Mesut Özil: History, Strength, Weaknesses of the best nr10

Nik produced a very fine post about half a year ago on how Arsenal could beat Bayern in our CL encounters with them. Nik is based in Germany and knows German football really well, and that’s why I asked him to write a background post on our new super-quality signing. He did not hesitate to say yes, and below you will find a very fine post about MO11. Enjoy. 🙂

TotalArsenal.

The Perfect Transfer?

Thanking the Guardian for today's picture.

Thanking the Guardian for today’s picture.

Born and raised in Gelsenkirchen, Mesut Özil joined Schalke in summer ‘05 at the age of 16: a move that really kicked off the career of the best number 10 in the world.

Only half a year later he starred in the prestigious indoor tournament ‘Mercedes-Benz Junior Cup’. Schalke won the Cup beating youth sides of Dortmund, Stuttgart, Bremen, Basel and some others along the way. Özil was top scorer and impressed with his footballing intelligence and technical skills. He also was ‘chief actor’ of Aljoscha Pause’s short-film ‘Mesut17’ – only available in German: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utXR5BDU3sQ

In the movie Joachim Löw, Jürgen Klinsmann’s assistant at that time, and Uli Stielike, German U20 coach back then, talk about Germany stepping up their youth-development and the possibility that Mesut Özil could become a part of Germany’s 2010 WC team. Özil himself talks about wanting to play for Germany despite not having acquired the German citizenship yet. Later that season, Özil made his debut for the German U19 and went on to win the U19-Bundesliga.

At the end of the short-movie Özil was asked how he rates his chances of playing in the first team for Schalke. Özil confidently replied ‘by the end of the season, I think I will make it’. It only took seven months before Özil was handed his first Bundesliga match on the opening day of the 2006/07 season, coming on as a substitute after 80 minutes. Özil went on to make 20 appearances for Schalke and 10 for the U19 national team.

Özil started 6 of his 11 games for Schalke in the first half of the 2007/08 season, before Schalke announced they will not give him a new contract. The reason for the decision were long running contract talks with Özil’s father and agent, Mustafa Özil which did not come to any conclusion.

Bremen signed Özil on January, 31st 2008, deadline-day. He made 12 more appearances including 6 starts for Bremen until the end of the season and was able to score his first ever Bundesliga goal.

Objectively, Özil moving to Bremen was the best possible move inside of Germany for him. He was able to learn from the best number 10 in the Bundesliga, Diego. Diego was the heart of Werder Bremen’s great offense and he collected 13 goals and 11 assist in the ‘07/’08, and 12 goals and 6 assist in the 08/09 Bundesliga seasons.

The 08/09 season saw the breakthrough of Mesut Özil.

Collecting 3 goals and 15 assists, scoring the winning goal in the DFB-Cup final and reaching the UEFA-Cup final, saw him become one of the most established young players in Germany. On international level, Özil collected his first senior cap in a friendly against Norway, and he won the U21 Euros, being named the man of the match in the 4-0 final victory over England, where he scored 1 goal and produced assists for 2 of the other 3 goals.

With the departure of Diego, the 09/10 season was perfectly set for Özil to become the key-player for Bremen. He delivered 9 goals and 17 assist and led Bremen to another DFB-Cup final, which they lost to Bayern. Özil made his first competitive game for Germany in the WC qualification against Azerbaijan and has been present ever since. The 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and his move to Real Madrid a month later, saw Özil’s popularity rise on a global scale and his well documented development to being one of the best number 10s in the world (I consider him THE best number 10 in the world).

Strengths:

For me Mesut Özil has two major strengths:
1) His vision. It is absolutely amazing how Özil always picks the right pass at the right time. He sees possibilities, spaces, runs that no other would see and therefore collects all those assists. Every time I see him play I get the feeling that he has a radar in his vision.

2) Technical skills. Özil is one of very view players who could run half an hour with the ball at his feet with another player chasing him, without losing the ball. He has absolutely perfect control of the ball at any time.

Weaknesses:

His biggest and only real weakness to me is his defensive work. Most of the time he gets robbed of the ball or plays a bad pass he is disappointed with himself, and does not track back immediately. Fortunately he doesn’t lose the ball too often.

The perfect transfer?

Over the course of the transfer window I have read what feels like millions of stories, rumors, articles and gossip. My mood went from great we have 70 million to spend to, are we going to spend at all; and I know most of you felt very much alike.
But when I read that we were close to signing Mesut Özil on deadline-day, I went absolutely crazy.
I believe that we could not have made a better signing to strengthen our attack, for the following reasons:

  • All our front players will profit from Özil’s passing. (Theo in particular);
  • At times, our possession did not seem to get us anywhere, because we were just playing it from left to right and back again. Özil is the player who will unlock the defence when we play too many square passes;
  • Wilshire, Ramsey, Ox, Zelalem, and all other young central midfielders, can and will learn a lot from playing with Özil.
  • He is just 24.
  • He is a statement of intent from Wenger. (hopefully)

Now, do you agree with me on his strengths and weaknesses, and do you think we could have made a better single transfer this summer?

