Thoughts on Ozil as we draw City.

We expected it to be tough and it was tough, I feel a draw was a fair result considering how much we suffered down the left side and they hitting the frame of the post twice in the second half after they had equalized. This results leaves us 6 points from a rampaging Chelsea but the season is long and judging by the quality of the sides we are competing against some people have ruled everyone out of the race bar City and Chelsea.

The question is though, were City really better than us on the day? I don’t think so at all. For the first 20 to 30 minutes of the game we were playing some really lovely football and should have gone ahead with the Welbeck chance, as expected they came back into the game and got their goal but overall you could see that we were able to match this team. We just need to carry the same character when we go the grounds of title rivals, if City can come to our ground and play us with such ferocity then we need to learn how to do that too.

There were a lot of positives from the game top most of which is we did not lose and are yet to this season. Also Jack Wilshere’s performance yesterday showed why the manager is correct about where he should be playing on the pitch and not the deep lying role Roy wants to play him in. Jack chased, went in for tackles, scored and assisted a goal. Man of the Match performance for me yesterday considering how often he was a target by Milner and Fernandinho all through the game. While his decision-making at times with his quick passes needs some work, you know it will come with an extended run of games he is getting now.

The worrying bit however is Ozil and I know this is not a popular topic to touch on as fans are split right through the middle when it comes to his performances. This is now the established sequence of events;

  • Arsenal release team sheet
  • Fans immediately try to work out the formation
  • Fans notice no Cazorla, which means Ozil is on the left
  • We all moan about how Wenger is killing Ozil by playing him on the left
  • We moan all through the game about how Ozil is ineffective because of no pacy strikers in front of him and how he is being played out on the left even though by now he has drifted to the middle and the right.
  • Game ends, Ozil is ineffective we blame Wenger
  • Chelsea game starts, Fabregas delivers his regular dose of assists
  • With every assist we talk about how Ozil is rendered useless by Wenger deploying him on the left and if that was the case why didn’t we sign Fabregas .
  • Then we start all over again with the next football game.

There is a lot of truth in all the itemized points but at some point we might have to look inwards and ask ourselves if really our 42million signing is really only effective from one position on the pitch.  There are two ways to look at this. Firstly, Wenger is trying to teach Ozil something, what it is I do not know and most likely never will but there is a track record here.

Wenger does it with a lot of players, he did it with Fabregas when he played him deep lying before he advanced forward which gave him a good grasp of positioning and awareness of the pitch in front of him, he did it with Ramsey when he played him down the left and even right back a few times and we can see the result with Ramsey, last season Wilshere played a few games down the left side and even the right side of the pitch and he scored playing from both positions against West Brom and a Champions League game I can’t be bothered to go seeking out.

Ramsey looked terrible when deployed down the left but Ramsey’s greatest talent now is knowing where he should be on the pitch, how to make those runs into the box and his ability to do the simple things that produce magical results. Did the education he got playing out wide help? I am not as skilled as the likes of 7amkickoff to decipher that but Ramsey is a better player today.

The last sets of paragraphs were really set out to discuss Ozil but I have ended up talking about three other players that are not him. That is the problem, rather than looking at Ozil we always look everywhere else largely because he had a reputation of performing before he joined us.

It’s the runner in front of him, its being played out left or being played way too much, at some point we are going to run out of excuses and face the cold hard fact which is Ozil should be doing better especially in a system like Arsenal which allows everyone to drift out of positions. Sanchez didn’t start out on the left but that magnificent volley was scored from there. Ozil is intelligent, forgive me, very intelligent so this is not an attack on him, it’s just a higher expectation of his services.

Church bells ringing so I’ll have to stop here, we go again during the week against Dortmund and hopefully we get a result that doesn’t make us end up second in our group again. Cheers friends and thank you for reading this, have an opinion? Interact with me on the comments section or on Twitter on @canoncrested.

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12 thoughts on “Thoughts on Ozil as we draw City.

  1. Ross Tommey

    Good thing (amongst many) about being atheist is that you get Sunday’s off! The bad thing about suffering from insomnia is that I’ve been awake since 3am. Put the two together and I’m going to have a very lazy Sunday but without anything to read as I’ve done all the Arsenal blogs and it’s only 8am!

    Another great read courtesy of Simon (don’t be so self deprecating you have an equal contribution to the Goonersphere) and a welcome addition to the Ozil is shit/played out of position/being ruined by Wenger debate.

    I don’t get all the who-ha attitude about Ozil. His contribution is not the final assist. It’s the pre-assist and this was true for both our goals against the Northern Oil Barons. Don’t believe me? Go back and watch the game through your own eyes and not Paul Scholes’. If you keep doing that you will get ginger eyelashes. That’s a FACT! Without Ozil putting pressure and aggression (yes he does aggression too) for the first goal Welbeck wouldn’t have been inspired to play copycat down our right. The pre-assist then movement of the ball to draw the Shity defence deeper for the second would have neither allowed Our Jack to win that header nor enable Alexis to gain the space on their right! Go back… watch it again!

    Stop watching what twitter and the media tell you what you are watching… watch with your own eyes. It’s just like an atheist reading the bible you don’t have annotation of a priest to contend with, just your own free thought!


      1. Ross Tommey

        Ozil was world class before we signed him and remains world class now. The role he is playing for us is exactly the same role he played for Germany in the World Cup -The Midfield Magician: and he was one of the players of the tournament; and he won the little magic statue!

