It’s The Mesut Ozil Show!

By Kevin Whitcher

Online Ed: Arsenal put five past Huddersfield

A chilly late November evening. Many season ticket holders didn’t fancy a trip to the Emirates, even though this was a Premier League fixture and not on TV. And a good number of those that did make it were still struggling to get past the security checks outside the turnstiles when the roar that welcomed Alexandre Lacazette’s opening goal went up. A shame, because it was a thing of beauty, with Aaron Ramsey backheeling the ball into the striker’s path and him dispatching it coolly. Soon after, he almost scored a second with a lob over the keeper from a very tight angle, only to see it cleared off the line. As good strikers do, the Frenchman knows where the goal is, and the groin strain he suffered that led to his withdrawal at half-time will weaken the team on Saturday against Manchester United. One imagines it is a choice between Welbeck and Giroud as to who might come in, although Arsene Wenger may also look at pushing Aaron Ramsey forward and bringing in someone else to partner Granit Xhaka.

Anyhow, after the early flurry, Arsenal seemed to lose focus and misplaced passes led to a loss of momentum. Huddersfield got into the game and could easily have equalized with excellent chances both during the first half and early in the second. The home side rode their luck, but it didn't augur confidence. The crowd were feeling frustrated and one feared the implications of David Wagner’s team drawing level.

At the beginning of the second half, I decided to entertain myself by switching into ‘Ozil Watch’ mode – a diversion I occasionally do when I feel the need to more closely examine player’s contribution to a game. It was a good choice (one actually inspired by my wondering at times whether he was actually on the pitch in the first half). Slow to start after the interval, he did little of note, except a meaty foul in his own half, but three quarters of the way into the match, he turned it on for a four minute period which brought three goals. Dennis Bergkamp used to do this sometimes. Basically seem to make a minimal contribution to the game except be significantly involved in the moment that won it.

Ozil is an enigma for sure, and I think it’s safe to say he stayed at home last Sunday because the manager decided he would be a waste of space at Turf Moor. Certainly, he is at odds with the values of physical commitment and aggressive hunger that are paramount in the Premier League, values exuded by his fellow wantaway superstar Alexis Sanchez. And yet, one has to understand exactly what type of player Ozil is, and that effectively you put him in a team that accommodates him. And for sure, some fixtures, that approach won’t wash. If the opposition are heavily focused on physical denial of space and movement, then Ozil can get swallowed up and ultimately hide. There are a lot of days when it seems obvious he doesn’t fancy it. No relisher of a battle, he.

Still, the flashes of brilliance we saw for a brief period last night should be enjoyed and savoured, because the player is very unlikely to be here next season. The club is on the edge of, finally, evolving into the post-Wenger era, with the recent appointments to take over the scouting and transfer negotiations. That’s a piece for another day, but the two new signings are probably, in the long term, far more significant than those of Ozil and Sanchez.

So we do our best to enjoy this campaign, knowing the club are in a kind of limbo. The superstars were bought, they hung around for four or five seasons, won some FA Cups, and ultimately realized that they wanted more. So it goes. New stars will always emerge, and with the Dortmund scout, they needn’t cost the earth.

It feels like we don’t get too many 5-0 matches these days, outside of the FA Cup, so it was nice to see the goals flow in, completed by Giroud near the end. Ian Tanner has asked me to mention that Arsenal have won 12 consecutive Premier League home matches. 13 on Saturday would be record. Remember when Arsenal v Manchester United really used to mean something? Hopefully, that day might come again before too long.