Written by: Nik.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to Mesut Özil: History, Strength, Weaknesses of the best nr10

  1. Fozzie B says:

    First beef jerky jugglers!!!
    😆

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Fantastic Post, Nik. It is just incredible how players sometimes make a journey in order to get discovered, and how much will Schalke regret letting him go to Bremen so easily?! I did not realise he had the luxury of working with Diego as an early master to him…

    It also goes to show how we need to remain patient with the likes of Ramsey, Jack and Ox, and even Theo. As soon as things fall into place the real talent can flourish and the quality comes to the surface.

    It is too early to say whether his defending is his only weakness, but I certainly agree with you on his strengths. I don’t think we could have made a better signing other than Messi maybe: Ozil fits like a glove in our team and he single-handedly adds another dimension to our team. Very, very happy with him indeed! 😛 🙂 😀 😆 😳 😉

  3. VCC says:

    Nice post Nik.

    After Saturdays debut, I can see why you are head over heels about our latest signing, Mesut Ozil.

    His vision, close control and positional sense are outstanding. But the outstanding aspect of his game on Saturday was the weight of pass he commands. Every ball was played with precision and thought for the receiver.

    I think Wenger has found our new Denis. That’s a huge statement to make, but as early as one game into his Arsenal career, I see qualities that will be an immense benefactor to our club.

    As good as Giroud is performing at the moment, I think Wenger will buy another CF in the January window. This will complete our squad nicely.

    The next burning question is…….how can we control our injury problem better. This really is becoming a big problem for our back room staff. Not sure what the answer is, but Le Prof needs to address it, and quickly.

  4. Fozzie B says:

    Great post Totes!! It gives the Ozil signing some real perspective! That’s the thing that springs off the printed page to me …. Namely he is so young and is going to get better and better!
    😀
    He was my dream signing for the last 2 years but I never ever thought it would be possible so put him at the bottom of the heap as a realistic target. Personally, I think it definitely is the best signing AW could have made for all the reasons you have mentioned and as well to 1. Finally replace frabregas and 2. Help AW get our bergkampesque factor back and 3. Kick AW,a wengerball onto the next stage in the twilight of AW’s career.
    😀
    I’m hoping that the next marque ST signing will propel us even further and will not be surprised when we get a massive name now who wants to join the red revolution and especially feed off Ozil!
    😀

  5. Fozzie B says:

    Sorry Kudos to Nik as well thanks for the perspective!!!
    😀

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    The kudos only goes to Nick, Fozzer. I was merely the introducer hahaha 🙂

    Fozzer, Vickers,

    I will say again that Wenger will only look for a like for like replacement for Giroud to cover for injury etc. I will also predict that Giroud will develop further and that in 10-16 months we might have a fight on our hands to keep him…. hahahaha 🙄

  7. Arsenal_vcc says:

    Nice summary Nik 🙂 picked up a lot of (for me) new information about MO11. A couple of additional aspects that I have been impressed with with Ozil have been (i) he has pretty good speed – not sure how he would rate compared to Theo, but I got the sense that he was not too far behind and (ii) he does seem rather hard to bring down. On the weakness (now I am really quibbling) side, while he takes a fair number of corners and free kicks it would be nice if he were to score more goals from his free kicks. What do you think?

  8. Alcide says:

    Nice post Nik. You obviously have followed Özil more than me (although I’ve seen him play for Germany and RM and admired as much as any football afficionado) so I can only nod in approval of your description of strengths and weaknesses.

    On his vision, you know that feeling when you watch a game on TV and you “see” the pass and think “go on, dammit, make that pass”… what strikes me with Özil is that even with our privileged position, *he* sees the pass when I don’t, adn even as he makes the pass (one of his pass to Theo against Sunderland for instance), it looks improbable until you see the ball actually go through (which actually also reminds me of a couple passes from Zelalem this summer…). Looking at youtube, I also find Özil particularly gifted in seeing passes in 3 dimensions… he finds more key passes going over than anyone I can think of, and I’m not talking “kick it upfront for the forward to catch it” but perfect passes, ideally landing in the path and pace of the attacker.

    On his weaknesses, I also agree with his annoyance at losing the ball; here he reminds me of Zidane, he would stop disappointed for half a second before running madly (but a half second too late) to try and get it back (and I would always think “oh my god he’s going to foul him badly”… which he often did…). Thank god I think Özil is not as naughty as ZZ could be.

    TA, you’ve got mail (for better or for worse).

  9. Alcide says:

    And to answer your last question, short of Messi or Ronaldo (and even then), I can’t think of a better signing.

