Ozil MOTM but Who Came Second and who is Man of the Season so Far? 8 Observations v Foxes

WWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!

Arsenal 3 – 1 Leicester City: Arsenal put on the style in the second half to claim their tenth scalp.

Weergaloze Özil neemt Arsenal bij de hand tegen Leicester

Eight initial observations from an important win that puts us in shared third place with our main London rivals:

  1. I have spoken on here several times about a pattern in Arsenal’s play that I saw repeated again tonight: we invite the opponent into our own half by playing the ball out from the back; the deal is that for the pressure that we invite and the semi-chances we may give away, we get back space in the opponents’ half. In the second half we increase the tempo and after 60 minutes we bring on fresh legs and big guns; soon it is boom boom and the game is won and we can turn on the style. You may not like our tentative starts and the chances we give away, and Emery will surely keep working with his team to get better at safely inviting pressure (in exchange for space) going forward, but I have no doubt that Emery is keen to make us play this way game after game this season. Space is King!
  2. Ozil the captain had a great game. It was hard to listen to the Sky commentators who clearly have it in for Mesut with their regurgitated, lazy views of our genius, but even they, begrudgingly, had to eat their words towards the end of the game. He loves space and he sees the gaps quicker than most; and there is more feeling in Ozil’s left foot than in the entire Germans’ national team. The Foxes do not have a bad defence but once we increased the tempo and brought on Auba, Mesut came into his game properly as he carved open the defence with the finest through balls and seemingly at will. Ozil scored of course an important goal in the first half, but it was his second half masterclass of maximising on space and movement that made all the difference. We are so lucky to have him for the next 3.5 years in the mighty red and white shirt.
  3. Auba needed two minutes for his first goal and three more minutes for his second goal. I would have taken him off and rest him after that. Job done Mr Supersub; our supersonic special weapon cracked open the walls again. If Auba continues like this he will break the record for minutes between goals this season.
  4. The MOTM has to go to Ozil but Bellerin was a very close second. He made excellent attacking runs all night and his reading of the situation ahead of him has improved immensely, as has his ability to put in deadly crosses and passes. That was one of Hector’s best games until now.
  5. Xhaka and Torreira had a great game: the heartbeat of the team. These boys work hard and do a lot of dirty work all game long. They are the swan’s under carriage and make the team shine….
  6. But behind them we have another couple of hard working players – Holding and Mustafi – who also enable to rest of the team to shine. Add Leno to these four players and you have the hard base of the team. They all worked their socks off for us and I flipping love them.
  7. It was weird how all of a sudden this game was over. It really was boom boom 3-1 and Leicester became scared of a thumping. We saw out the game with defensive discipline and healthy aggression. We could/should have scored a couple more goals but it was not to be. And that brings me to Lacazette: what a worker and a key, key player for Emery’s ‘let’s knacker them out in the first 60 minutes and then pounce on them’ strategy. My Man of the Season so far.
  8. The last one goes to the Nigerian Dynamo who is also really important in knackering out the opposition’s defence: Alex Iwobi. He carries the ball forward really well and takes on defenders to force himself into space. The throughball he produced for Mesut that let to Laca’s missing of an unbelievable sitter was of Bergkampesque beauty. Iwobi is definitely the most improved Arsenal player this season!

By TotalArsenal.

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45 Responses to Ozil MOTM but Who Came Second and who is Man of the Season so Far? 8 Observations v Foxes

  1. jw1 says:

    Apologies TA.
    I’m certain yours is a fine review. Certain I’ll mention as much when I read it.
    But right now? I’m watching the match start2finish for the first time.
    Had these observations prior to (as usual being) ‘New Post(ed) :-)’:

    Saw bits of the first half. Saw most of the last 30 minutes.
    What I saw was flippin’ brilliant. What I saw were two teams that looked even on effort.
    One whose quality showed through and stayed in high gear for that last half-hour.

    Saw The Arsenal (My Arsenal!) win a match with their quality– then kill the game on their terms. Seeing it out with calm and resolve. I was proud today.

    Back after watching it through 😉

    jw1

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers JW – enjoy the beer and beauty of our footie.

