This Loyal and Fabulous Gunner Will also Be Unai Emery’s Man

It is not easy to be a great talent and also an introvert, especially in sports – and even more so in the biggest one of them all: football. Mesut Ozil reminds me a bit of Donnie the Quiz Kid in one of my favourite movies ‘Magnolia’. Mesut, just like Donnie, is so talented and has so much ‘love’ to give but he is just not being appreciated enough, even though our new nr.10 actually knows ‘where to put it’.

Ozil is the PL Champion of the key pass; and key passes are like the Quiz Kid’s love in Magnolia: they provide others with the opportunity to be in the limelight and win for us. Every striker wants nothing more than a great and regular producer of key passes; and as we know, they are like gold dust in football.

And that’s what Mesut is all about: making others look better and play for the team. Last season’s 3.2 key passes per game in the PL makes him king of the key pass; next up is KdBruine with 2.9 key passes per game. Yet Mesut is only shared 10th in the PL regarding producing assists, with just eight of them in 26 games. To score a goal it takes at least two to tango, and, until Auba joined us, we were pretty woeful at finding the net in many a game, especially away from home.

KdB was the king of the assists last season with 16 in 37 games (Mesut did even better than that at the start of his Arsenal career). During the World Cup Ozil produced a whopping 5.5 key passes for Germany but it did not lead to any assists; the holding champions were woeful and went out during the group stage with their tails between their legs. The media and some self-celebrating DFB Dummköpfe still liked to blame Ozil for the Germans’ embarrassing exit from the WC.

Let’s face it, Mesut is also often our scapegoat when things are not going our way.

He never stops trying to find those key passes for others, to make himself available as to pass the ball to him, to create space for others and speed up our attacks, to look for the best possible way to move our game forward. That is what I love about Mesut. Yet many are so quick to criticise him when we are not winning; he is such an easy victim for our very own red and white Dummköpfe. He is not your in your face midfielder who shouts and puts in tackles to get the team and crowd going; but then who is these days?! Yet he runs as much as anybody in the team and helps out defence whenever he can. And I have never ever seen him have a bad game. Never.

Mesmerizing Mesut – King of the Key Pass!

Always remember, MO10 knows that he serves the  team best by focusing on creating opportunities for others, and that attack is often the best form of defence for the team. This is not a luxury to have when the absolute King of the Key Pass is donning The Shirt.

With both Laca and Auba likely to play in attack and either Rambo or Mkhi (or even both) also on the pitch, Ozil has every opportunity to put last season’s disappointments behind him, and come on top again both with key passes per game AND (this time also) assists.

There is no doubt in my mind that Emery is delighted to have the master of key passes and assists in his first Arsenal team, and he will be central to his plans. Mesut has so much to give  to us and we should show him much more unconditional love going forward. He signed the long-term deal; he will finish his football career at the home of football. If we stand behind him at all times, he will keep delivering for us (even if it doesn’t always ‘show’).

By  TotalArsenal.

79 thoughts on “This Loyal and Fabulous Gunner Will also Be Unai Emery’s Man

  • Great piece TA. Like MO10, sublime.
    Mesut Ozil may be the one topic you and I are in TOTAL agreement regarding.
    A full season of Auba/Laca/Mkhi and hopefully Rambo could be sensational.
    (Really hoping Perez sticks. He jibes with what’s coming too. )


  • T, leaving football for the moment….
    “Magnolia” is one of my all time favorite films. It’s genius. That clip doesn’t do it justice. Powerful filmmaking. Incredible acting, great soundtrack. Also, it follows no stupid Hollywood formula. Anyone who hasn’t seen it, give it a chance.

    On Arsenal, I’m expecting big things from our creative and attacking players this season, and Ozil is a big part of it. But I’ll reiterate, we are so stacked with talent veteran and youth (praying that Rambo stays), that I hope Emery will sub Mesut much earlier than Arsene did, if he ever did, and maybe even the occasional week off. I’m a big proponent of keeping players fresh and rotation.

  • TA, a pertinent post very well managed.

    Ozil is something of an enigma. That is why he is so much love and hated at the same time. He is no KdB who is loved by all but again those on the love side of Ozil’s divide rate him higher than KdB.