  10. Fozzie B says:

    I hear ye Totes and I agree OG will get better. However I actually believe AW when he said he brought in OG to supplement RVJ. We know goalposts get moved and this might have changed, but I still believe that as Ozil was finally the replacement for Fab that AW is looking still for a like for like to replace RVJ.
    I still believe even with the Ozil signing that he would still like a fluid striker for Wengerball. I might be wrong and he might go for a cavani type hit man. We are still light and we will be getting someone I reckon
    😀
    Or maybe AW will not want to ruin his mojo if he keeps going 😀

  11. Fozzie B says:

    Goodnight team bk bastardos!!
    😀

  12. weedonald says:

    I saw Ozil play for Madrid against Borussia in the 2nd game and he was the MOTM but the first game was far from impressive. His weaknesses, as they are few and far between, are obvious. He tends to tire a bit towards the end of the games and will tend to drop his head if dispossessed, but he so rarely loses the ball that it isn’t a problem.
    He was playing sick on Saturday and in an entirely new squad but looked like he had been with AFC since he was 17, He has a magical understanding with Walcott, whose speed and positioning are perfect for getting passes from Ozil. Walcott was unlucky on Saturday but I am convinced that he’ll score a boat load with Ozil, Wilshere, Cazorla and Ramsey supporting him….as will Giroud. Something tells me that Ramsey will also score quite a few now that Ozil is spreading out opponent’s defenses like he did on Saturday.

  13. proudgooner says:

    Nik,
    Really great post, thank you for the new info and German insight to Ozil.
    When i think of Ozil i instantly go back to the 2010 South Africa world cup, when to me this unknown player to me just burst on to the scene, i had never even heard of him and there he was tearing defences to pieces, dribbling past the worlds best and dragging Germany in to a force again, if i remember that world cup they were expected to fail misrably , a very young team that shocked nearly everyone and to me this was because of Ozil. When i think 2010WC I think of him, he is the only player that really stands out and i remember from that cup, to me he was the player of the tournament. 🙂
    As you might be able to tell i like him, i am a fan.
    I agree with all above , i don’t know to much about his defensive work like TA said but i am sure Wenger will work on it with him and improve him , i am sure of that. I don’t even mind if he is not getting stuck in to challenges to much at the moment, i what him fit and healthy wrap him up in cotton wool and bubble wrap lol
    He is perfect for Arsenal as i think we are for him, our English core and strong German players really go together perfectly. All can learn of each other Ozil, Podolski, Theo, Santi OG, Rosicky and Rambo but to name a few all fit at the same time just makes you dribble ha ha ha
    I to feel Theo is going to benifit the most from Ozil and the game on Sat showed that.
    I like OG alot i still want another new great striker. But i am quite comfortable that Theo is the great alterative style striker we might be looking for, he is not far of it i am sure of that. Once Theo and Ozil really get to know each other and the pace, they could be deadly. 🙂

  14. proudgooner says:

    Nik,
    No AW could not have signed a better player then Ozil this summer.
    AW seems very happy to have signed Sanogo, we have seen nothing of him yet really. I hope he is not out for long, he has gone under the radar massively , no mention of how long he is out for.?? Wenger wanted him for years , he must be good. We just need everyone back and fit. It will happen

  15. Rich says:

    I would have preferred Suarez he’s PL ready has his best days in front of him, he’s versatile so he wouldn’t completely isolate Giroud and he’s a 90 minute player, also signing him from a side who has top4 aspirations would have been significant in the overall development of the club

    Don’t get me wrong I think Ozil is a great signing, my worry is that he doesn’t seem to get through 90minutes very often, can we afford such a luxury when Walcott is essentially also an impact player?
    Since Munich we have looked much better without the ball, I put that down to having 3central midfielder and Cazorla on the left who who cover a lot of ground, I really hope we don’t lose our shape because as we seen with Arshavin you can have all the talent in the world but if you haven’t got the legs the team suffers

  16. proudgooner says:

    You have only got to look at OG and how people rated him badly, even at the start of this season some people still are. The man is doing very well now, i expect the same from Sanogo.
    5 England- intn
    4 French- intn
    3 German – intn + 3 great u-21’s
    2 Spain -intn + a certain Arteta that would have played for any other country

    All regular full internationals are great players, everyone else is an international of great talent It is starting to get really quite exciting. Wenger has slowly but very cleaver and quietly built a very strong team.
    The young Jack and Zalalem learning from the best number 10 in the world, sorry Nik i kept on forgetting answer your questions. Yes i think he is the best and his stats prove it and a 24 ha ha ha ,its just going to improve. No wonder the Real players and pissed, i really think i prefer him to Bale all day long.Ozil to Podolski goaallllllllllll LP must be itching to get back and play with him every week.
    Rich,
    I think Suarez would have been good, but you never know with him it could have been a total desaster as well. Who knows we might be able to take him in the winter as well. We just need OG and Theo to get us there safely or even Sanogo. Does anyone know how long Sanogo is out for?