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30th November 2017 12:53:15


Comments and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

Yes its Ron  13:29pm 30th Nov 2017

Hi Kev - i think personally that the new appointments re inforce and underpin the continuance of the Wenger hegemony rather than being a signal of its end. - Post No. 110933

mbg  14:57pm 30th Nov 2017

It was a prem fixture alright Ed but only on paper, in reality it was a no contest, a walkover, like a top ranking AKB has already said we didn't need to get out of second gear, now TOF and his dwarfs not getting out of second gear and winning 5-0 ? with Ozil and the carthorse on the score sheet and getting reviews, that tells us all we need to know about the opposition, absolutely woeful, has wagner aspirations for the Arsenal job, so not wanting to annoy wenger and allowing his nice boys to dance around his players, there'll be no complaining or conspiracy theories about this game from the conspiracy theorists we can be sure of that, but like I've already said if it had been the end of the season, with some kind of importance behind it like it was against the spuds to stop TOF getting his precious fourth spot no doubt all hell would break loose, and questions would be asked, I bet Huddersfield will not play that bad again this season just watch the improvement. wenger out. - Post No. 110934

The Man From UNCLE  15:28pm 30th Nov 2017

OK it was Huddersfield, Wenger out, la la la yes we know all this and I'm as fed up with groundhog season as everyone else. But surely no one can get annoyed at a 5-0 home win can they? The post right above me suggests they can. - Post No. 110936

Bard  15:48pm 30th Nov 2017

Good result. Its strange to have our 2 worldies running down their contracts at a cost of around £150-200m to the club. how on earth has this been allowed to happen? Ron I hope you are wrong. There is no evidence that Wenger has ever been able to0 work as part of a team. He cant even work with a deputy. - Post No. 110937

Arseneknewbest  16:15pm 30th Nov 2017

There's no rational way to explain this but Ozil always reminds me of that terribly sentimental 70s ditty by Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams called "Too much, too little, too late". The lyrics: Too much too little too late to lie again with you, too much too little too late to try again with you, we're in the middle of ending something that we knew". Auf wiedersehen Herr Ozil. It's been underwhelming knowing you. Go in January so that wengo doesn't his way and see you in harness til the end of the season. You're about as cut out for pl football as xenophobic tooaw is to chair the commission for racial equality. - Post No. 110938

Yes its Ron  16:17pm 30th Nov 2017

Bard - hi pal. I want to be wrong, but Wengers aging and he must now see the solution to have others backing him. In addition, its more smoke and mirrors i.e appointments to pacify those of us saw what a dictatorship has emerged years ago. The Club can feel the negative vibes and they need to be seen to be making adjustments. Its just adjustments to suit AW in truth. If there was really the prospect of appointing a new Coach why appoint these type of blokes now? Any new Coach of any calibre will want his own men bringing in as is always the case and quite rightly so. So for me, its the club fiddling around at the edges of the problem and not addressing its core. AW will be quite happy with these appointments and they wont threaten him. He ll have the last word. - Post No. 110939

Paulward  16:27pm 30th Nov 2017

Slightly flattering in as much as Town we’re well in the game at 1 nil when big Petr made a couple of good saves. Probably only the second time we have started with Wengers preferred 11, the other being the Tottenham win, so a shame that Lacazettes injury means it will be some time before this line up is seen again. Choosing between Giroud and Welbeck to replace him on Saturday illustrates just how strong this squad is now. If we bring the A game again we can beat Manchester Utd. - Post No. 110940

David1  16:41pm 30th Nov 2017

Got to be better to have Ozil and Sanchez getting Arsenal through to the CL rather than having £80 million and finishing 6/7, even if they both go for a free at the end of the season. Maybe AW still thinks he can persuade them to stay... - Post No. 110941

Bard  17:25pm 30th Nov 2017

David1. interesting point. The reverse is also a possibility. They wont get us through to the CL and we will still finish 6/7 and lose a shedload of money to boot. - Post No. 110942

GoonerRon  18:27pm 30th Nov 2017

@ Ron - I hear what you’re saying but coaches don’t often bring contract negotiators, Directors of football or Heads of Recruitment with them. For me, the changes of infrastructure is just a way of succession planning for post-Wenger. Recognising Wenger’s all-encompassing reach is atypical in modern day football we now have the makings of a structure where a Head Coach (plus some of his own backroom staff) could be brought in without everything collapsing. To effect this change (and assuming these high calibre candidates would not work without autonomy) Wenger’s remit will surely become slightly narrower, which has to be a good thing. On the game, always lovely to score 5 but it was slightly flattering and we need to take advantage of earlier goals more effectively. Let’s twat United now. - Post No. 110943

markymark  22:21pm 30th Nov 2017

Arsenalknewbest - I see the sentimental Jonny Mathis coming out. I somehow suspected a cabinet of the Clash , Pistols etc. Anyway you are free to share your musical tastes I’m sure it will be full of interest and memories. I am slightly surprised that the Hammers haven’t offered us 35m and Sanchez parity of salarity plus £150k per goal ??? January awaits it will be interesting . - Post No. 110944