        I would prefer to see him play in the number 10 role as this is where he can be most devastating to opposition defences. This we will see when Theo returns. But not playing him because we don’t have Theo in the side is a waste of what he contributes regardless. The only criticism is his lack of defensive contribution even though he does track back to cover space he isn’t the tackling type. Horses for courses; Ramsey, Our Jack and Flamini or Arteta do this job. This does make us vulnerable when we are playing Monreal. Monreal gets himself out of position far too often and we need to be more disciplined when he makes his pointless forays down the left flank when Ozil is floating on this side. The fault is in the team approach here: Flamini yesterday didn’t cover Monreal’s runs forward and so we were exposed. Debuchy and Monreal need to work in tandem and that hasn’t been happening at all this season. Gibbs does the same but Debuchy and Gibbs have been working in tandem so we are less exposed to the risk of committing both full backs into any attack. Flamini in this instance should be reading the risks (as a DM you are responsible for the risk management of any attack) and he failed to do so on at least 3 occasions yesterday. Navas should have been marked more closely after we conceded (indeed before) the first goal and this would have meant that they would have had to attack down their left which is weaker or through the centre where Jack was bossing it.

        This was a team fuck up – not down to Ozil being played out of position or his lack of defensive steel!

        Ozil is a magician! He passing range is superb and his off the ball movement scare this b’jesus out of defences. I refer to my first post. His movement off the ball for our second goal was why we scored without it. Demichelis would have been in Jack’s face and the height difference would have meant that the header wouldn’t have been won. Additionally the city defensive 5 man line was pulled asunder and Alexis was allowed the freedom to pick up space that was at a premium all day yesterday.

        Simply put I want Ozil in the number 10 role but this is only effective if we have inside forwards cutting into the opposition box. Not playing inside forwards means we are playing a rotating midfield with one lying deeper and one playing penetrator (aka Ramsey with the deft chip from Jack in the second half). In this case Ozil is the decoy or play master but never the second or third midfield enforcer.

        People need to study the game not just bleat with the flock when plays don’t come off. Watch what a player does when he doesn’t have the ball; I know that is difficult when watching on BTSport as they spend more time looking for celebs in the crowd or at Wenger to see if he is getting undressed. You can still see the exceptional off the ball play or the pre-assist contributions (this maybe as long as 10 seconds before the final ball – and I know twitter has already gone into a hissy fit because Ozil is now invisible because the camera is not permanently locked on his beautiful smile – but he has done his part in the move!

        He’s the magician – he’s already performed half the trick whilst you were being introduced to his glamorous assistants!

  2. SimonSEEZ Post author

    Replied you from WordPress so I didn’t see the latter part of your comment.

    For all Ozil’s abilities I feel he should be doing more than the pre-assist. The attracting players bit is a very cool feature of his game. Who can forget what he did for that Ramsey goal against Liverpool last season,, dragging four players to himself, but he really should be contributing more than just that. We can’t restrict our most expensive signing from the responsibilities of goal scoring (which isn’t his forte) and also also providing (assists), any also any defensive duties to rendering pre assists. He is too intelligent for just that Ross

  3. olayide

    Great piece. It’s not all about where you’re being played, it’s about you switching gear on the field of play. Sanchez was everywhere. Can’t even say this is where he played. If playing wide would Ozil overall game it is a good call but then again would love him to play in his preferred position CAM.

    1. SimonSEEZ Post author

      Thanks Olajide, we all would love to see him play CAM but I feel his disappointing performances cannot be hung just on the “he is played left’ line..

  4. BrainySteppo

    Good post, no doubts. And yes, Jack did great, excellent, superb and intelligent, which of course makes me think a system of 4-3-2-1 will help Jack the more. He’s finally coming out of a semi-negative spiral and that sounds okay, according to the elders. He took his goal brilliantly and I must say this, Welbeck was quite intelligent putting a nice little uncomfortability on Kompany which enabled a dream goal come true. Oh, I’ve forgotten Jack isn’t the topic but obviously, I can’t waste my energies writing on Ozil. 😉

  5. SimonSEEZ Post author

    Totally forgot to even mention Welbeck’s performance on the post. He really did well, would have been the perfect debut if that ball had gone in. …and your ignoring Ozil is worse than everything I wrote on him in the post..”harsh”

    1. Ross Tommey

      Welbeck’s contribution with and without the ball was exceptional and as @7amkickoff said on his site only a coat of paint separated him from a debut goal. Ignore Ozil at your peril he is the play-a-maker!

    2. BrainySteppo

      Harsh? Must life always be about licking Lolly Pop? I’m not judging him based on his price tag but rather, his consistent below average performances for us. If using him on the left is an absolute excuse, then we’re in for Arshavin 2.0 He switched wings all through the match, had runners around him, still, below par. Where is the spectacularity in him? I’m more pissed that my Cazorla didn’t play a part, as well as other forced-technical errors. And to end it, I’m favouring doing a TeamOspina. *drops mic*

      1. Ross Tommey

        For the sake of repetition – watch the game through your own eyes not Michael “Whiney Cunt” Owen’s. You don’t have to have the ball to play football. Statistically most players have the ball for less than 5 minutes per game – play making is not about the final pass – You could always support a team that has only one player like Spurs and have a love-in with Eriksen!

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