After that magnificent draw versus Chelsea last Tuesday I listened to a a certain Arsenal post-match podcast and was gobsmacked by the virtual orgy of Ozil bashing. According to these self-proclaimed experts Ozil was ineffective in this match and in previous games (the same Arsenal player who is usually top in passes completed and chances created). All three presenters were unanimous that the club must prepare to move him on as soon as possible. I kid thee not.
Contrast this nonsense with the disclosure by Frank Lampard in his post-match presser, when asked why Chelsea had problems controlling the game against X men vs XI. Below is a quote:
“….for 15 minutes in the first half it did. We were probably of the mindset of them having XI and Ozil pulling to the side and giving us some problems and us being in some sort of middle ground.”
– Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bN6UF0Dmo-4 (Minute 2:20 of the video)
Contrast Frank Lampard admitting Ozil creates problems for the opposition versus our own Arsenal podcasters, YouTubers and bloggers for years trying to ram a narrative down our throat that Ozil is some sort of luxury player who must be rid of as soon as possible.
These are the same people who for years maintained that “Ozil and Ramsey can’t play together”. No wonder Don Raul felt empowered to let one of the finest box-to-box midfielders in the world leave Arsenal on a free. This is the same management who also let Santi and Jack go for nothing and sent both Elneny and Mikhitaryan out on loan completely decimating the Arsenal midfield.
In return Dennis Suarez and Ceballos were brought in on loan, none of whom demonstrated anything remotely close to Santi, Jack or Rambo. Yet these people expect Ozil to be superman and put Arsenal on his back to not only create but to run all over the field trying to win back the ball.
Thinking Ozil has to be superman is delusional. Unlike our sole technician, a team like City has a platoon of skilled midfielders that include Debruyne, Sane, David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Gundogan, Mahrez, Rodrigo et al. The nonsense I heard on that podcast tells me we have a long way to go before many Arsenal fans realize how important it is to rebuild the midfield that Don Raul and Unai Emery jointly destroyed.
In conclusion I wish to highlight a comment at this blog on this topic by Finsbury, a long time critic of the ‘Ozil and Rambo can’t play together’ narrative:
In light of Lampard’s comments on Ozil’s movement inside out towards the right until he ran himself into the ground what can you say?
No need to debate that Ozil is a perfect Footballer, or if his best football is before him at his age Etc. Etc. Etc.
Frank Lampard may have been a completely different style of high level attacking midfielder/ten but that doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate other styles. Evidentially.
Whilst understanding that Lampard was trying to explain his response to the challenge from the Arsenal coach and players I appreciated the opposing coach publicly acknowledging the bravery of Arteta’s call.
Ozil may confuse the opposition but it is unforgivable that most Arsenal fans remain confused.