TOOAW  23:18pm 30th Nov 2017

AKB. I'd like to think that our greatest ever playmaker should be linked with the 1992 Tina Turner song. It kind of sums up nicely Monsieur Wenger too. Boring boring Arsenal meanwhile hits home with yourself and the fella from maguiresbridge. How's that for etiquette ?? - Post No. 110945

mbg  23:37pm 30th Nov 2017

The man from UNCLE, i refer you to my post on the thread overleaf,110935 it's the last one so you shouldn't have trouble finding it. wenger out now. - Post No. 110946

Arseneknewbest  23:42pm 30th Nov 2017

Tooaw - That your musical tastes stretch (only) as far as tina turner's warbling surprises me not a jot. I imagine you sitting in your rover 200 a la alan partridge karaoke'ing the lyrics of an already poor tune to disastrous effect. Just before you pull into the Linton Travel Tavern for a ginsters and some self-love. A-haaaaaaaagh! The Ozil situation has me more in mind of another equally execrable TT tune. The appalling cover version of the great Al Green's "Let stay together. Will Asano and Ozil "Stay Together?" then TOOAW? I think not despite his exhortation to us all to show more loyalty a few weeks ago. Seaman TOOAW on wengo's ship of fools. - Post No. 110947

mbg  23:56pm 30th Nov 2017

Davidl, with respect they failed to fooking keep us in the CL, what difference is it going to make, the problem is the manager. wenger out. - Post No. 110948

TOOAW  0:10am 1st Dec 2017

AKB..... Yaaaawwwwwwn... boring or what. !!!! - Post No. 110949

Arseneknewbest  6:15am 1st Dec 2017

Reductionist tooaw...a twazzer or what? See, anyone can do that. Maybe you really are leekie. He was fond of the facile too. You should read a bit more. Your enduring love of wengo has addled your bonce. - Post No. 110950

Seven Kings Gooner1  8:39am 1st Dec 2017

Yes it's Ron, so right my friend - any new man taking over at Arsenal will demand his own backroom team. The Wenger out campaign has had some success in bringing the boards attention to how poor the management structure is at Arsenal, so these new people are more cosmetic than directional changes. Back to on the field matters I wonder what plans JM has for Arsene this weekend - watch out for Ashley Young, he is good form and gives United a great balance to their attacking play. Wenger needs to play like an away team for this match anything else and he will get picked off on the break. As a near neutral now I am really looking forward to this game. - Post No. 110951

The Man From UNCLE  8:57am 1st Dec 2017

Mbg - fair dos. I have said for a long time that the situation at AFC is what's know in management speak as "drift" where a firm does just that, drift along without any kind of clear leadership because it all starts from the top whether the name on the door is Hanson Trust or Bodgett and Scarper Builders Ltd. Perhaps it's just one of those "nothing" seasons, not just us but about half of the PL. It hasn't happened for Everton or West Ham this season; and they were supposed to be the rising force according to some. I must say the side who've most impressed me this season are Watford. No nonsense, good tidy side. Richarlison a player I really rate. - Post No. 110952

Seven Kings Gooner1  10:07am 1st Dec 2017

Man from Uncle, you are so right about the PL, half the teams in it have a nothing season, every season. It's why I am enjoying live in Div 2, the play off system keeps the season alive for all the teams and I do get the feeling that whilst the skill levels may be lower than the top 2 divisions, the all round effort and excellent coaching more than makes up for any skill deficiencies. There are some very promising young English managers lower down and I do hope more of them are given a proper chance to manage at the top end of the leagues. - Post No. 110953

