Football

The Mesut Ozil effect

Mesut Ozil. (©GettyImages)
Mesut Ozil. (©GettyImages).

Mesut Ozil arrived at Arsenal in the most dramatic of circumstances, signed on deadline day for a club record fee and immediately, Arsenal fans had a newfound optimism for the season after going on an online rant about the club and Wenger in particular after the opening day defeat to Aston Villa at the Emirates.

The perceived stinginess and advertent unwillingness to open the purse strings on new players became the subject of an open letter from the club’s fans to the majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke.

Their open apathy towards the club amid threats of boycotting home games turned into appraisal, ecstacy, excitement and renewed support from the previously disgruntled fans. And who can blame them, they had been used to seeing their superstars leave only to be
replaced by ‘young talent’ which was, more often than not, not exactly of star status. Mesut Ozil’s arrival was therefore heralded in almost Messianic proportions.

The German has quite a resume. At only 24 years of age, he has been the leading assist-maker in Europe for the past three years.

Ozil has averaged more assists than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues in that period and has been an integral part of Germany’s national team, playing in the 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euros.

The fact that he was a regular at arguably the biggest club in the world, Real Madrid, despite playing under a variety of coaches, underlines his sheer ability. Arsenal had finally signed a
really big, big player….and if his start to life at Emirates is anything to go by, ending their 8 year wait for a trophy seems more realistic now more than ever before.

Ozil has literally hit the ground running, assisting Giroud in his debut match, having a hand in Ramsey’s goal and following it up with setting up all three goals against Stoke last weekend.

His hefty price tag is already meting out returns… and fast. Jack Wilshere conceded that the German’s arrival has brought a different feel at the club. Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott,
Per Mertesacker all alluded to the same thing.

He has brought a lift at the Emirates in a way that has not been witnessed in a very long time. Some die-hard and overly optimistic fans liken his effect to that of Dennis Bergkamp, their club legend all those years ago. It’s not too hard to see where that is coming from now is it?

Arsene Wenger sent chills down opposing teams spines when he said Ozil’s explosive start was just a drop in the ocean. ‘The Professor’, said Ozil has not yet reached full throttle and that he infact debuted while sick.

Apparently the 24 year old has not yet fully integrated into the side, yet he already has 4 assists (if you count Ramsey’s goal against Stoke).

There is also the fact that he has yet to line up with Santi Cazorla, the club’s creator in chief of last season, due to injury on the latter’s part…I cannot even begin to imagine the destruction their impending partnership can deliver.

If Giroud stays fit until at least January when Wenger is expected to swoop for a really world class center forward, Arsenal may just challenger for major honours this season…the wait may finally be over in North London…well, at least in the red half of it.

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Topics:
Football
Arsenal
Premier League

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