Just 18 months ago Arsenal broke their transfer record for Mesut Ozil, shattering their previous total by nearly three times the amount. The signing of the German star represented a symbol of Arsenal’s strength after years of austerity. It was a watershed moment for the club.
In the last window the Gunners went and poached another world class player in Alexis Sanchez. It seemed we were moving in the right direction.
But it increasingly looks like the players who were bought to elevate Arsenal to new heights are stuck in the stagnation that has been plaguing the club for years.
Make no mistake, Sanchez has been our best player while Ozil has inspired and infuriated in equal measure. Both these players had a very average game against Monaco. Ozil in particular looked lost and that’s in part due to how the entire team performed. He had players running into a blind alley and struggled to impose himself.
Sanchez on the other hand tried as hard as ever but he wasn’t his usual brilliant self. He fluffed a chance from a corner that you would normally expect him to atleast find the target. It wasn’t just against Monaco, his performances have dropped in the last month or so. It may be due to fatigue or just a slump in form. I am not blaming the Chilean nor the German for our debacle it was a collective meltdown that Arsenal suffer from time to time. Alexis hasn’t scored for five games now though and it’s the longest run of games he has gone without scoring since joining in the summer.
Ozil didn’t do himself any favor with his performance either.
While the whole team underperformed it’s fair to say that these two disappointed the most. They were bought for nights like this and, in general, both have struggled to live up to their reputation in these big games. What was supposed to be a glorious opportunity for us to progress has turned into a Mourinho-esque nightmare. Our chances of progression are slim and our chances for European glory still remain as bleak as ever. But, there is always that little hope to cling on to, who knows, we do have enough quality to score three.
However if we have any chance of going through there’s little doubt that Ozil and Sanchez will be central to our hope of doing the unthinkable.