On Champs and Chumps: Rose and Özil

In Danny Rose’s world, he imagines the shelves of his trophy cabinet creaking under the weight of silverware won in a glittering career. The title medals from childhood through to his days as a senior pro, cups and caps; the whole kit and caboodle. It’s why when he talks knowingly about winning the title, we listen.

When he tells us that Arsenal infuriated Spurs players by celebrating winning the North London Derby Which Really Mattered (NLDWRM) like it was the title, we bow to his greater knowledge and experience in such matters.

But he really needs to update his Wikipedia page because that only lists his fourth-place medal at last summer’s World Cup and a League Cup runners-up medal as his honours. The rest are missing.

How does that fourth-place medal work then? Gold, silver, bronze; that’s the accepted norm for placings but what do you get for fourth? Did Gareth Southgate go through thousands of tins of Quality Street, pull out all the purple wrappers and make medals out of them so his brave lads wouldn’t feel left out?

Fair play to FIFA for going along with that one. It’s also really good man-management by Gareth. I was going to type ‘Gazza’ but he’s never going to be a ‘Gazza’. He’s altogether too grown-up.

My favourite story of a similar ilk is when Tottenham fought back to 2 – 2 back in the day with last-gasp heroics. They celebrated in the tunnel, only to be deflated when Thierry Henry asked why they were dancing when Arsenal had won the league at White Hart Lane…

I’m sure Danny will answer that it is an altogether different situation.

Crowd Displeasers

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Mesut Özil’s future is garnering more column inches than is necessary. I’m expecting some positive news to hit the electronic back pages today; Team Mesut won’t allow a negative vibe to damage the MÖ10 brand.

It’s hard to see how they turn it around. If I think back through my lifetime, there is always a player in every squad who infuriates. Generally, it’s the skilful ones; the playmakers, the crowd pleasers. Or to some, the crowd displeasers.

Sammels, Nicholas, Limpar, Sanchez; all of them were hugely popular but had an equally sizeable army of critics. Generally, when the going got tough, they were perceived as not turning up. Time reassesses their impact and we forget the bad times with our mental rosy glasses.

So, how do Team Mesut turn this around? I’m not convinced they can is the simplistic answer. The only way to do so is for a set of barnstorming performances from the former Germany international but does he possess that consistency switch?

Not with Unai Emery’s formation and tactical demands. And we’re fast running out of excuses. We’ve had a back injury – useful because you can have good days and bad with back problems; they aren’t as visible as legs in plaster casts or outsized boots.

Bournemouth were “too physical” which suggests Özil is as much use as a chocolate teapot in the English game while he wasn’t “tactical” enough for Tottenham. Where do you go from there? It’s only the back injury which is reusable without much fear of contradiction.

Unfortunately, claims of injury will be met with a fair amount of cynicism, no matter how truthful they may be. It’s reached that nadir or certainly seems that way.

The questions remain unanswered and cynicism abounds.

The Power To Heal

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m sure in the back of Unai Emery’s mind is Neymar Jr. The Brazilian, by the Spaniard’s own admission, ruled the Parisien roost. Mesut isn’t being allowed to take control in the same way.

The Times suggests the club is willing to consider a loan deal for Özil as a solution. His wages are the issue. Elite money demands elite performances and we’re not getting them. Having inconsistent games is not much of a USP for prospective buyers.

It will be an expensive loan fee. His wages for six months is around £11m; not many clubs will be open to paying anywhere near that, you’d think. Fenerbahce are mentioned in the report as being interested last summer which fits the narrative of Özil’s racial woes with German football.

Whether it is feasible to ship Özil out on loan is another matter. We’re, as fans, constantly told players want to play. The money isn’t that important, apparently. We’ll see if it is a barrier or whether Özil will knuckle down and adapt to what is being demanded.

The answer must come soon.

’til Tomorrow.

21 thoughts on “On Champs and Chumps: Rose and Özil

  1. Ian says:

    We have loads of fourth placed trophies!!!!

  2. Bill says:

    Great post yogi.

    I remember thinking that Ozil’s new contract would be one of the worst for any attacking player in the history of world football in terms of goals and assists per dollar of wages spent. Unfortunately that has come true. We will probably have to suck it up and just pay a significant percentage of his wages on a loan deal. We have done that before and it’s better to send the distraction somewhere else. Addition by subtraction. The alternative is to keep him around and hope he finally accepts that he is no longer the worlds best creative midfielder and works harder to find other ways to help the team. The one thing Mesut has going for him is the other players who we have used in the attacking midfielder or wide forwards roles have not been very effective so someone could make a case for giving him one more try if we can’t move him in January.

  3. consolsbob says:

    Denis the exception then and Charlie, of course?

    We all loved Denis but he could be picky about his ‘fitness’ when it suited him. He would be welcomed back to the club by all, I suspect, in the crowd at least. His memory is unsullied.

    Charlie? Well he never really left. Sure he played elsewhere but it his Arsenal days that we all remember. He came back, of course and is still a hero to all he meets and greets.

    I remember being shocked one day when someone said that Denis played more games for the club than Charlie. That seemed just wrong somehow but clear;ly obvious when you give it a little thought.

    No one is going to miss Ozil in that way.

  4. Welsh corgi cardigans says:

    I say good effing riddance and don’t let the door slam your arse on the way out.