  17. Nik says:

    Thanks everyone for the great reception.
    After we bought OG I did the my youtube research as I always do with players I never saw playing and my firstthought was that he is a good finisher. Last season we only saw flashes of that. But this season he really impressed with his finish, especially scoring with his first touch. So far this season he has reminded me of a certain Mario Gomez.
    The only thing worrying me is that we don’t know how he reacts to not scoring for a couple of games and that’s when we might be short of options up top.

    To the Suarez saga I think he would be a great addition with his style of play, but I would be worried about him not fitting into the team as a character and then there is also his crazy mind…. Not too sure he would be the right player for January’s transfer window.

    Over the course of the last couple of seasons I always thought me need another striker to support rvj our now OG because of our crosses mostly flying perfectly into the box but then there was just one striker. With the addition of Özil we will score a lot more goals through the middle like Ramsey’s at the weekend and we might not need a supporting striker. I think for the January transfer window we should go for a central defender. Can’t make my mind up who it should be yet…

  18. geoffchase says:

    Nik

    Great stuff… If you’ve red before you know we agree as I believe goals win games, presuming you defend :), but goals come from opportunities.

    Someone recently pointed out that CR had only a 17% conversion rate. But, with Ozil and RM he had, what, 5x the service!? 🙂

    As for OG, so far this year his finishing has been great. The goals against AV and Spurs were not simple nor easy. The one vs Sunderland wasn’t straightforward for a first time ball either. All perfectly placed. I’m quite hopeful there. And Theo will come right too!

    Cheers — jgc

  19. Gerry says:

    Nik – Fine post on our ‘panic buy'(ref – Give Me Sport, who cannot help themselves at the moment with their negative headlines?).

    The one thing that did please me with the Sunderland, which could become a weakness otherwise, is that play was spread about. I feared we might just pass to Ozil because he is Ozil. But no, the ball got moved around many times before ending up at Ozil’s feet. The Gibbs punt down the line, excepted, which was indicated by Ozil to Gibbs, and ended up in the net for 1-nil. The rest of the time there was build up play prior to Ozil getting involved with key passes.

    As to defending, although he did not make any tackles during the game, he does have a useful contribution to make. Flamini did things in his first game which I thought showed a great maturity to his game, by simply providing an outlet for a pass to be made, rather than diving in with a tackle. This is where I see Ozil ‘helping’ the defense. His presence alone ensures not every opposition player can commit to an attack, but if he is an outlet ball you can be reasonably sure we will retain possession … admittedly after someone else has done the dirty work of winning it back. But in this lovely harmonious team spirit that abounds, I am sure they are happy to do that if Ozil keeps doing ‘his thing’ at the other end?

  20. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Ozil for me is really a falling-star..

    Never cross in my mind that we ever casing a great (made) star like him..
    It just not Wenger habbits.. And also not Arsenal ways.. hahaha..
    But thing change.. football is change.. hehehe.. and somehow.. Wenger still do a great job in TW.. by bringing 4 players in one price.. 50 millions euro.. hehehe..

    What amazing is.. Ozil even didn’t have time in training season because of his fitness.. but He did it just great.. So we just can see a more gift from Ozil..
    Just wondering if Cazorla also fit.. And Ramsey stay in his performance..
    than our midfield will be unbeatable.. hehehehe..
    And We can wish that our team is also unbeatable.. hahahaha..

  21. Fozzie B says:

    Waney wakey fudge sickle fiddlers!! I think all these Swedish blondes have abducted the BK brotherhood to Lesbania!! Even Glic is too knackerd!!!
    😆
    I’m looking for the extra large Cuban cigar smoke rings coming from Cornwall!! Maybe Glic has overdosed on one I his chloroform cocktails and finds himself handcuffed in his own dungeon with the Lesbanians examining arsenals record signing!! ….. On glics one eyed trouser snake!!
    😆 Giving Ozil junior a full medical ahead of marseille in Wednesday!!!
    😆
    Tap. Tap, tap…. ” mr Ozil you look a bit washed out today …. Oh dear I see you’ve been sick again …. ”
    Glic pretending to be asleep until he can’t stand it anymore …. ” please can you put on my favourite tranny soap opera on the tv …. You know the one “Only Tools and Ozils …… ” hahaha
    And then then his favourite “Salty towers” to finish …..
    😆

  22. Fozzie B says:

    Hi Henry, how’s life and baby? I’m glad you have embraced Ozil!! I remember when we first blogged about Ozil when he a twinkle in Wenger’s eyes and you prefer Mata at the time .. Hehe … We very lucky alright!! Santi out for 3 more weeks, I had to sub him from fantasy team
    😦

  23. Fozzie B says:

    I enjoyed watching your boy Bony last night Henry! He’s still feeling his way but I agree with you he has massive potential!!
    😀

  24. James Bond says:

    great read @ Nik

    thanks for taking the time out to write about the best no.10 in the world.

    so from your article, what i’m getting at is that all the German coaches and the football experts rated OooooooooooooOOOooooooooZil since his early days and perhaps even sped his immigration process to enable him to get the passport , so he could be part of the German set up sooner rather than later, that is rather impressive and a massive compliment to his skills.

    the criticism (sort of) of him not lasting the whole 90 minutes is rather unjust mainly due to the fact that when he is subbed, the game by then is truly in the bag – hence it’s only natural for any manager to take out the creative one and bring one a utility player or a more defensive minded player.

    worth noting also, that Podolski seldom plays 90 minutes as well – maybe it’s a German thing, ha

    ahahahhahahaha @ Fozzie

    re- Bony, he had plenty of chances to win it for the Swans, i reckon – but he’s good and has potential to be very very good.

