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The Ozil Dilemma – By A Fan In The Middle

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2015 FA Cup Final: Arsenal vs Aston Villa. Arsenal lead 3-0 and in the 77th minute Ozil is subbed for Wilshere. Just when Ozil is coming out, a Villa fan screams at Ozil but he smiles back at him and sends a flying kiss. Of course, he had put on a class show during the final and it’s not the first nor the last time Ozil reacted like this.

A cool calm persona, with a cheerful smile. A player whose aesthetics will send us in awe, his impeccable vision which makes us look like only he has the better eye- boy rest of the world just can’t see. On his best day, there isn’t a player close to him.

Watching him play is like watching a conductor sitting high with a baton on his hand and directing the opera. Without uttering a word, the conductor controls the whole music; in many ways Ozil performs the same. Sitting between the lines, drifting for spaces, exchanging one-twos with the teammates and tearing apart the lines with his movement, for a moment it feels as if it’s not even rehearsed, its emerging naturally with telepathic understanding with the teammate, splitting multiple lines with his pass, controlling the possession in final third, almost everything will go through him, every movement is with him. A genius blessing us with his game, generational and truly one of his own kind.

Ozil’s signing looked like a beginning of a new era at Arsenal, the end of financial constrictions. Many of Arsenal fan base including myself firmly believed that would essentially end the so called ‘Banter era.’ But sadly, that hasn’t been the case. Arsenal bought Ozil but failed to stabilize system around him. To have a creative playmaker to flourish, the team should be capable of covering his defensive deficiencies and a striker competent to materialize the chances created. This isn’t difficult as it sounds. However, Arsenal failed miserably to fill the latter part. Arsene desperately tried to sign prolific striker. Suraez, Higuin, Vardy etc were approached but Arsenal couldn’t land any of them. Ozil and the addition of Sanchez, who was often system disruptive but a valuable goal scorer dragged Arsenal through only to crumble in the latter days.

Love and Hate

Probably after Wenger, Ozil is the persona who has the most divisive fan base within Arsenal. One group admires him wholeheartedly even overlooking his flaws while the other group firmly believe him to be deadwood, a player who is obsolete in the era of compactness. While neither of the sides are absolutely correct, the truth is somewhere in between. The fact that these two sides usually stay on either extremes further make the division chaotic.

There is a notion that Ozil is a round peg in a square hole. It is partly true. But Ozil’s effectiveness will depend on the teammates as well. Which means he is as good as the team is around him. For Ozil to have the freedom to elevate the offensive aspect of the team someone has to cover for the defensive gap that might be left.

Currently the Arsenal midfield is sorely lacking tooth creatively. Pepe and Aubameyang both seem isolated and has to do more work and most of Arsenal goals are more of an individual brilliance than systematic approach towards offensive nature. So naturally playing Ozil would probably do more good than bad. But there is more to it. At this stage it is safe to assume Ozil isn’t preferred to be the front liner at Arsenal. Yet, it is not entirely clear whether the whole Arsenal hierarchy want Ozil out of their wage bill or is there some coldness in particular between Ozil and Emery. If the PSG case teaches us anything is that Unai Emery is legitimately capable of inciting friction with the players. But the fact still remains, Arsenal can still perform better with Ozil.

At the moment the treatment of Ozil from the club and the fanbase is something painful to witness. He is relegated from the first 11. Despite being named as one of the captains, he doesnt get chances at all. Even with praiseworthy performances this season Ozil has been constantly dropped. Despite playing an integral part in Arsenal’s almost all big performances, Ozil’s contribution has been revisioned to a level of disrespect.

Conclusion

Now five years after the Wembley final, Ozil shushes Valencia fans for booing him, throws jacket at opposition manager and seems clearly unhinged. A lot has happened since. Ozil has been a subject of racism. His own national team turned their back on him. Various media tried to label his act as playing victim card when in fact he was one of the braves to come out. He was recently subject to a life-threatening attack. He pledged loyalty to a club who doesn’t want him, a fan base whose majority want him gone, a section of people who will genuinely celebrate his downfall. Today’s situation dictates every fan must have their voice, no matter how fickle it may be.