    Kevin can go into any environment and still be Kevin. Ozil’s environment has to be “right” for him to be Ozil. In other words the team has to be built for him. You don’t remold Ozil, you remold the team to suit Ozil. Or to put it in a more palatable language the team has to be built to get the best out of Ozil.

    Maybe Wenger was the best thing for him, because he gave Ozil much freedom to find his own space. Wenger’s little attempt to get more goals from him by playing him further up with a target striker saw a dramatic slide in his assist rate. Never should there be any attempt to shoehorn Ozil. He’s so fragile he’d be suffocated to death.

    Am of the opinion that Ozil cannot flower in a highly structured set up like in Pep’s team. I don’t know about Emery but I won’t be surprised if Emery uses Ozil in a deeper freer midfield role for controlling spaces both with and without the ball. That would reduce Ozil’s involvement in Emery’s high press. Maybe because of Ozil, Emery would settle for the 4:3:3 (4:3:2:1) with him in the middle 3.

  • Cheers PE,

    Ozil not being flexible in terms of how he is used is something I cannot agree with. Ozil produces key passes and assists in all teams he plays in and under each and every manager. The opposite is true and the idea that he cannot play a high pressing game is also unpalatable with me. Sorry.

  • Yes J, it’s a great movie with some fabulous characters and acting performances.

    Agreed re rotation if and when appropriate.

  • JW, we need Perez as cover for Ozil on the right and to start games as well. Very flexible guy who can score, produce key passes and assists, and will understand Emery’s game plan very well. I am looking fwd to seeing him the coming season.

  • TA

    Agreed.. I think Giroud, for all his great qualities didn’t fit Ozil 100% and Alexis was, well, Alexis last year, … where a year or so before Ozil almost set the PL record with the good Alexis and AR. Lacazette will help as they mesh, and so will most certainly PEA. AR down a flank and floating in will also set it better….

    We will of course see..

    Cheers — jgc

  • Prof, Ozil and Ollie is like Ollie and Griezmann. Ollie does not need to be always scoring but he did what he does best: hold the ball.

    Tomorrow the lads are flying with Ozil. We will see a more relaxed Ozil and would like the fans to get behind him so that we will see a better him.

  • I believe the playing personnel at our disposal at present would enhance Ozil’s performance. We now have a number of intelligent runners aka Auba, Mkhi, Ramsey, and Laca who is good at dragging defences around thereby creating spaces for the runners to exploit. It’s important though that Ozil stays deeper so as to have enough bodies (options) in front of him (me thinks).

  • A really excellent Post, TA, classy writing and with plenty of common sense analysis showing the true worth of Mesut.

    As you implied, there are no shortages of dummköpfe in the world, and football is no exception, which is disproportionate to the geniuses who are in short supply.

    Ôzil is a genius, but as with many footballers he can respond very well to the stimulus of ‘fan love’ on a given day, but conversely he can be adversely affected by unproductive moans too.

  • Incidentally, I saw The Jeff shortly after he joined the club and thought what a fabulous player, then injury struck – the dreaded ‘kiss of death’ loan intervened and now he seems likely to be shown the door.

    I do hope not — Jeff has the potential to be a wonderful resource for the team — but Emery seems not to share my view. [many others would also agree that he is talented, but the first team opportunities are few and far between, so …..?? ]

  • To be selfish, I can only hope that it plays out to Arsenal’s benefit. Maybe London and his teammates can become his sanctuary from German criticism. Coming back early can be a sign of that also.

    RA, I had high hopes for Jeff too, but I was sad to see TA’s comment about being left out of the tour.

    I hope it’s just that Emery is focused on watching our top youth guys likely ready to be used this term. I’m really hoping we will make a push to get Reiss Nelson to commit by getting him playing time. Last summer he was behind Walcott, we were trying hard to keep Chamberlain, and then, even worse, he was held behind Welbeck and Iwobi. I hope that last part will be solved by the new administration, either by selling those last 2, or Emery changing the pecking order.

    If we can’t or don’t swing an expensive deal for a pacey midfielder, I’d like to see what he can do. I’m not so afraid to have a young player given a lot of time or responsibility. He will be surrounded by very experienced players, so I think the time is right.

