally looks likely to grab a red which is bound to happen with his “go to ground” style; and in no way am I knocking Le Coq, just an observation.

  35. C says:

    Bill,

    The thing with Ramsey for me is that he lacks discipline and while he plays best in that freee role, it simply isn’t the position he will play at Arsenal. I think the other thing is that, as we saw last night and really throughout his career, he likes to take 3-4-5 touches before he makes his move instead of keeping things moving quickly.

    the thing that was most worrying, and it might be down to rust but o well, was that defensively on the right he was poor because he wanted to play so centrally and wasn’t up for the pressing that we have seen from our Arsenal this season.

    Giroud did score a goal and I’m glad he made an impact, though I still think he should be CF2. Sanchez didn’t look right on the left and I still think, with us pressing, he starts at CF and has been the hot hand along with Theo and Ozil for us so ride that and have Giroud as the motivated super sub.

  36. C says:

    @LSG

    I know your lurking in the weeds. Is Canada a buzz with both Montreal and Toronto playing well in the MLS playoffs?

  37. Bill says:

    C

    I think Ramsey set the bar so high in 13/14 and people expect him to be more then he is and I think he gets more criticism then he deserves. Yesterday I thought the 6-0 win was in our heads and the whole team started with a major dose of complacency and the whole defense was off form and singling out Ramsey’s defense is an over reaction. Defense is a team sport and you can’t pick out individuals as much as you can on the attacking side.

    Last summer there was no one thinking Ramsey did not have enough pace or his defense was poor or he took to many touches etc etc. I think he when he plays for Wales he thrives on using his one of his biggest assets which is his engine and taking advantage of being able to go wherever he wants and show up where he is not expected. He can be “effectively disorganized”. With us he can’t use those assets to the same advantage and he can’t do a lot of those things that make him effective in the role he has with Wales.

  38. Bill says:

    C

    With regard to Giroud we have talked about this before. If Theo is healthy then you a tough decision regarding which one would you start. I still like Theo better just because I like him and I am not a big fan of Giroud and I think Theo’s form was good enough that he deserves to start against Spuds if he is healthy. We have ever seen Theo or Giroud stay in good form for a full season and Theo’s injury record is a huge concern. IMO, there should never be a question about Sanchez. However, we need to figure out the best way to ride the hot hand and juggle Giroud/Walcott and hopefully use whichever one is in good form.

  39. C says:

    Bill,

    Tend to agree with most of that but I also think though that he does take touches and its the difference in playing for club and country. For country the system is built around he, Bale and Allen so they are able to roam free and do what is necessary while for Arsenal he isn’t but also the players centrally are simply better players which isn’t a knock, just what it is. With him, he has to adjust.

    I haven’t always been the biggest Ramsey fan and he certainly has something to offer Arsenal but he has to take the small fish in big pond instead of the big fish in little pond mentality for us. Do his job and do it well will do him good and is what we all appreciated about him when he kept quiet and just played on the RW. As Arsenal has evolved and gotten better players, we can no longer afford him the match time to get fit (same with quite a few players) because others such as Theo, Iwobi and Ox are either in form or are showing better ij better in each match.

  40. C says:

    Bill,

    Agree with that and I think against Spuds, Theo gets the nod with Sanchez at CF. The biggest thing with Giroud is handling him mentally, keeping hin motivated and feeling important so a impact sub suits him for most matches and then starting the odd match as well as playing in the FA Cup and even CC as we move along and face stiffer competition.

  41. C says:

    Just read arseblog and then looked it up, Ozil now has 5 goals and 3 assists in his last 5 appearances for Arsenal.

    He seems to be picking up right where he left off last season and had enough of people not finishing his chances so he started doing it himself.

  42. Bill says:

    We all have our favorite players and I would certainly rather see Theo play instead of Giroud if everything else is equal. However, history is pretty clear that both run very hot and cold and the one that is more likely to score and help the team win depends on who is healthy and in better form and that should be the one who starts.

  43. Bill says:

    C

    All the stuff about handling Giroud mentally and keeping him feeling important and challenged is over thinking. IMO. The season is a long grind and the adrenaline levels out. Giroud runs very hot and very cold and that is just who he is. When he is hot he is clearly a major asset for the team and just as clearly he is a detriment when he is cold. IMO. Over the last 4 years I think he has been the most influential player on the team in both a good and bad way depending on how he is playing at the time.

    Unless Theo is healthy and scoring quite regularly its hard to imagine that keeping Giroud on the bench during one of his hot streaks will improve the teams chances of getting good results. Hopefully this season (unlike the previous 4 seasons) someone like Theo and/or Sanchez will be able to pick up the slack when Giroud hits a cold streak.

  44. jonnygunner says:

    fabrechenko,

    Nope-just my opinion,which is obviously different to yours…..but wtf has Owen being my mentor got to do with it? Cock
    He’s made some belting saves recently,granted,but his basic skillset as a keeper (for me at least) isn’t quite there.
    He’ll pull off a brilliant shot stop from nowhere one minute,but the next-on a corner-he’s all over the shop.