  25. Hey boys…returned from backpacking and ready for another dose of Ozil…A dozil?…

    Excellent Post Nik–keep them coming, please. Where’s HH?…Count me as concerned if he can’t get his UMF picks in AND doesn’t feel a need to say I told you so, after his deadline day post about our new signing…Please give at least a thumbs up, if you’re reading this, big fella…

    Suffice it to say that I was very impressed and I think we’ve got a guy who is ready to pull the strings. Best of all, I think he has enough awareness and trickery in his game that he can avoid the recklessness endemic to the English game. The eyes bulge, perhaps, because they see things from all angles, including crazy kids with studs raised…With the attacking line-up as thin as it is, this could be the most precious element our Messy brings…

    Fingers crossed I’m correct and Ozil is an everpresent in our line-up and the fulcrum we’ve been crying out for since Cesc’s departure. It’s simple really…if opponents have to worry about the passes and the moves of Ozil it frees up Ramsey, Arteta, Cazorla and Wilshere (etc.) to move and receive the ball in dangerous rather than desperate spots. Chances can then ensue with far less risk of turnovers in parts of the pitch where they can hurt us. In other words, we’ve finally got the guy who can turn standard midfield possession play into attack in an instant. As fun as Saturday was, I cannot wait to see Ozil play alongside Santi. I believe the range of passes plus the close control will be devastating. I think those two may have enough “similarity of vision” to act as (near) extensions of one another. If one is covered the other will be available to finish off the envisioned play…

    So, (though I’m late to the party and repeating a lot of what’s already been said) these are exciting times. We still need to get (and/or keep…) everybody fit and on the field. Luckily the collective spirit seems intact and the available bodies are stepping up. Obviously Ramsey is being hailed but an additional shout should go out to Sagna and Flamini for the solidity they brought. Latest news appears that we were after JuanFran who impressed me when I saw him play in Granada, esp. going forward. Jenks can look static, runs like a goof, and defensively has a ways to go, but boy oh boy can he hit a cross. If he can get the height correct he may become a real asset, esp. in those home matches where three points are a must. The power of his ball to Ramsey and the ensuing volley made a noise that I (along with the folks at the Stadium of Light) won’t soon forget…

    Word limit reached…but plenty more to say…

  26. Fozzie B says:

    JB and 17h in the house!! Thankfully you have escaped from the dungeon in Glic’s tranny annex!! 17h is still high on Glic’s Ozil cocktail like we all are! I agree that Ozil and Santi will be super awesome-like my Ozil avatar Rango we have a new sherif in town and Santi is also a muppet, namely Elmo!!
    😆
    Tofether they will bamboozle players with their googly superhuman abilities to read the game and thread the passes and distract them with their cute giggles and smiles!!!
    😀
    Hey that Swedish cook muppet might be to blame for the recent bout of team illness and quietness on the BK front!!
    He’s a Manure fan of all teams to support!! I told him those chickens he was chucking around look like Moyes!! Running scared and looking for daddy red nose for help but alas he’s nowhere!! Haha… 😆
    I had to run for my furry life after that though!! It was like Jack Nicholson in the shining chasing me with his knives!!
    These muppets are so vicious in real life!! You never see that in TV do you?? Imagine a Big Brother for the Muppets …..
    HhMmmm now that would be interesting …. 😆

  27. 17highburyterrace says:

    Fozzie, you are one nutty bear…I’m not sure if I prefer your shaggy band of muppets to the visions of shaven mavens Glic presents…I guess I’ll stick with something we say over here: “It’s all good”… 😯

    Agreed with those who liked the look of Bony for Swans last night. I still think that group has some issues and that Michu has trouble playing with a more stationary front man. Those little guys (Dyer, Routledge, Brittan) kept driving inside but then Michu is there and not far enough forward to finish it off (after Bony was subbed). He (Bony) would sure have been a nice stand-in (back-up) for Giroud… Personally, I’ve got high hopes for Sanogo if he can just keep himself available (fit)…

    I guess we should be getting some word from the manager soon about Giroud, but (for some reason) I’m not particularly concerned if we need to play Theo up top for a match or two. If need be, Nacho and Gibbs on the left might suit us for what promises to be a very tight match in Marseilles…

  28. jnyc says:

    I think that Arsenes conversations with Mesut and his dad were partly about Mesuts growth and even a little improvement to his game. Im sure that Arsene will encourage him to look to score more, as he did with Cesc. Then he will be undisputedly the best in the world.