  • Good post the other day Retsub, been trying to catch up, have you ever read Cliff Bastin Remembers by Cliff Bastin, it’s a brilliant read.

    Herb, sorry I missed you, Johnnie/Total, don’t know that film, I’ll look out for it.

  • To put on the record, Ozil did not say quit or retire from the German team. He just simply put that he would not play for the national team whilst the racism continues.

  • Yes Jnyc, Ozil will definitely be at home at the Emirates with Emery.
    I predicted in my earlier comments that he would not do well with Germany but will be more at ease with us. And the passes from him are still quality at the world cup.

    So blame the national teammates for not converting his crosses. Not blame him German FA.

    He is right to make this decision.

  • Hi all..
    I agree with most of you.. Ozil decision is a benefit for us..
    Ozil will highly motivated to prove that it wasn’t his fault.. He can be our new Bergkamp with #10 shirt.. Germany will missed him..

    Our team for ICC are almost complete.. We bring our best team.. Maybe we can win this Cup.. Although Dortmund already win twice.. and seem will easily beat Benfica on their last game.. Pulisic.. 19 yo alone beat Liverpool.. Two assist (one penalty) and a goal..
    A new hot star in making..

    JK.. Lucky you to watch the game.. LIVE.. Do you..?? I wish to have time and also money.. hehehe.. to join you there.. hahaha..

  • Ko Henry.. watching the match live at the stadium on Thursday. Atletico is not an easy team to beat, but to see the lads up close and personal is a definite plus.

  • Hmm

    The Ozil thing is going to be interesting. German racism has never been very far below the surface by almost anywheres standards in actual fact, and Gus their distinction between Deutsche and Bio-Deutsche. It will be interesting to see how it plays out there, and longer term especially, as Germans are remarkably never wrong so it’ll be interesting to see how long the DFB chair hangs on. I predict some difficult times for them. He’s honestly lucky to be free – his passing was great but the team itself was outplayed and out-thought.

    The intl break rests ought to be more help to him too. IMO, refreshed he’s dynamite. Jaded he may lose more than some. That’s why if we keep AR and depth, IMO, we can rest him more and …

    Cheers — jgc

  • I want to avoid talking about Ozil’s decision to quit in a political way on this blog. Germany have come a long way in becoming an inclusive society but they are not perfect by any means (like all Western European nations; and some are a lot, lot worse). I am fully behind Ozil and I am proud of him for standing up for himself for once. Emery to make him captain now.

  • Very gutsy decision by Ozil, knowing how most players aspire to play for the national team, the potential blow back by over zealous countrymen and the risk of alienation with his national teammates.
    He was silent and chose his time to respond, just as some had started to forget the matter. Cold.
    Expect some soured grapes reaction soon…

  • Gazidis news is a little shocking to me.. he is part of the new management team but him leaving for Milan is a little absurd.

  • HI all.. Let’s forget about Ozil saga for a while.. and move to our pre season match..
    Gazidis goes to Milan..?? Who care.. hehehe..

    And JK.. I think You should Write a Live Post on the battle against ATM and PSG.. hehehe..

  • 84

    I am not able to issue a live post as I will be working tomorrow afternoon. You can sent me a match report after the game if you want, and I will try and issue it for you.

  • Total, if any UK fans have Virgin TV, then they’ve got the game ‘live’ of Premier Sports, channel 127,and the PSG game on Saturday.

    Looks like it’s the end of the road for The Jeff, seems that a permanent transfer to Ligue Un club Angers is on the cards.
    Shame, but probably the best thing for him as he really needs to play regularly.

  • Kev–
    Honestly, this looks to me like the methodology for the foreseeable future.
    The club is making decisions based NOT keeping prospects past their ‘sell-by date’– and extracting as much value as possible. We’ve several of this variety in the past 24-36 months.

    Gnabry, WSilva, McGuane*, Akpom, now JRA.

    If the analytics can tell you that good prospects such as these will never make your starting XI– sell ’em on and use their fees to bankroll more, younger, possibilities. It’s not a lot of money per se– but it might a fund a whole class of U15s that might end up panning one or two several years on. Just a sensible fashion of using funds more wisely.

    *As for Marcus McGuane? Just a sneaking suspicion– but my gut says it’s the price of releasing Raul Sanllehi from any outstanding obligation to Barca.