  3. Goonereris says:

    And there I was thinking TA was certainly going to come with a “10 observations vs Foxes” article, to commemorate 10 wins on the bounce. 😉.

    It was an exhilarating performance by the lads and they all seemed to play with a smile. That’s what so many Ws do for team spirit. I dare say we will be even better when we play direct rivals because they are more likely going to leave the spaces we crave. Ozil was like the conductor of the Orchestra and seemed to grow into the game. Lichtsteiner did look rusty but still held his own and played it safe mostly. Holding had a couple of moments but had a good game, overall and it will only do his confidence good, the more he features on the winning side. Mustafi was almost peerless tonight too.

    Torreira is such an assured player, it’s easy to pass to him, even in tight spaces; he has really helped Xhaka be himself and run the midfield. When Lichtsteiner (alongside Mkhi) was hooked, with Auba and Guendouzi coming on, I had thought we were going into a back 3, but it was Xhaka who eased into left back (had my heart in my mouth a few times when I feared a foot race will catch him out) to telling effect as you had a body in the way and one who could pick a range of passes.

    TA, while Bellerin did have a good game, I’d say it was Iwobi’s performance that stood out to be joint 1st (or 2nd, if you like) with Ozil, as MoTM; hey, he was the sponsors’ choice after all. He gave a lot today and it’s been a while since Iwobi played all 90 minutes; he looked knackered when being interviewed after the game. That (being left on for the full duration) has to be down to his threat and link up play with Ozil, Lacazette and then, Torreira, at some point. He dazzled the Leicester full backs and was just so strong in possession while also winning back the ball on numerous occasions. Mention must also go to Guendouzi who just seemed to glide all over the pitch. On another night, we may have scored 5 and been 3rd on the table. But, that’s alright. Plenty of time for that.

  4. njk84sg says:

    10th win in a row. And magic from our No. 10 in the No.10 position.

    Only caught the highlights and somehow it looked like a weak defense and a strong midfield and attacking showing. Leno had a good game tonight, and he could do nothing stop the own goal. Better from the lads in the second half and it looked like the equaliser punctured the air out of the Leicester players.

    Good win but we need to start better. And a clean sheet please.

  5. njk84sg says:

    Nah Eris, it is always 8 for TA.

  6. olusoga says:

    TA, I think they play collectively as a team, all the areas of the pitch were covered. Fantastic play and great team spirit. This is not Arsene Wenger type of play, keep it up.

  7. Jnyc says:

    Before I forget, let’s not forget 2 good saves by Leno or everything could have been different. Schmeicel said as much in the post game interview. Only a mistake when he came for a ball on a corner and didn’t even punch it.

    I thought we beat a strong team today. They defended very well through most of the first half against what we were trying to do.

  8. geoffchase says:

    TA

    lurking but not posting… Was flying in planes again for this one. But, what I saw in reading and a few highlights was:

    1. One of our better/best starting teams out there. The Lacazette vs Auba thing being an interesing choice and a hard one perhaps. So far, so good though. Interesting Auba came on for Lichtsteiner and brought added attack.

    2. Ozil having freedom and space can only be a good thing. In the world cup, teams collapsed against Germany denying space and routed their slower backs with fast counters. Not so here. The pic you used alone tells a story of (growing) contentment

    3. I see the team getting better at the new systems and more poised and confident. Time will tell in next few games but I’ve not had this type of confidence for awhile.

    cheers from Wellington NZ this moment, Belgium in 2.5 weeks though — jgc

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Eris for a fine comment. Iwobi was important and after a rusty start – which seems to be common for him – he really got into the game and he deserves your and my praise. But with two assists and a very focussed attacking (and defending) performance it has to be Bellerin who goes second MOTM imo.

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes 8-4, Always eight, it’s a magic number.