  29. Fozzie B says:

    17h you were nearly right except its “shagging band of muppets” 😆
    I’m not joking!! Here’s an expression you might be familiar with 17h ….
    “It’s on like Donkey Koooong!!!!”
    😆
    Cookie Monster has a batch of his “special cookies” in the oven as we speak, with grover and animal waiting eagerly playing poker to kill the time.
    snuffaluffagus has the biggest bong you have seen in your life!! And Bert and Ernie have a “do not disturb sign” hanging from their door!!
    😆
    Johnny New York City I agree!!! Ozil is going to really start scoring loads now he doesn’t have the big egos to please!! Watch those stats head to the stars!!
    😀

  30. James Bond says:

    ah yes, welcome back 17HT, hope you had a good few days break and also nice to hear from JNYC as well – agreed re- Wenger fine tuning his immaculate game even better with more emphasis on defence ala Podolski.

    big brother for the muppets ahahahahahahahhaha @ Fozzie that was a good one !

  31. henrychan says:

    Sorry Nik.. Forgot to mention how great your post is.. hehehe..

    Frozzie.. thanks mate.. my family life is great.. I enjoy every moment with them.. specially my beauty Yoona.. hehe..
    Btw tomorrow will be her five months old.. and with all the joy.. We will win again Marsaille.. haha..
    Only one player that concern me in Marsaille team.. Thauvin.. sad he isn’t in our team..

    Yes.. I prefer Mata more than any players.. because We need a LW.. I think We got Rosicky and Cazorla already for an AM.. plus Wilshere and Eisfeld..
    Thauvin is another great winger.. but more a RW like Walcott..
    But Wenger have another scenario on his mind.. and I love it.. although still can’t believe We sign a 50 millions player.. hahaha..

    Bony.. hehe.. I never fail to see a great player.. hahaha..
    You will see what I mean.. tomorrow.. with Thauvin.. he is only a little bit lose from Walcott.. but will be a great player 2-3 years ahead..
    Hope our defenders work well.. hehehe..

  32. 17highburyterrace says:

    Isn’t a big issue Brazil 2014?

    Germany should be right there to win the tournament and the role of principal playmaker should be a fight between our guy and Mario Gotze. Overall the German MF is awfully crowded when you’ve got guys like Schweinsteiger, Gundogan, Khedira, Reus and Kroos all fighting for spots. If Messy thought the RM attack was gonna be lots of big runs (and pot shots) from Ronaldo and Bale you can see why he might’ve wanted out…

  33. 17highburyterrace says:

    Marseilles have some good little players…Thauvin is young and promising, but tiny Valbuena is the guy to really worry about…And don’t they have those two brothers (the Ayews) who can score?…

    I look for a tight match, a point in their stadium with nobody hurt would be fine, I think…

    Maybe James (thanks for the shout out/welcome back…) can give us some inside info about whether or not we’re tracking Thauvin?…

  34. James Bond says:

    we should be fine against the french, as long as we keep things tight at the back and control the likes of Payet and Valbuena , it should be alright – our MF will boss it.

    not spoken @ 17HT , so i don’t know, last i heard was what i had already shared with you – but our scouting system is solid and i will be very surprised, if we were not getting regular reports on promising players, especially from France.

  35. Fozzie B says:

    I feel we should be fine against marseille as OG will be extra primed, Ozil will be illness free, BFG will be back and the Ram is on fire. Marseille are playing sexy football but I think our momentum is strong. I think we will go hard to get away goals. I’m actually more worried about how we turn around against the Orcs. At least will be at home!!
    17h Germany is stacked in midfield alright they have a real chance at the World Cup for sure! 😀

  36. James Bond says:

    that’s what worries me more @ Fozzie

    that we are playing back at home !

    i’m more confident when we play away tbh!

  37. Fozzie B says:

    Nice bit on the Flame 😀

    And Wenger has revealed that it was not a straightforward decision to bring the 29-year-old back to Emirates Stadium.
    “First of all I believe that he realised what he had here,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “When you’re very young, it is difficult to understand what he had at Arsenal.
    “I must say I was reluctant to sign him again but he was so honest in his statement that he wants to play the kind of football we play, that he wants to help us to win. He convinced me through his attitude and his desire in training that he will be the right signing for us.
    “It was his attitude. He could have gone somewhere else. He had offers but he wanted to put it right with this club and I think he felt somewhere that he had something to bring to the piece here. He was determined to do that.”

  38. Fozzie B says:

    JB I agree with you normally but this will be the unveiling of Ozil at home and the Ozil affect will keep everyone positive and amped! …. 😀

  39. James Bond says:

    no, it’s not that, Fozzie

    it’s the jokers we keep getting at the Emirates to Officiate – Dean happens to be the one we’re getting vs the Rugby players.

    anyway, one game at a time, let’s take care of the french tomorrow , then it comes the turns of the Orchs.

