76 scoring opportunities in one season: Arsenalā€™s master creator is back!

Bang that head that does not bang for Ozil! :)
Bang that head that does not bang for Ozil! šŸ™‚

Two summers ago Arsene Wenger did something we had never seen him do before: he spent record bucks on a world class player, Mesut Ozil. It was greeted with widespread cheer among Arsenal fans even though at the time, it was a signing that defied the deficiencies of the team.

He had a dream debut at Sunderland where he created a goal for Giroud. If Walcott had his scoring boots on that afternoon, it would have been a hat trick of assists for our creative maestro. He went on to have a run of good games but then ran out of steam, and suddenly Ā£42.5m began to look like a lot of money.

He then went on to have an average world cup (by his standards) with one goal and several assists. When he came back he looked jaded, just like all the German players did. Critics went on and on about how Ozil wasn’t worth his price tag. I would like to explore this.

Ozil is one of the best, if not the best, number 10s in the world. Arsene certainly believes so, and if you no longer trust his judgement, as I know many no longer do, then trust Mourinho. The problem is that we Gooners are trying too hard to compare him to Cesc, Oscar, Silva etc etc.

What we are failing to understand is that Mesut Ozil is Mesut Ozil and at his best, he is a contender for player of the year.

Many of his critics argue that he does not put in enough effort and I disagree. Yes, he does not put in enough effort DEFENSIVELY, however when you look at his play in the attacking half, you realize that Ozil is a very hard working player. He pops up everywhere in search of the ball and in a bid to create space for his team mates. He is always on either wing or in the middle trying to look for a decisive pass.

Here is an interesting statistic:Ā Arsenal created a total of 406 goal scoring opportunities last season. Ozil created 76 of them – a massiveĀ 18.7%. That means Arsenal were more reliant on Ozil’s creativity than any other Premier League team were on any other player.

Let this sink in a it. 76 scoring opportunities for a player many view as mediocre. I believe that what many saw as a lack of effort on Ozil’s part was really him feeling a bit frustrated. Here is someone who creates chances for fun in a team where nobody, not even the main striker (Giroud) was making any decisive runs into the opposition box.

That statistic proves Ozil did not lose his creative nous, but that the Arsenal team were not able to capitalize on his efforts. This has changed now with Theo back and Alexis in the team. Ozil is primed to step into the fore as he now has proper goal scorers to feed. He already has created for Alexis, Welbeck & Theo individually. Even giroud will be a beneficiary of Ozil’s talent.

What is even more encouraging is that with Santi’s form, he will have to fight for a place in the team. All that is left is for Arsene to bring in a defensive shield (and my first choice is Morgan Schneiderlin), and then we can really see what Ozil is made of. I for one am excited to see him back in the team and cannot wait to see him properly link up with Theo, Alexis & Giroud.

He created 76 scoring chances last season when he was adjusting to the BPL, what do you think will happen when he is back and he is playing alongside ruthless goal scorers?


Written by: Marcus

The Special Horse Fails at the First Hurdle: Arsene v Mourinho

One little comment was enough to get the 'Special Horse'  to rear its ugly head. :lol:
One little comment was enough for the ‘Special Horse’ to rear its ugly head. šŸ˜†

These days nothing makes me spring to Arsene Wenger’s defence quicker than absurd comments which call his managerial ability into question. This week, I felt compelled to defend him on a forum where people who were ostensibly Arsenal fans were criticising Arsene and various players – including name-calling – following our ā€˜disastrous lossā€™ to Manchester United (you would think from the vitriol that we had suffered a repeat of the Anfield aberration). I think that you have to accept that some people just aren’t as intelligent or considered in their opinions as others. That’s one reason I am sticking with BK.

But to see the bile spewing forth from the mouth of Jose Mourinho on Friday has really made my blood boil.

Now, I get frustrated with Wenger reasonably regularly. I admit that I was one of those calling for his head on a fairly regular basis recently, probably blinkered by my own frustration and the team’s perceived stagnation over the years since we moved to our shiny new multi-million pound home. IĀ stillĀ find itĀ frustrating to see the occasional inexplicable rigidity with which he approaches in-game tactics and the prickliness with which he handles the media.

This is what the Chelsea manager said (according to the BBC):

“If he is right and I am afraid of failure it is because I didn’t fail many times. Eight years without silverware, that’s failure.Ā He’s a specialist in failure. If I do that in Chelsea, eight years, I leave and don’t come back.”

To me that smacks of a billionaire’s spoilt brat suggesting that a self-made millionaire is a failure because they don’t have the same resources at their disposal as the child.

Mourinho, after all, has never really wanted for anything managerially; at least not in the last decade, and he has no qualms about playing dreary football. He was handed a blank cheque book at Chelsea, so of course he wouldn’t have been allowed to not win anything for eight years.

Let’s contrast that with Arsene Wenger who has had stewardship of our great club for long enough that he has fielded a player in the first team who wasn’t even born when he took the reins. He may have benefited from some of Danny Fiszman’s money but it was nowhere near the level of “investment” that Roman Abramovich has made in Chelsea; in fact Abramovich has put four times as much into his hobby than some estimates of Fiszman’s overall net worth (Ā£236m according to Wikipedia).

He has won the league three times (still more than Maureen’s current count), overseeing some breathtaking football in the process, continuing to stick to his footballing as well as his economic principles, and ensuring continued qualification for the Champions League on a shoestring, often being compelled to sell our best players, while waiting for improved sponsorship deals to kick in.

Now, who thinks Mourinho, a mercenary, would have the application (let alone the managerial nous) to pull off a feat like that? His return to the English game has seen him become even more charmless than before, in this instance repaying a compliment about the position he has got his team into (with no mention of the silver-spoon used to get it there) with vitriol.Ā You evidently can’t buy class.

In my own failure to see the bigger picture, I often accused Wenger of myopia but now we are seeing the possibilities his prudent financial management over the years can facilitate going forward. My brother (an accountant, not a Gooner) has been telling me for years that Wenger was doing amazing things at Arsenal and I just needed to have faith, wait, and see. I have seen the light my Toffee brother preached to me for years, and even I can see now that, while it may not be this season, great things are in store.

It’s never been a more exciting time to be a Gooner.