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Welcome Olu – whether it is Wenger sort of play or not is a separate discussion but I agree it was a good team performance.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Johnnie, there was one outstanding safe, the other one was very saveable. But yes in a game things could always have been different if and when opponents take their chances instead of wasting them – that’s football.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to hear from you, Mr Chase. I agree with your observations and like the first one especially. I reckon we got the goals quickly and that made all the difference, but I did not like Emery breaking up the Xhaka-Torreira axis. I felt we lacked the organisation and intensity in midfield once Xhaka was moved to left back. But Guendouzi also needs to get playing time so I understand Emery’s thinking (and he did well).

  14. Admir says:

    So it’s 7/8. 🙂 A win at Palace to make my prediction correct. 🙂

    Agree on Iwobi, most improved player by far. There is a purpose in his game, his skill-set was never a question.

  15. njk84sg says:

    TA, it seems uncanny that your 8 observations paired with 4 goals in yesterday’s game.. makes….. 84, paired with 10 games won, makes 8410.. wow.. whoever bets (i don’t) can buy this number.

    To Prof jgc, apparently our fullbacks are equally vulnerable if they are not helped out by the DM and other midfielders when attacked. And if you watched Japan vs Uruguay, played last week, sometimes the individual player’s performance himself (in this case Torreira) in International colours does not add up to what he managed at club level.

  16. Pony Eye says:

    Same pattern TA, the Calvary out in the 2nd half.

    The team emphasizes quick transition more than the 17/18 team. So those pockets of spaces you are talking about is just what they need. A new team personality is becoming discernible. I think Emery’s is a quick transition team with the ball and front footed without the ball. They can only get cleverer at it with time.

    Auba has an uncanny instinct for being at the right place at the right time. A combination that we are yet to try out is him leading the line with Laca supporting. To me that would be their most potent configuration. Laca is better than Auba in the build up and strikes the ball very well. But talk about movements and positioning for goals and Auba is untouchable.

    MOTM Ozil but that little man who glues everything together (unspectacular job) deserves a big shout. I mean Torreira.

  17. jw1 says:

    Yours was a (flippin’ 😉 ) rollicking review TA! Flowing well like the attack last night. There were glimpses just before half– on the possession just prior to Ozil’s goal– and of course the goal itself.

    Jnyc, TA– I went back and watched (several times / slo-mo) the corner where Leno missed the punch, Was a nefarious set-play by the Foxes. When taken, Iheanacho, left unbodied by Xhaka– subtly backed into Leno. Done so well, it wasn’t whistled. OTOH? Props to Holding on Ndidi’s point-blank header off-the-bar. Holding fouled him– with both hands (turning him sideways). Otherwise, a sure goal and a 2-1 deficit.

    Where Fulham was the match that made us fans sit up and take notice? Piggy-backing last night’s final 50 minutes got the attention of other top-5 managers (Klopp’s antennae likely now pinging 😉 ).

    jw1

  18. allezkev says:

    Some good assessments there Total, interesting to hear Iwobi mention that he was knackered at the end of the game, our players are giving so much but Emery is making intelligent changes to the starting XI’s and substitutions. Lichtsteiner off at 60 minutes mean he’ll be fresh for Thursday but more up to speed after a season of inactivity.
    Lacazette is vital to how we play, he is such an unselfish player, I really like him.
    Fortunately France don’t pick him so as with Mesut we have two key players recuperating during the Interlulls, long may that continue.

  19. Volting gunner!! says:

    The problem with playing against arsenal these days is, you freaggin dunno who’s gonna but the ball in the back of the net.. everybody is a potential goal threat.. and iwobi is crowned Prince of Nutmegs (PON)!! I’m getting scared..

  20. Herb's Army says:

    Hi Total,
    Isn’t it great to see Arsenal get their mojo back!
    But worth remembering that if the ref made the right calls, Leicester may well have been 2-0 and a player up.
    I’ve not heard Chris Sutton mention Ozil before, but he clearly doesn’t like the ‘Ozil-bashing’.
    I don’t think we’d have seen a performance like that from Ozil under Wenger, not because he lacks the quality, more because there was no urgency. When you don’t have to perform exceptionally well to get a bumper pay-rise, you tend to coast along.
    And it is only Leicester.
    When you make the sort of financial commitment Arsenal have made in Ozil, you expect those sort of performances as much against our top-six rivals as against the mid-table pack.
    He has yet to have a stand-out game against any of our bigger rivals, if he does that, then I’m sold.
    If he doesn’t, he has to go down as a huge waste of money.
    Emery is getting there, and Arsenal are becoming exciting to watch again. Long may it continue.
    Good review, TA, thanks.