  45. jonnygunner says:

    fabrechenko,

    Nope-just my opinion,which is obviously different to yours…..but wtf has Owen being my mentor got to do with it? Cock
    He’s made some belting saves recently,granted,but his basic skillset as a keeper (for me at least) isn’t quite there.
    He’ll pull off a brilliant shot stop from nowhere one minute,but the next-on a corner-he’s all over the shop.
    fabrechenko,

  46. C says:

    Great picture Yogi, that was one of my favorite Superman movies!

  47. HenryB says:

    nicky:
    Much is being said about Xhaka and his bookings. Whether his attitude is faulty, only time will tell. I recall the early days of Vieira when similar thoughts were expressed. Xhaka will soon learn that he has sufficient ability without the expense of coloured cards.

    I like him — he is intelligent, and as you say will learn to adjust to the Premiership.
    And — he scores the occasional key goal which gives him a pass as far as I am concerned.

  48. Ras says:

    C,

    C @2.30 I am in total agreement with you Ramsey. He has to adapt his game. Simple as

  49. Bill says:

    C

    I agree with everything you say at 2:30 about Ramsey. The problem for him is playing the way you suggest would take away the things that he can do which make him an high level impact player and probably limits his ceiling to squad player for Arsenal. That’s why I thought we should have sold him last summer when his value was so high.

  50. Bill says:

    C @ 2:30

    “As Arsenal has evolved and gotten better players, we can no longer afford him the match time to get fit (same with quite a few players) because others such as Theo, Iwobi and Ox are either in form or are showing better ij better in each match.”

    I agree we need to prioritize the minutes to give us the most positive impact for the first team. As an aside, you often argue we should be making time for a lot of players in the U21 ranks when many of them might never make the first team and those that might make the team some day have much less chance of helping the team in the near term compared with Ramsey. You make the case for me why I think its important that the priority for any extra minutes in league cup and other games should be used the more senior teams players and then any left over minutes can go to players like Jeff, Zelalem Akpom etc etc etc.

  51. Orson Kaert says:

    Mourinho’s given a one match touchline ban and fined £50,000.

  52. Bill says:

    Yesterday’s game was also an example of the fact that Arsene rotates players. There were 6 players in the game that were part of rotation. Some of those were forced by injury but nonetheless the players who sat out are resting. I don’t have the energy to do the research but I am confident that we would find that on average our players do not play more minutes then the corresponding players from other big clubs around Europe and the idea that Arsene over plays his players and rotates less then other managers is a myth that has gained a life of its own over time.

    Yesterdays game is also an example of why you don’t become overly aggressive with rotation and why you have to take every high leverage game seriously. We beat them 6-0 in the first game but easily could have lost yesterday. I think part of the reason for the terrible start to the game was complacency. The idea that we can rotate with impunity against smaller teams or lower table teams is the fastest way to drop unexpected points.

  53. Bill says:

    The reality is that all 7/11 of players in the game yesterday have not been regular starters in the recently recent league games for one reason or another. Even the 4 of the players in that line up who have been regulars in the league games Sanchez, Ozil, Kos and Mustafi all sat out the recent league cup game.

  54. consolsbob says:

    Only Charlie Nicholas? Denis Bergkamp.

  55. YW says:

    Which one, Bob? Can’t recall him leaving defenders face down in the turf.

    Oh, and evening sir!

  56. consolsbob says:

    Well, you may be technically correct but his hat trick against Leicester, I think they were the team, was the most sublime thing on a football pitch that I have ever seen.

    Oh, and a very good evening to you, sir.

  57. YW says:

    Yup, although he *coughs* fluked the second.

    My favourite Bergkamp goals:

    1. v Tottenham in 3 – 1 win 1997, I think. Could be ’96.
    2. v Leicester, third goal.
    3. v Newcastle, FA Cup

  58. -DFS says:

    Nicky –

    Yes – time with tell with Xhaka.

    I also agree he should realize he has enough talent to lose that from his game….I simply do not think it necessary.

    Further, if he is the potential captain on the pitch he is supposed to be, it would be great if he took responsibility for keeping the likes of a Jenkinson or Gibbs in line (positionally) so he did not have to pick up bookings on their behalf. Not being sarcastic at all, genuinely wish we had a strong leader on the pitch, and have done for years.

  59. -DFS says:

    Orson Kaert –

    Sorry, disagree 100%. Xhaka’s tackle at Swansea was because he got skinned and simply lashed out….and as I noted he gave the goal away, first half.

    Rewatch the foul – they are on the touchline so a direct threat had not even developed, with both Kos and Mustafi exactly where they should be, covering deeper downfield. We were not out of position and exposed – it was pissy attitude.

  60. Arsetralian says:

    It is going to be interesting what team he puts out on Sunday.

    I agree with our squad being that much better that we can now afford to leave out players who are awesome to have on the bench.

    That means you Rambo and you OG. I like both players very much but we have tried that and it did not work. He has been bold enough to give the Alexis at CF a proper chance and it has been encouraging based on movement of front 3 and Ozil.

    Ramsey is a CM option with too many attacking tendencies so I can’t see him starting with Ozil on same team. Too flaky.

    OG just encourages too much focus on his strengths and disrupts a team effort when he is off form. Too risky.

    But both have great substitute attributes. The problem for AW is he looks at them both compared to Iwobi who is still very young and naturally he wants to crowbar at least one of them into the team as both are on paper proven internationals who have also proven to dug us out of holes many many times. Iwobi has not…yet.

    Dilemma

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