    Gnabry is not in the CL squad, for me that is very very very strange, why the hell not include him ?

  40. James Bond says:

    by that i mean why not include him in the CL squad list ? he was there last year, why take him out this year ?

    unless i’m mistaken, then feel free to correct me.

  41. geoffchase says:

    Fozzie

    very interesting about Flamini by AW… such also helps in locker rooms when younger ones start to talk up..

    cheers — jgc

  42. James Bond says:

    cheers for that , JGC

    according to these young ones , we don’t —However, mirror is more reliable , so i will go your link, it didn’t make much sense to me , reading that he’s not in the squad list for CL.

    http://arsenalyouth.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/hayden-and-akpom-join-first-team-for-trip-to-marseille/?

  43. James Bond says:

    either the daily mirror or the lot above have it wrong,

    he’s not here either,

    http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2014/clubs/club=52280/index.html

    he doesn’t qualify for the B list , yet, isn’t it ?

    seems like Zelalem took his place ?

    it’s confusing, none the less , argh.

  44. Fozzie B says:

    JB that’s a shame about Gnabry alright!

  45. James Bond says:

    more so when the player who took his place in the senior squad – Zelalem , happens to be injured until xmas

    unlucky, indeed.

    but never mind, they will still play for the youth CL and be ready for the Orch’s i guess.

  46. Gerry says:

    JB – re Gnabry. I think it is tied up with ‘being at the club for two years’, and the two years are complete in October, if I remember rightly, Which means he’ll qualify on the B List in January. Given the players they were looking to get in the summer, he may not have had an obvious chance of any game time in the CL?

    I am chuffed that Hayden is going though. I would like to see him get a few minutes if were are in a good position. Akpom too, I feel so sorry for the lad with the family death just at a time when he might be making his big break though. I am sure non would be more supportive than his late cousin, so I hope he has something more than a few moments ‘escape time’.

    You’re right JB, about Valbuena, he does make them tick, and now with Thauvin they have twice the creativty, and they move around similar to our midfield. Valbuena like Santi, moving in and out of the wide left position, Whilst Thauvin is more a Ramsey type, likely to pop up anywhere. It will be a very tricky game, and their last match against Toulouse did not show their full capabilities, as I think Alcide’s report may show?

    I do think we need to win though, as I expect Dortmund to dos so against Napoli. Basically I think it comes down to who does best against Marsaille between us and Napoli will have the edge … for second spot!

  47. James Bond says:

    agreed @ Gerry

    very tragic what happened to his cousin…i guess he would want to play and score and then dedicate it to him ?

    yep, we need to do well against Marseille but i’m not sure why people are looking at Napoli as a potent threat ?

    AW may not be king of Europe (not won it yet), however, in Europe , there is hardly anyone more consistent than him

    i will miss Gervinho tomorrow though, he did score against Giroud’s former club last season to get us started, if memory serves !

  48. Gerry says:

    HT17 – I think the idea we are still after Thauvin is because it is on journo’s database.

    If we are going to get a player like that I think it will be from another French club who are suffering badly at the moment. But ‘my boy’ is still sticking to his task rather well.

    According to the latest thing I read, it looks like Thauvin may be the late change for when Valbuena gets tired?

  49. Gerry says:

    I take the view that we are more likely to get nothing from Dortmund, but 1 point would be a bonus; 3 points from Napoli, but 4 would be nice; whereas 6 points from Marseille is much more realistic?

    If Dortmund don’t ease up and give an easy 3 points to someone, then Napoli are as capable as us at getting something from Marseille?

  50. geoffchase says:

    Gerry

    We will see. That said, in the group, the serious contenders, final 8 and on certainly, should win all home games and draw all or all but one away (1 loss). At a minimum. A serious statement of intent in our group would be:

    A. Win all home games
    B. draw Napoli and Dortmund away
    C. Win tomorrow at Marseilles

    Should be doable for us barring a plane crash or similar…

    Remember progressing is worth more than the FA cup in money….

    Cheers — jgc

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening, Evening 🙂

    Gerry, we will get at least two points from Dortmund and possibly four 😉

    Really good comments this afternoon by the usual suspects.

    Just to let you guys know: Glic is currently dealing with a family health issue and will not be blogging for a while. However, he will continue to take part in the UMF, as he remains desperate to become the nr.1 loser!

    In the meantime his sense of dirty humour will be missed, and let’s hope things improve for him soon. 😕

  52. James Bond says:

    1:4- Marseille

    3:4 – Naples

    5:2 – Dortmund

    10 points and according to AW, 10 is that magic figure for progression.

  53. James Bond says:

    so sorry to hear about Glic and the family health issues, hope all gets well soon.

    we are already missing you , Glics

    hoping to see you soon !