  21. geoffchase says:

    TA and all

    Some thoughts in response:

    A. TA, what I liked about Auba for Lichsteiner was the change in formation. We went 4-2-3-1 to 4-1-3-2. I agree we lost shape in defense but we put more speed and pressure on them up front, which was needed and rapidly put the game away. That is tactical flexibility followed by good enough response defensively (didnt concede) and offensive (took pressure off defense), which we havent seen in awhile and sometimes just change makes a difference to the feel of the game and the outcomes

    B. In response to Ozil. I think he’s average when teams either sit back against his team, or target him. For Germany people sat back and often that happened in past years. What is a “space master” and “movemet master” to do then? I also think with OG and some others, know how you like OG TA and I agree, but it was easier then to limit Ozils optioons when the game was open. The current crowd of Iwobi, Bellerin, Laca, Auba, Mkhi/AR give him so many options you cant target him and limit him, and there is always Torreira/Xhaka behind to lay off to.

    If you think to when he has gone well, it’s been in open games. This suits him and I would like to see Emery keep him in that pure 10 role ..

    C. Regarding Holding and calls. Agreed, it could have gone against Arsenal, but I *never* get too upset about calls (except in the moment). Why? Well, you get some, and you dont. This time, Arsenal and Holding were lucky. Wait a bit, some totally unfair call will go against us. Karma always equals out things 🙂 :/

    cheers — jgc

  22. Goonereris says:

    Prospects of seeing Reiss Nelson come on for TSG Hoffenheim tonight vs Lyon. Hope he gets another, if he does come on.

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers guys for more comments and mostly agreed. Hi Herb, good to hear from you. Eris, yes hopefully Reiss will get a chance – close game by the looks of it.

    Seventeenho, hope all is good. Give us a shout when you can.

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    The moment Ozil had his first touch for the third and all important goal, the Foxes committed eight players in our half. We played out from the back and enticed those eight players and then the counter was possible because of the space Leicester had allowed for in their own half. Space + quality = Super Gunners’ goals! I loved Ozil’s dummies but Laca’s ‘pre-assist’ was also a thing of beauty. That was billiards on the pitch by the boys.

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Nelson’s been give twenty minutes to help find an equaliser for Hoffenheim.

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    TA, you’ve got mail…

  27. Dave says:

    An excellent read and I agree with most but I believe you need to highlight the attacking threat of the wing backs which when a team is working that hard to regain and keep possession then these players come into action due to their speed. Every time Ozil got the ball, if Bellerin is making the transition shift from defence to attack then he is always an out ball – similar to Mendy/Walker at City, Trent Alexander at Liverpool and similar at Spurs. They have the ability to get past the midfielders and whip constant balls into the attackers hence the reason Iwobi/Auba/Laz all get constant chances. Secondly Ozil for me is rightly criticised as I think half of his problems are his own doing – he is clearly a confidence player and doesn’t enjoy the nitty/gritty of the PL. He was fabulous on Monday night, his quick thinking, his incisive passes are what you gunners need to see. I just wish you see more of it and I agree with Gary Neville you see it less than more. However, there is no doubt in my mind that on his day he can unlock any defence.
    Last point is watch this space for Guendouzi – the guy has real box to box talent – I am looking forward to seeing more of him. Being welsh he reminds me of the next star to come through at Chelsea – Ampadu.
    Really positive signs but Emery will need to learn that each game is different – look at Klopp/Guardiola, they have changed their tactics year on year playing against the lesser teams where grit/determination and strong defence wins you the points.
    Keep it up gooners great to see!

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to hear from you, Daveski. Will get back to you later. 🙂

  29. jw1 says:

    Open comment to the thread:
    Have you ever been a player in any sport that opponents look(ed) to guard against expressly? Routinely had either a strategy effected– or the best athlete on the opposing team assigned– to keep you from doing what you do best? Or limit you by any means possible?