Yes its Ron  11:01am 1st Dec 2017

GR - Yes, you could be quite right matey. I hope that you are. We ll see. Nothings transparent at Arsenal. The Clubs always been like the KGB. SKG - I think a bore draw is on the cards for the game v Utd but if Pogba decides to dominate the middle as hes capable of Utd will win it. We ve nothing to match him if hes on his game. Young is been revived hasnt he. Good player, but always been a diving cheat. Lukaku might break his barren spell i suspect. I think 1-1. Theres not much between the teams is there now but Utd have more physical power than Arsenal. Most teams do! I would play Wellbeck from the start. Giroud on the bench. - Post No. 110954

Seven Kings Gooner1  11:09am 1st Dec 2017

Ron, Ashley Young, I forgot about his diving, that's it then a 1-0 win for Utd with Young brought down in the area for the pen to seal the points. - Post No. 110955

Yes its Ron  11:29am 1st Dec 2017

SKG - Ha ha. Brought down by a later desperate Koschielny lunge no doubt. Young gets to his feet having conned the ref with that bloody irritating smirk on his face that needs punching off! The vile manager of Utd afterwards looking astonished at the suggestion it was a dive, dig at Wengo and then off Mouro goes to take his post match valium. His voice and his surly demeanour gets to me. Hes so dull and sneering these days. I wouldnt mind losing 8-0 to Utd if in return some body from the Arsenal bench just got off their feet and decked him in his technical area. The bloke is just odious. - Post No. 110956

Seven Kings Gooner1  13:12pm 1st Dec 2017

Ron, Yep, all Bouldy's years of frustration come to a head as he takes hold the "special one" and crushes him in a "Potteries hug" - Post No. 110957

Bard  15:54pm 1st Dec 2017

Man from Uncle; Couldn't agree more. Most of the prem is of such poor quality. I enjoy watching Man City and Watford but very few other sides. Its over-hyped and anodyne. The interviews are crass. If Wenger's warblings are supposed to be the thought of a wise man then there is hope for Trump yet. Ron you need to relax about Maureen but very funny all the same. - Post No. 110958

Yes its Ron  16:28pm 1st Dec 2017

Bard - agreed mate! Oddly enough, i sort of didnt mind him in his early days at Chelsea. He could be funny at times back then. Since hes gone to MU hes trying to be controlled and rational and i get the feeling hes hemming in his real personality maybe because hes been warned by the MU hierarchy, hence hes now as he is. Miserable or what! Its perhaps because he knows hes in the shadows these days, since the PL became the Saint Pep and Earl Kloppy show? - Post No. 110959

Yes its Ron  16:39pm 1st Dec 2017

Manfrom .. good comment. I think everyone takes hats off the Watford and Silva. I check out the Championship these days a lot as its better than the PL in many ways i think. Certainly more honest. Wolves are really good to see. Brave, polished, powerful, intense football and goals. A good Coach there in Nuno and one for a good future i think. I think with the cash behind Wolves one of the games great sleeping traditional Clubs could be stirring there once more. Good atmospheric stadium is Molyneux too. - Post No. 110960

Alsace  17:43pm 1st Dec 2017

I have just had a happy thought. Picture a cold corridor on a vast spaceship in deep space. On one side of the corridor, his lightsabre ominously switching on, is our old friend Darth Vader. On the other side, our glorious leader, clutching a stick of celery. Vader says "You have interfered with my plans for the last time old man". Wenger says "But if you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine". "B*ll*cks" quips Vader, and lops off his head. "I knew it was right to take the Director of Football job at Arsenal. Send in Theo Walcott" - Post No. 110961

mbg  20:40pm 1st Dec 2017

Toady, you went to a lot of trouble and hopping back and forward to find that name for your retort to Arseneknewbest, it was a while ago, things have obviously got desperate, or maybe you knew that name anyway from way back, which would suggest as a lot of us suspect and as Arseneknewbest has alluded to your not as new to this site as you'd like us to think, your fooling no one only yourself. wenger out now. - Post No. 110962