In this era of the latter stages of the careers of big names like Messi, Ronaldo, Modric, Pique, Ramos etc, there is good chance we might also be seeing the twilight of Ozil. A playmaker who seemingly choosed liquid football over legacy. A generational playmaker, to whom history just might not be kind enough. Maybe, when the time comes Arsenal seem better moving on from him. But for now, integrating Arsenal within the squad will be better for all.

Submitted by @sminbhattarai05

10 Comments

  1. Thank you uncensoredarsenal.

    Reply
  2. Ozil is finished at Arsenal. Arsenal are finished as the Arsenal we loved.

    Reply
    • Hmm. Coming from you George that is ominous meaning it is virtually true.

      Reply
    • You are probably correct. Some people hated the old board but there were some among them who were visionaries and pioneers.

      They contributed to changing the game to modern era as we know it by hiring a progressive, knowledgeable and classy coach who brought in new innovative methods and techniques that transformed the club and the whole of English football in general.

      The members on this board are nowhere near the same level and while both were ultimately in it for the money the former board had history that went back a few generations with Arsenal.

      These new board members have no such attachments and it would not move the emotional needle if they were to see Arsenal crash and burn, as long as they lose no money and make a profit.

      Fun times 🙁

      Reply
    • ..PG- maybe depends on the results and if Emery gets the boot?If Fred comes in I reckon the Oe is back in again. Not all hope has gone down the drain yet…
      Shotts-good team of writers you have here. Cheers to them all for top writings.

      Reply
  3. Omair JavedOctober 23, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    I do feel that in the ‘era of compactness’, a pure No. 10 is a dying breed because current managers value donkey work over technical quality which is really sad affair of things. Does it shows just a passing evolution in football or that managers now are now highly technical and creative in thinking like they used to be and hence more tactical coaches are being produced rather than technical ones.

    As for Ozil, I feel there are two factors. One is that Emery can’t play a No. 10. His history shows that he has never been able to use this position effectively and every play maker has generally struggled playing under him. Also, the fact that Emery is not an attacking coach which is essential for a No. 10 to flourish. Second is that board has slowly taken everything Arsene out of the team in an attempt to point fingers and show that it was a period of failure and now we are moving fresh ahead. Ozil is the last standing man.

    But the later alone is not the reason for his absence from first team football. It is clear to see that there is a clear philosophical differences between Ozil and Emery. Ozil will not change his game to become a pathetic version of himself. He will play his game and it is on Arsenal to chose sides. If they want to stick with pathetic football with ambitions as low as just a Top 4 finish they can continue selling their best players and add Ozil to that list but if the board actually cares about Arsenal values and our way of playing style than I don’t think any logical reason can take you to a point where you think that Unai Emery is the future of Arsenal Football Club and if that is the case then better keep your star player and find a manager who can instill his identity on the team, has clear philosophy of football which aligns with that of Arsenal and can actually play attacking football while getting the best out of the squad, something that our current manager seems incapable of doing!

    By the way, great article!!

    Reply
  4. the people who don’t have the skill to play good football have been bitterly saying that the era of compactness means the era of the ten is over for a long time my friend, I don’t mean to sound corrective but:

    This is how we ended up with Rugby Football, American Football etc.!

    Let the crap players run into each other if they want, show some pashun, be compact, compact their skulls, wear body armour etc. the rest of us will play some Football.

    Saying the era of the ten is over is akin to saying the era of the opening bowler or the era of the fast bowler etc is over in cricket. Ignoring the appreciation that there are many styles of playing all of these roles mentioned above. There are many styles of ten, Emery has time for none of them and that is because wallahi he is not a coach.
    I quite enjoyed Emery’s last press conference, it was a sloshing good show, more entertaining then his football.
    watching someone tie their own noose in front of those very PR experts or is it clowns who’ve tried and fail to support him for so long is bizzarely amusing.

    In conclusion:
    Can we sign up Ozil’s agent to be our new head of Football Relations?
    He objectively appears to be a damn site better at the old PR then our current “head of Football Relations” and his subbies, Daddy Don Raul and Gunner Gavin Blog. I mean look at the last year, the tea gif, the bergkamp quote and now that new websites breakthrough article he’s running rings around these jokers just like the Sheffield Utd/Wolves/Palace coaches have been running rings around Emery!
    Lol?

    Reply
  5. < opening batsmen or fast bowler

    Reply

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