    Even harder when you’re playing for a team that isn’t laden with talent that allows you to shine.

    In those circumstances, you do whatever else you can to help your team be successful. Even if you, yourself, aren’t able to play a starring role.

    Walk a mile in those boots.
    Get back to me.

    jw1

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    Dave, all agreed re the importance of the full backs. We have always played with attacking full back but their end-product was below par… until recently. Especially Bellerina has stepped it up significantly and he is becoming a real force on our right. Don’t agree re Ozil at all. A quality player in each and every game. For a long time he was King of Assists and King of the Key Pass. Total Quality my friend. I reckon you need to see Mesut live to really appreciate his running and passing and has incredible ability to find that key pass, assist (and now goals as well).

  31. Herb's Army says:

    Hi JW1,
    I assume your question relates to Mesut Ozil, and part of the psychology of the conundrum is the premise on which he was originally bought.
    Without wishing to start the whole Wenger thing up again, Ozil dropped into Wenger’s lap because Real Madrid bought Bale. The signing of Ozil at the time reminded me of Wenger’s last-minute trolley-dash in 2011 after you know what. Very much make-do and mend attitude, rather than an aggressive up and at ’em approach. One that sent out a message of Arsenal are wounded, but instead of meeting the challenge head-on, we’re licking those wounds and passively surrendering. For me personally, that’s what defines Wenger’s later years at Arsenal, and Ozil’s signing fits that category.
    But he’s a professional footballer earning £350,000 a week, and Arsenal fans in return are lucky if he gives them three MotM performances in a season of 50+ games.
    Where do we set the bar? Are we saying that it’s okay for him to go ‘missing’ in the big games because he can turn it on against the Leicester’s, Newcastle’s and Ludogorets?
    He was in the same contractual situation as Sanchez, so if the tactical set-up at Arsenal wasn’t to his liking, he was free to leave. Other players a lot lesser paid and with a much lower profile work these problems out for themselves.
    Ozil is in the pay grade of individuals who take responsibility for their own performances and when the going gets a bit tough are able to lift themselves and their team through it, just like Ronaldo or Messi do.
    I’m not suggesting Ozil is on their level, but the amount of media attention he gets,you’d swear he was. Another recent example would be Wayne Rooney, and the impact he’s had at DC United.
    The dynamics of La Liga compared to our English PL alone were always going to make it a difficult transition for Ozil. And despite being at one of the biggest clubs in the world, no-one has since been beating Arsenal’s door down to take him back to that level.
    He isn’t a CL legend because he didn’t want it enough. Undoubtedly, Wenger treated him like a King, allowed (allegedly) to choose when he played, and it seems to me like there’s been a whole overall almost sycophantic worship of Ozil who must be doing Arsenal a huge favour just being here.
    As a club, Arsenal have facilitated all his financial needs, and I doubt any other club would have been quite as generous, so what do Arsenal get in return for such an expensive luxury? He hasn’t improved the club, his presence has seen us falling backwards, not solely his fault, but hardly the actions of a star man who accepts responsibility and demands better.
    He is nowhere near the level of Dennis, and that’s who I measure our Number 10’s against.

  32. jw1 says:

    Fine perspective Herb. It’s your right to express.
    I’ll assume it’s from the stands. Not from experiencing it on a pitch or any other playing field or court at a level of note? So I’ll rebut from the angle of having experienced both the on-field aspects and the prejudices of individuals, including other players. If someone can’t perform something athletically? They have no idea– how you can. Nor envision what you see.

    Played football (both versions) in high-school and college (as a keeper and a quarterback). Was known to be a good B-Baller and decent at baseball too. What I was best at –was throwing a disc in a game known as Ultimate. 17HT and I both played this game– until we no longer could. He and I never competed against one another– though aware of my reputation. With the ability to throw as far, as hard, and as accurately as anybody I ever saw play.