  54. James Bond says:

    Nik,

    don’t be a stranger as we will need your expert analysis on how to outsmart Dortmund , very soon 😉

  55. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good luck to Glic…Sorry…

    Similarly, TA, (as I asked above…) any word from HH? I didn’t like the idea that he wasn’t making his own UMF picks… He doesn’t seem like the sort who would just drop off the face…

    I think our first 11 is looking pretty freaking solid at the moment, so now it becomes about depth. We had only Gnabry and Akpom as attackers on the bench on Saturday, so it’s a bit worrisome. I guess Ozil and Giroud have passed fitness tests. Still, we really cannot afford any injuries. A result and coming through unscathed seems important… Hopefully we’ll be a little deeper when the tougher matches–Dortmund, the Manchester clubs, Chelsea, etc. come along…

    A good result/performance tomorrow and Ozil playing at home could bring a very different atmosphere from the opening day Sunday… How sweet would it be to have a real home fortress?…

    Fingers crossed…

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    I have emailed HH and heard nothing back, 17… Don’t know what to think, but he has very busy work periods at times, so hopefully it is this what’s causing his prolonged absence… 😕

  57. Gerry says:

    Nik – You could do it on one line:

    ‘Just do the best you can boys’ – 😀

    Well thy have PEA playing for them …instead of us AW please note!

  58. Gerry says:

    Glic, I hope it all sorts out well for you?

  59. geoffchase says:

    Best regards to Glic! — jgc

  60. geoffchase says:

    JB

    Your total also seems realistic!

    Cheers — jgc

  61. Gerry says:

    Geoff – I leave you alone for a minute and that’s what you do. Contradict me! What is it with shadows these days.

    So we are going to draw both games with Dortmund eh? and if that does not come off, we are on 8 points? Just that Napoli could get 9 points by doing the same to Maarseille, and sharing 3 a-piece with us. So it will come down to goal difference, and by then, they will know exactly what is needed because our two games will be concluded by the time they play their final leg with Marseille?

    Still plausible?

  62. geoffchase says:

    Gerry

    Many shadowed apologies! 🙂 … Did it ever occur that you think to much? This from a member of the professorial ranks! 😛

    I figure if we are good enough and I believe so, luck a bit with us.. 6 from Marseilles, 4 from Napoli, 1 or 4 from Dortmund. First or second in group…

    Of course, I could be a liar as early as 915 BST tomorrow! 😀

    But you have my call now, far too early to be held really responsible later…

    Cheers — jgc

  63. James Bond says:

    or Napoli could draw most of their games and struggle to get beyond 6 points ?

  64. geoffchase says:

    JB and Gerry

    Even jgc-damus cannot see thrust all the possibilities. Ask me after game 4 or 5! 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    What happened with ‘one game at a time’ folks. You guys remind me of Homer Simpson, who’s with his family on a safari and just when they see giraffes, lions etc in the late sunlight, he takes a picture of the speedometer because it just reached the 10,000 mark… Feck the stats and live for the here and now footie… 🙂

  66. geoffchase says:

    TA

    S’what I’m sayin’ duuude! 🙂

    Anyway, about 15 posts ago or maybe 3, jgc-damus was taunted into prediction by a certain agent and his friend Gerry.. It read, for he anything free comes with no guarantee record::

    “Marseilles, 2-0 Arsenal if Per, Ozil and OG are there,and AR plays and good, 2-1 or even 2-2 without Per. Ozil to assist on one, maybe Theo finally… No call if we do heavy rotation for any reason”

    Voila — jgc

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    I’ll take any of those results, GC 😉

  68. VCC says:

    Thinking of you GLiC……God bless.

  69. Fozzie B says:

    Glic hope health is restored quickly to all in lesbania!!! And if that was a secret code email you sent to Totes for help then Fozzie can gladly be caretaker of your kingdom!!
    😀
    Sweet Moses I feel crook myself!! Have you shirt lifters seen RMs kit!! It’s a Chelvski lookalike!!! Bluckkyyyy!!! I’m reminded ok chav kermits green slime!!!!
    😆
    Meanwhile Count Pelegrini is looking mighty worried on the other hand!!
    Oilers away kit looks nice actually…
    😀

  70. Fozzie B says:

    Isco has scored Glic to open RMs goal account! 😀

  71. AB says:

    Quick one to Nik. Enjoyed the post, and totally agree with you that Ozil is the best we could possibly have found in the TW – and more than I would ever have dreamed possible. Forget Suarez Rich (I have!); this guy is class on all fronts and I hope will stay to develop with this teams – Suarez would have been off with the first better offer.

  72. Fozzie B says:

    I don’t like Manure and Oilers tonight!!! They both getting their mojo back! I hope they belt 7 shades out of each other on Sunday!! 😀

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – New Post 🙂

    Alcide has produced a very fine pre-match report with an in-depth analysis of the strength and weaknesses of our French opponents tomorrow. 🙂

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