It’s funny isn’t it how one display of our true talent which personified Arsene Wenger’s philosophy that has encompassed our great club can really change the mood in our fan base. The demons from the West Brom game seem to have been exorcised as our boys brought out the big guns to comfortably dispose of Dinamo Zagreb which not only keeps us well and truly alive in Europe but also reminded everyone just how frighteningly good we can be.
The star of this technical masterclass? Well a case could be made for perpetual motion machine which we possess in the ever energetic Alexis Sanchez but for me it was once again our elegant German magician Mesut Ozil.
For what feels like the hundredth time this season Ozil produced a display which not only helped us win the match with ease but a performance which highlighted the truly beautiful attributes of football. What struck me most was the hunger Mesut has recently showed to influence games, never conforming himself to the shadows but taking it upon himself to allow his mercurial talent to decide games in the favour of Arsenal.
Take the North London derby for example, the rest of the team seemed sluggish almost as if they had come to terms with a defeat, but not Ozil. We saw him drifting all over the pitch in search of the ball to weave his magic creating 7 chances in total while providing a sensational cross for Kieran Gibbs to convert our equaliser. It was further proof that this was a man with a hunger to prove his class which we as football fans are all aware he possesses.
At the Emirates on Tuesday night yet again we saw our German maestro hungry to influence the game, getting himself into attacking positons, displaying his wide array of laser guided passes and just generally terrifying our opposition into submission. A quote from Wenger from BT Sport after the match really summed up the new and hungry playmaking animal we have on our hands.
“He had an outstanding first half (Ozil), I’ve never seen him in the box so many times this season, especially in the last five or six games”.
It seems even our leader in all his wisdom is aware of the calibre of player we have before our eyes one who has truly settled into the robust style of English football and looks set to take it by storm.
A moment in the game which really grabbed my attention more than all the technical skill and lightening quick counter attacking came towards the end of proceedings. At the end of another splendid passage of play Alexis chipped a lovely through ball over for Mesut to attack. Despite the keeper rushing out at quite some pace and the game effectively put to bed Ozil still put his body on the line thrusting his head towards the ball and missing by only a few inches.
It was a show of bravery yes but more importantly it was a show of determination a hunger to please the fans with more goals. Scoring goals has never been his forte throughout his career but if he can add this to his game we could see the creating of one of the greatest players to grace an Arsenal shirt, although this he probably is already anyway.
Nevertheless, goals are not the only representation of hunger in a footballer, assists are just as important if not more so for the role which Ozil fulfils. I think 12 assists and setting a record by notching them in his last 7 Premier League games is proof enough that we do have a true ‘assist king’ on our hands here.
The hunger to search for goals will only further improve him as a player but his creative tendencies are what is elevating this squad to higher levels and if we are to challenge at the highest level Ozil will be central to our chances of success.
The loss of Coquelin was said to derail our chances as he was the most vital cog in our well-oiled machine. While ‘Le Coq’ is a vital component a hungry Ozil is not only the most important player in our team but to put it simply one of the finest players in the world.
If we can keep our influential assist getting machine fit and hungry the possibilities could be endless for this Arsenal team. The team is now designed to play to his strengths and we as fans really are reaping the benefits, over to you now Mesut to take care of Norwich.
I am sure at some point myself and other writers, both professional and amateur will run out of superlatives but I doubt we will run out of a cause to use them with Arsenal’s No.11!