    (If you’ve not ever seen the game of Ultimate played– here’s a YouTube clip of some highlights. The game hasn’t changed much in the 18 years since I last played:)

    Vision and understanding of the spatiality of a playing field– how an object flies, what you can make it do. The touch, or power required– and instantly calculating the movement of every other player in your periphery– and what it’s all going to look like 2-3- or 4 seconds hence.

    Then having the capacity to execute it.
    Factor in a defense schemed to deny what you do best. Or an opponent who’s amped-up/directed to stop you personally. Sometimes you can only do what you can do. Sometimes you can’t or don’t based on game situation. Much of the time– what a passer can do– is based solely on the quality of your teammates and their play.

    Herb, power to you and your view of things. You have a right.

    But TBH? I once had an ability few others had. Have had a glimpse into what it takes.
    I will always have Mesut Ozil’s back.

    jw1

  33. jw1 says:

    If anyone is interested in taking a look at an Ultimate game– as it’s played– and perhaps see some of the likeness to footie? Here’s a YouTube link to the 2015 AUDL National Championships Final game:

    jw1

  34. Goonereris says:

    That’s so harsh on both Wenger and Ozil, Herb, but you are, indeed, entitled to your view point and I can understand it because Ozil does frustrate me during games, until I review things afterwards.
    First off, maybe Ozil did “drop into Wenger’s laps”, but isn’t that the way of most late transfers? If you read Ozil’s own account, it would seem Wenger was in for him at Werder Bremen until Madrid came into the picture and he promised Wenger if he had to leave Madrid, he, Wenger, would be his first choice. I feel Ozil was worth waiting for coming to us at 26 years. Again, he started on £140k/week before only recently, earning his current £300k+ package. He is our world class star with lucrative endorsements which give the club visibility and accounts for the most social media hits on our platforms/handles, not to talk of shirt sales around Europe. That salary was well considered, methinks.

    Memory sometimes fails us when circumstances change but I recall Ozil giving great performances against Bayern (scored in our 2-0 win), Chelsea, United (both 3-0 wins in which he scored fine goals and assisted) and Spurs. There was a reason he was voted player of the season for 2015/2016, when he finished with 8 goals and 20 assists (all). After that season, he started to suffer injuries and missed quite a few matches in 2017/18 (what some termed “choosing when he plays”), whereas, as we’ve found out this season, he’s struggled with a viral infection immunity problem since 2016/17, that he’s just started to master. If anything, most accused Wenger of over-playing him in previous seasons. Ozil’s languid gait and droopy eyes/body language have made him out like he doesn’t care yet, all the stats suggest he’s always in the top tier of the “distance covered” stat in the league. It’s just the way he plays. It is scary to think what Ozil’s Assists stats could look like if only half of the chances he creates are converted. He put one on a plate for Lacazette yesterday and the man missed when it was easier to score. Now, think how many times the likes of Giroud, Theo and Welbeck have fluffed chances made by Ozil. The man is a Rolls Royce at Arsenal and yes, we are better off with him around.

    I thought to put my own idea of perspective to the debate.

  35. Goonereris says:

    **..yesterday? Nah! Meant (to say) Monday night***

    I see you’re a man of many parts, jw1. Nice.

  36. Pony Eye says:

    TA,
    A SHORT MAIL IN YOUR BOX.

  37. geoffchase says:

    Briefly Re: Ozil,

    I think he will “improve” now. Why? Because the setup, style, and players around him are better suited to match a style where he excels most. At minimum, per JWs note, if he’s targeted to be shut down, greater motion and options will let him relieve that pressure, reducing the effectiveness of focusing in him.

    Just 2p more — jgc

  38. allezkev says:

    Interesting debate on Ozil, summed up nicely by Dr Geoff.

    Maybe Unai touched a nerve with Mesut a few weeks back, hence the much talked of ‘bust up’..?
    Whatever it was it seems to have worked because Ozil has started to add consistency to his undoubtedly high level of technique.

    Being able to play a worldy in any given match is the perfect recipe for a successful cup team, and we’ve very much been that cup team in recent years.

    There again if you want to have success in the league and ultimately the CL, you need to churn out those top level performances on a game by game basis and maybe Mesut hasn’t fancied it enough on a regular basis in the past – not just him mind, but the lot of them?