  • Kev, Jw1. Maybe, just maybe, Jeff is not up to standard yet and we will see him staying in the end..
    I am not sure if he had impressed Emery enough but he certainly had impressed me. Quick on the ball, quick with his off the ball runs and positioning. And he scored a couple of goals.

    Maybe he will go out for another loan this season but he is good enough to continue with the Gunners.

    Some carrots to bring your attention here in Sunny Singapore, where the weather is a cooling and humid 27 to 31 degrees celsius. Not as hot as Japan, which just had it’s hottest summer, 41 degrees centigrade, and in India, where temperatures are hovering around 40.

    So, humid, yes, hot, nope. Or at least yours truly and Ko Henry is used to this temperature the whole year.

    Back to the game preview.

    We have most of our players back, and Atletico has some of their first team players missing from the extended breaks. They are still strong, so we might see a close game here.

    There is a strong Gooner base in Singapore, and normally the fans from the region and Australia will converge when the Gunners play in the South East Asia and Australia regions. Atletico has also a huge following here in Singapore.

    We have seen both teams playing against each other before, but will both teams play conservative football due to the heat, or will they be going all out? The newpapers are covering the Gunners, but no mention of Atletico in the media outlet so far. Where are they training to prepare for the heat and humidity?

    All those questions will be answered later after the game.

  • Yes JK.. We are quite similar for temperature.. I hope no smoke from Riau that can be distribute the game.. hehehe..
    Here’s also I can watch live in TVRI.. Not so bad.. hehehe..

  • Ko Henry, so far no smoke from Riau. We have TV channels showing the match LIVE, but I will take a look at the crowds later on.

  • Yes JW, we have quite a clutch of players in the19, 20, 21 age group who are unlikely to progress into the 1st team squad, especially as we have teenagers like ESR, Amaechi and Sako who’ll overtake them in the next 18 months.
    It’s quite normal tbh, and very very difficult at a top EPL club. I think it makes sense to move these lads on and if possible have a sell-on clause as part of the deal.

    I did read that sell-on clauses aren’t allowed in French Football so JRA will be a straight sale.

    Zelalem is still recovering from injury so he’s gonna be with us until at least January I guess.
    Josh Dasilva isn’t registered as an Arsenal player anymore so it seems that he’s joined Dragomir on the A train.
    Besides JRA and Akpom I’d suspect that Pleguezuelo, Bramall, Mavididi, Sheaf, Bola and Bielik could be moved on this summer, permanently or by loan.
    Still a lot of business to be done before the 9th I reckon, Jenkinson, Ospina, Welbeck, Campbell, maybe Macey?

  • No Ozil in the line up? Even in the bench..?? Do I missed something..??

  • It’s about 30 out here in Essex 84, in London it’s going to peak at around 34 today, or around 40 in my cab, so I’m having the day off…. 😉

    Yeah JRA has a lot of potential but maybe it’s more about the players he’s competing with for game time and a lack of opportunities, Guendouzi, Willock, Nelson, ESR are all younger than the Jeff and further up the pecking order.

    Anyway the game starts in a minute.

  • Leno, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Mustafi, Holding, Ramsey, Guendouzi, Nelson, ESR, PEA, Lacazette

  • Subs: Cech, Sokratis, Mkhitaryan, AMN, Chambers, Mavropanos, Perez,, Nketiah, Osei Tutu, Willock

    TV reckons it’s 4 2 3 1

  • Ramsey has the armband…

    Nelson looks lively, a couple of promising runs, driving into the box.
    Guendouzi looking good.

  • Athletico look very good, never uncomfortable even when we put them under pressure.
    So good at protecting their goalkeeper.
    Lacazette on target, good save by Oblak

    Guendouzi reminds me of Manu Petit.

  • Lacazette had another good effort saved.
    Nelson should have scored.
    Atletico 1-0

  • Apart from this blog, I frequent Untold Arsenal.

    I tried just before and have been told I need a password.

    Does anyone here know what has happened here?

  • We have a new star already.. Hehehe..
    ES Rowe..

    I think Bellerin, Guendozi and Nelson must be replaced sooner..

  • Loads of subs, too many at one go for me, but there ya go, Guendouzi stays on.

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