    Don’t think he’s a legend or can even be compared to DB10 or Charlie Nicholas.

    However, he has great, exquisite skills and has won 3 Fa Cups which really isn’t too shabby. Thing is though he should have done more. He’s that good and probably have the same skillsets as Dennis.

    Now is a good time to say goodbye. If you don’t buy into new ideas then it’s time to go.

  5. Alex Ice Cream says:

    I said at the time that the contract was a mistake and that I would rather he left on a free.

    The fact that he still divides opinion after 5 years says it all.

    Just get rid asap for whatever we can get. We don’t need players like him who act as if he is doing us a favour by turning up. we can get 2-3 players for his wages.

    Leicester aside – when he was brilliant- name one outstanding game from him since he re-signed.

    I think Matteo can develop into a number 10 like Cesc. This kid is the real deal- he’s a bit of a genius in my opinion.

  6. Alex Ice Cream says:

    You cannot compare Ozil to Dennis.

    Dennis was also inconsistent and yes a Bob says had an issue with injuries but Dennis was decisive when he played well. He would win games for us and we would win Titles.

    To be fair Dennis generally played in better teams but was a much influential than Ozil.

  7. Paul says:

    Why not loan him to Ludogorets. He had one of his only big moments in a big match on their pitch.

  8. C says:

    The comparision between Dennis and Ozil simply isn’t one because Dennis was a striker who dropped deeper because of Henry whereas Ozil is a playmaker who thrives when he has players around him who can finish.

    What will be interesting is the response of Ozil. I have never hid my fascination and love of Ozil because simply put…he is my sort of player. I think the other thing we have to remember is that, up until last season when Aubameyang and Lacazette were bedding into the team and the PL, we have lacked quality upfront since RvP left. We had a WILDLY inconsistent Giroud and Ramsey’s best season came playing off of Ozil and his creativity.

    Ozil for me is similiar in circumstance to Riquelme: a pure creative genius who influences and creates that one or two chances but is a classic #10 who can put in a shift but isn’t necessarily in the team for that. People remember him starting at Bournemouth but before that he was (for the most part) key to our unbeaten run and put in some quality performances including both Liverpool and Leicester.

  9. Bill says:

    No doubt that Mesut was once arguably the most stylish and technically skilled player in this century. However, stylish is not the same as influential and effective which is why I think Madrid sold him. He is a defensive liability and he was never was the sort of player who would control the tempo of the game. He needed someone like Cazorla to turn defense into attack and drive the team forward at pace. He does not add a pace or width or help the fullback when he plays out wide and he doesn’t score goals. If you have other players on the pitch who can provide the creativity you need then Ozil is a luxury. I think selling Mesut was addition by subtraction for Madrid because they didn’t need the extra creativity in the final 1/3 and they could use the spot he was playing to add a player who could score or added other things that helped their team more.

  10. C says:

    I spent a whole year banging on about vanDijk when he was at Celtic and Arsene had a chance, with a deal seemingly close by damn near all accounts only for Arsene to turn down a 12m move for him.

    Could that possibly have been the qorst decision Arsene made in the last 5-10 years of his reign🤔

  11. C says:


    Were mates so I say this with both a friendly love and respect….give it a rest on Ozil because part of your facts, especially about Madrid are simply wrong and we all know you hate creative #10’s and if you were manager your team would be set up:


    no creative players just defenders and strikers…..long ball futbol, no need for midfielders.

  12. Blue Yonder says:

    Well, Ozil is definitely an enigma and perhaps one that we will never solve (at least with Arsenal.) Can we even loan him, let alone sell him, while his performances are at the present level?
    Ozil, at his best, is enormously effective so how do we get him to replicate that? I realize he’s not the first, nor will he be the last, to elicit such frustration but he seems to have taken it to another level. If it isn’t attitude, then perhaps it’s his head. Maybe one day a movie will come out titled “Being Mesut Ozil” – but who would star in it? Jim Carrey?

  13. YW says:


    I hope those #9s all know how to play CB.

  14. YW says:


    > Could that possibly have been the qorst decision Arsene made in the last 5-10 years of his reign

    Either that or the shabby Alonso affair.

    Then again, signing Chamakh, Gervinho, Squillaci and Silvestre all fall into that timespan so there’s a lot of competition.

  15. andy1886 says:


    Add signing and suggesting that Sanogo could be a £50m striker to that very long list. Take the ‘million’ out of that statement and it would be nearer to the truth.

  16. Arsetralian says:

    I would like to see our next game with ozil behind lac and pea again.

    Back 3 – sok, kos, mustafi or nacho

    Bell and Kol maurading again giving us width and back to xhaka/torr which was working

    Iwobi, Myki, Matteo, Ramsey on bench providing options

    Ozil delivers a command performance and all is well again.

    Merry Christmas one and all!

  17. Arsetralian says:


    Scratch that

    Bellerin still injured
    Replace AMN
    Nacho left CB
    Leech right CB
    Sok middle CB

    Oh no we are going to get same trouble as Southampton in the air. We are doomed!

    Will be ok but need Xhaka back in midfield not defence

  18. Blue Yonder says:


    Could well be. If not the worst, certainly a strong challenger. AW made a 22 year career at Arsenal out of a few great years early on.

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