    That I sense has changed as have the demands of the coaching staff.

    Tonight is a classic example, a visit to an unfamiliar stadium filled to the rafters with a partisan crowd baying for blood, an opponent who will try every trick in the book, the dark arts, simulation personified with the possibility of a shoddy referee to just add that something special, keeping your head whilst those around you are losing theirs, this is where Captain Mesut can make the difference.

  39. Herb's Army says:

    Hi JW1 & Goonereris
    Both your views are valid, and the subtlety/will-o’-the-wisp artistry isn’t lost on me, but considering the hype that surrounds him, he most definitely hasn’t taken Arsenal to the next level.
    There is an argument to say that the recruitment of players around him to help his game develop and flourish, hasn’t been good enough, and equally, I don’t think Wenger challenged him enough.
    As for Arsenal being better for having him around – Arsenal never missed qualification for CL prior to his arrival, now we’re into a second successive season without it, and before any mention of ‘spoilt entitlement’, of the top ten richest football clubs in the world, only Arsenal and City are missing from the list of winners, and City are new money.
    Naturally that isn’t Mesut Ozil’s fault, far from it, but he is part of a group that effectively allowed their standards to drop.
    As a manager who fully embraced the Total Football ideology, I’d be interested to know what Pep Guardiola thinks of Ozil, who he could have taken to either Bayern, or City.
    As we know, often in Sport, an individual’s brilliance can inspire their team to achieve great things, I don’t think anyone could accuse Mesut Ozil of that at Arsenal.
    Thanks for the opportunity to debate with you guys, very enjoyable to and fro.

  40. Herb's Army says:

    Hi Kev, nice to ‘see’ you.

  41. allezkev says:

    How’s it going Herb, always interesting to hear your views, I always enjoy a debate.

    Gotta say that despite some of the edge of a cliff defending that I’m thoroughly enjoying this season, although I did have a few moments, especially after the Cardiff game, when I did wonder if Emery was the right choice, but since then I’m very much on board with the changes he’s bringing.

    He only has a two year contract so it’s very much here and now, every game is as important as the next, no easing up, but it’s brought the positivity back and from what I’ve heard the away games are like a celebration, rifts between the factions are healing, it’s cathartic.

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Ozil is always 10/10 – but it takes a good football eye to see it 😉

    New Post 🙂

  43. Herb's Army says:

    Hi Kev.
    I rejoiced when Wenger left (he has publicly admitted that he stayed too long), I was a bit concerned when Arteta’s name was mentioned, but from day one of Unai Emery’s appointment.
    Just what the doctor ordered.
    He’s not Guardiola, but he has really good pedigree, a multiple winner on the European stage with Sevilla (something we have craved for decades), and he is tactically clued up.
    Of all the managers we’ve had, I genuinely believe Emery is capable of winning the CL.
    Maybe we’re destined never to reach the holy grail of CL glory, but if anyone can, it is Emery.
    It’s nice to have that feel-good factor back, and I know we go into every game with every chance of losing, but the stress has gone. Sure we’re still conceding soft goals, but Emery has visibly improved the group with a few minor tweaks and the additions of Torreira and Guendouzi. And as Total mentions above, Alex Iwobi is a completely different player this season.
    I have to confess, Kev, I’m genuinely excited about what Emery can do with Arsenal.

  44. Goonereris says:

    Herb, indeed, Ozil is one who divides opinion and it’s hard to find a situation where fans all see things same way, when it comes to him. It’s been same Wenger who gave us the privilege of never missing qualification for CL those 20 years or thereabouts, so for me, there is more to blame than just Ozil (and Wenger) for the last two seasons which saw us drop below the qualifications: it was a collective failing by ALL concerned: owner, management, players and the fans (egged on by the media). The atmosphere we had those seasons, it’s a miracle we have not dropped even further down.

    At least, we won 3 FA cups and Shields with Ozil.

    On to the new post now.

    PS: Mesut tweeted this week: “He always protected and supported me the best way he could. I’m very thankful he was my coach. Would love to see him as a club manager again.”, of Arsène Wenger.

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