markymark  21:47pm 1st Dec 2017

ToOaW (Toad) , Leekey , BBA , Here are some stats for you showing Title wins over last decade for top 8 clubs. Please can you explain the reasons for Arsenal’s title haul compared against its peer group. Top 8 Wealth Chelsea — £334.6 million. ... * Arsenal — £350.4 million. ... * Paris St-Germain — £389.6 million. ... * Manchester City — £392.6 million. ... * Bayern Munich — £442.7 million. ... * Real Madrid — £463.8 million. ... * Barcelona — £463.8 million. ... * Manchester United — £515.3 million. - [ ] Top 8 Title wins last decade - [ ] Arsenal - 0 [ ] Chelsea - 3 - [ ] Paris St Germain - 4 - [ ] Man City - 2 - [ ] Bayern Munich - 7 - [ ] Real Madrid - 3 - [ ] Barcelona - 6 - [ ] Man UTD - 4 - [ ] Average title tally top 8 - 3.62* *Note originally incorrectly quoted this as 4.14 in previous post ** Inter and AC Milan combined turnover is only equal to Arsenal and Juventus also lag £100m behind Arsenal. - Post No. 110963

markymark  12:59pm 2nd Dec 2017

ToOaW - I fear that you will not answer my Football related questions . They are simply posed to enable you to develop your Wengo theory . However here is a simple question . What do you prefer Bonnie Tyler Holding out for a hero, or Tina Turner Simply the Best? - Post No. 110964

mbg  19:40pm 2nd Dec 2017

Oh dear, normal service resumed, i wonder who's fault's that ? wenger out tonight. - Post No. 110965

Seven Kings Gooner1  20:35pm 2nd Dec 2017

Leaking two goals in the first 10 minutes of a match suggests the old adage "beaten in the tunnel" No doubt the suggestion that United's keeper was the man of the match will keep the optimists warm tonight. This game was a chance for Arsenal to suggest some improvement but they blew it big time and JM no doubt will be hoping Arsene hangs around for a few more years because that will be one less team for him to worry about - City, Chelsea and Liverpool are of course another matter. - Post No. 110966

GoonerRon  21:12pm 2nd Dec 2017

@ mbg - that’s made your weekend hasn’t it? To answer your question, it was mainly Koscielny and Mustafi’s fault for their errors, but De Gea (for making the joint most saves in a match since records began) and the referee (for not giving us 3 pens) we also in the mix too. - Post No. 110967

CBee  21:23pm 2nd Dec 2017

Gooner Ron. Possible penalties for us yes but we we're lucky Kos didn't get a red for bringing down lukaku. We lost because our defense was crap. Pure and simple. And you know it's been that way for way too long - Post No. 110968

mbg  1:38am 3rd Dec 2017

GoonerRon, Oh dear, obviously taking it bad and smarting, (badarse can lend you his sudo cream)oh and that old one, if it wasn't for their keeper we'd have won bla bla, yes for being a good one and doing his job, yes i'd expect that from you alright, maybe if your messiah had bought one of them/those in the last twelve years even recently, maybe even DeaGea ? instead of second raters and has beens, but there again he doesn't deem it important, (and the arrogant waster still won't, see why it is ? )and knows f**k all about the position. But you just keep on believing, as SKG says, no doubt the opposition keepers performance is keeping you and other optimists and wengerites warm tonight. wenger out now. - Post No. 110969

GoonerRon  8:43am 3rd Dec 2017

@ mbg - of course I’m smarting, my team lost so its a natural reaction (for most ‘supporters’ at least). De Gea’s performance in a way does give a bit of comfort actually, the fact we made him make a record amount of saves says plenty about the dominance we had. Gutted not to win when we should have, the individual errors killed us, as did De Gea’s performance and the lack of penalties. - Post No. 110970

mbg  15:38pm 3rd Dec 2017

Ah yes a record amount of saves, that's a new one lol, petition time again from AKB central command, the keeper is only allowed to make so many saves in a game, especially against Arsenal, and of course the ref, he had to come into it somewhere, (even though he didn't give a red against us)and he had such recent good games against us when we were steamrolling second raters, bad man, you couldn't make it up. wenger out now. - Post No. 110988

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

15th January 2018

Being muscled off the ball by Bournemouth is like being mugged by your grandma

Online Ed: Another poor Arsenal display on the road just another signpost as we near the end of the Wenger era