The debate regarding Mesut Ozil never seems to diminish. Thankfully he has more fans that appreciate his magical gifts than those that want to see him sold at the first available opportunity. But, Ozil has attracted this type of divided opinion during his entire career.
Mesut showed against Bate Borisov at the Emirates on Thursday evening, that he has all the class in the world but needs a stage to perform on.
Okay, he didn’t supply an assist or score but his contribution suggested that Emery can’t really afford to leave him out of the side as the season reaches its finale.
The modern supporter is only too pleased to witness the gifts of a talented player in a period of success but is less inclined when the chips are down.
The role of coaches has also seen a change of attitude that has contributed to various clashes such as Conte/Costa, Pogba/ Mourinho and Ozil/Emery, because a modern coach wants more.
He wants creativity but also demands a higher work rate, he wants goals but he desires a defensive aptitude. Emery, Conte and Mourinho, want players to take on roles outside that of their natural gifts, to ensure success. This simply isn’t Ozil.
For anyone becoming irate at reading that, thinking that he should be able to do his share of the donkey work would, in my opinion, be entirely wrong.
Would you ask an electrician to build you a wall or a plumber to repoint the exterior of your house. They may be willing but it’s not their area of expertise and you run the risk of causing more problems than you solve.
Likewise, Mesut Ozil is sublimely gifted. His vision is second to none and given adequate space or indeed no space at all, he will create opportunities for others.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 21, 2019
They may not score them, they may not even be at the same level as he is, but he will provide one or two chances per game.
His style has been described as languid and at first look, his body posture appears submissive but that doesn’t matter, when a player of his calibre can change a game in a split second.
His work rate is patchy and he is inconsistent, frustratingly so but he has a talent that Arsenal need and can’t afford to be without.
Emery’s statement regarding Mesut was complete and utter bollocks. He said:
“We win with him, we lose with him. I think it is not one player (which means) we can’t win or lose.”
Obviously, but he adds a dimension to Arsenal that no other player on the books can. Without Mesut, the Gunners look ordinary, they lack ideas and penetration as witnessed against West Ham and in the away encounter against Bate.
I’m not saying he shouldn’t work but he needs to find a balance with the help of the coach. Emery needs Ozil to provide for his two strikers, both of which should be fighting it out for the golden boot in February.
Johan Cruyff would have made an appalling defender. He hardly ever stuck a foot in unless it was going forward but no one cared, because what you got from Cruyff wasn’t available anywhere else in his club or national side.
I’m not saying Mesut Ozil is another Cruyff but let the man play his natural game, let him enjoy his gifts and thrive playing football. That’s how Arsenal will get the best out of him.
Wenger was thought to be weak where Mesut was concerned but his arm around the shoulder routine, made the German flourish. Yes, he was still prone to inconsistencies, illness and injury but when he played, he played.
To replace Ozil will cost a small fortune, more than he is already being paid. That replacement may be more of a worker, more of a team player but would whoever be able to pick out passes that no one else can see ?
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It really depends on what you want from a player and what they can give you in return.
If you look at N’Golo Kanté and Eden Hazard of Chelsea, both are struggling to fit in with the coaches change of system and both have been played out of position. Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri wants a style of play without the players to execute it.
This could be said of Unai Emery at present, who has struggled with injuries and still doesn’t know what his best side or formation is. I’m hoping that Ozil’s display against Bate made Emery rethink the German’s position and that he can now have a sustained run in the side.
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