Mesut Ozil had a shaky start this year. A dismissal performance in the World Cup at Russia for Germany under Joachim Low. Ruffle with media after his photo with the Turkish President Recep Erdogan did it’s round in German media houses. His loyalty being questioned due to his Turkish roots.
The dive, Der Hammer, @Arsenal's No.1Ö…
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 26, 2018
Ending his International career with a loss against South Korea. Rumours of fallout with Unai Emery in Arsenal due to his position in the lineup. This could perhaps be the harshest and roughest period in the German’s career. As they say after a storm comes the calm, Ozil too was back to his winning ways after scoring for the first time this season against Cardiff City.
Ozil has scored 4 goals and 1 assist for the Gunners this season. He seems to have found his mojo back after a few initial disagreements with the Spaniard Emery. Emery began to experiment with the team and it’s mix of new players. This has put Ozil out of his comfort zone as an attacking midfielder. With initial losses, all the fingers were pointed towards the German scapegoat. His frustration was visible in the press conferences and the Gooners feared that it could possibly be a manager-player rift like that of Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho at the Old Trafford.
Fortunately, the two had found chemistry in the nick of time. Ozil said,
“I think my best position is as a No 10 but at the end of the day I have to accept and respect what the coach decides.”
after chalking up a win against Leicester City.
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) October 22, 2018
He donned the captain’s armband for the first time this season for an entire match with remarkable results. Former England star Trevor Steven, believes that played a key part in his performance on Monday saying,
“Being made captain on Monday was recognition from Emery that Ozil has embraced a more collective approach. It’s also a smart move that gives him greater responsibility. He can’t shirk his role as a leader.”
It could also be true that under Joachim Low and Arsene Wenger, the German wasn’t recognized for the midfield genius he is. Under Emery, Ozil has been given greater importance than under Wenger. It could be seen in the generous breaks given to the “Nemo” when the team traveled far outside London for Europa League. The International break was vital for the 30 year old as he spent time in leisure and casual training after his retirement.
The cherry on top was the fact that the German team lost against Mexico and the fans reminisced the glory days under Ozil. Emery has flown in some Spanish specialists for training stars like Ozil, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette with visible results. With Laurent Koscielny and Petr Cech struggle with injuries the captain’s armband is expected to be in tandem with Aaron Ramsey and Ozil. This is a perfect opportunity for both the men to bring out their leadership potential.
In the match against Leicester City, he didn’t technically get the assist for Aubameyang’s goal, but his clinical pass to Hector Bellerin made it possible. With a smooth sweep of his leg his pass to Bellerin dissecting the Foxes’ entire left side was a class apart. He although did get the assist for Aubameyang’s second goal in which he delivered the ball to the Lacazette with a textbook dummy move in the build up.
Ozil: "We are on a good path now – we are playing well & winning games but we need to stay hungry & train hard if we are to reach our goals. And that will only happen if we take every single game very seriously" #Arsenal pic.twitter.com/bZCiJRP0QA
— Gurjit (@GurjitAFC) October 26, 2018
The Gunners are now in 4th in the table with the initial 2 losses being reduced to a distant memory. Arsenal haven’t yet thrown in the towel for the title contention. For now, Ozil the square peg, has found a place for himself in the round holes of Emery’s intensive and disciplined midfield. With this fiery form of Ozil, the Gunners are sure bound to continue their 11 match winning streak when they face the shattered Crystal Palace on Sunday.