Last season Mesut Ozil arrived at Arsenal full of hype and a huge expectation with a hefty price tag and the fact he was Arsenal’s record signing.
Due to the way he arrived it meant that the Premier League season had already started and missed out on pre-season with his new club which is imperative to ensure you can gel with those players and have plenty of time to train with them and not just play with them in a competitive atmosphere. So therefore he was thrown straight in.
However, in his first game he was immediately into action and provided a classy assist for Olivier Giroud. The next few games he maintained this high level and I think a good part of this can really be put down a lot to adrenalin for his new club.
Even though in my opinion last season Ozil was not poor there were occasions where matches passed him by and he seemed to and still does seem to lack confidence.
This aside Ozil played every minute of Germany’s world cup winning side and again even though he wasn’t a stand out player at this years event he is still held in hugely high regard by Joachim Loew.
Why? because class is permanent, and it doesn’t just go away over night. When he left Real Madrid there was huge outrage from the fans and from senior players like Ronaldo as to the bemusement of the sale of such a high calibre player.
It meant also that Arsene Wenger said that he expects Ozil to be one of the players of the season this year, which would be hard to call now based on his first few games. But I don’t think the player is fully to blame. Here’s why:
Anyone who has joined a new company understands that it takes time to bed in to that new surrounding. Anyone who has joined a company in a new Country with a totally different process to their previous company will know that its even harder to adapt. This is not a brute of a striker or a left or right back where much of the game stays exactly the same regardless of country or league. This is a silky specimen of a number 10, who caresses the ball and is used to far less physicality and time similar in ways to say Robert Pires in terms of the way he plays. Let’s remember Pires struggled too when he first arrived.
Then this pre-season Ozil was away winning the world cup and again missed out on all of the preparation that Arsenal had in pre-season. He returned to the squad almost 5 weeks after the England players. His life this past 15 months has completely changed and he has won a World cup in the middle of it all and apart from that being an awesome feeling how does that effect a players ambition in the game?
Another point worth raising is Ozil is being asked to play in a wide position rather than his preferred central where he can adapt games with passes and speed of mind. Now let me give you an example of wide players from our past such as Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg. These players are work horses, well drilled in chasing back and also far more physical than Ozil. These were players who were vital to the success of the team at this time for Wenger. I would hope that when the likes of Walcott returns Ozil will be much more favoured in the centre as he clearly is a frustrated figure on the wing.
With all these things considered is it any wonder why he is unable to influence games and that he looks like a broken man each time he loses the ball, with a mutter from his mouth and his googly look to the stars? the man is frustrated, he was sold last minute by his club and joined a new side and country where currently he is over played and played out of position, he has never really had the opportunity to prepare for a full Premier League schedule and finally has had a hard 6 weeks in Brazil winning a World Cup who wouldn’t be in desperate need for a break?
Now if he didn’t get injured, which is a huge loss to the starting line up as even when not playing well he is still capable of a defence splitting pass and has still amassed more goal scoring opportunities than any other Arsenal player, would he ever have been given a break or dropped by Arsene or would he have continued to be deployed as a winger and continue with his unconfident demeanour? I would suggest the latter.
Ultimately, I see this as a huge loss to the club but a real opportunity for Mesut to get his game back to his standards initially in his own mind. For him to continue to be in and around the side but not in a competitive nature. To be able to have a proper rest and learn to start loving the game again. Blimey, we need it.
He will be out likely till the new year, but we have plenty of cover with players that should be dying to get back in the side like Rosicky and Podolski. With Walcott to come back soon its not a crisis and Aaron Ramsey and Arteta are only a month or so away. We have enough.
But let me be clear, I am under no circumstance saying that it is good for Arsenal that a player of his calibre is injured or that its a blessing in disguise. I just feel it may be better on the man himself as football aside its been a pretty hectic time since leaving Spain for him.
Ozil we wish you a speedy recovery, take this time to do what you need to get your mojo back. I think most reasonable people would understand that you haven’t lost your class you are just taking a bit longer to adapt.
We welcome a new confident player back soon.