Arsenal cruised to a 3-1 victory over Hull on Monday night, with Sanchez yet again grabbing the headlines. Alexis bagged a brace on the night with Aaron Ramsey continuing his own outstanding form, setting up his Chilean team-mate for the third goal after grabbing himself one.
However, it was the German international, Mesut Ozil, who made big strides in his quest to convert the most stubborn critics into staunch admirers of his talents.
He was showered with praise after the match and after a display which indeed had everything, it is not difficult to see why. Arsene Wenger said the following about Ozil's impact: "Mesut Ozil is developing fantastically well and had a fantastic game. Overall his influence was very strong."
Article continues below
Much has been said about a necessity to sign new players, and may of those people have often been the ones that have criticised Arsene Wenger, as well as his number 11. Ozil however proved once again that he is one hell of a player. His passing is almost always flawless, but on Monday he showed signs that the player he was at Real Madrid, causing Mourinho to label him the best number 10 in the world, is on the brink of being unleashed upon the Premier League.
The German playmaker may not have scored, or even got an assist, but as Arsene Wenger has said, he had a tremendous impact on the game throughout. So often slated for his apparently lethargic demeanour, it was in fact Ozil who wrestled Arsenal possession of the ball and launched the two attacks that subsequently led to their first and last goal.
Article continues below
Ozil also showed glimpses of the sumptuous first touch he has it his disposal, interchanging with his forward players in the most glamorous fashion. Flicks and tricks were in abundance at the KC Stadium , and although the Hull fans did not witness yet another giant killing they were hoping for, they were at least treated to some mesmerising football.
Alan Smith likened Arsenal to the Harlem Globetrotters at one point. The ex-Arsenal striker commentating for Sky Sports made the comparison after an intricate exchange of aerial passes fashioned a decent chance, only for the opportunity to lay an early claim for May’s goal of the month to be spurned.
The hat-trick of impressive things Ozil did in this game is completed by his off the ball running. As mentioned, a lack of enthusiasm or willingness to run beyond has often been the basis for any criticism he should receive. However, in Monday’s game Ozil made many intelligent and well timed runs beyond the Hull defence, displaying a more versatile style of play which only goes to make him a more threatening player.
Arsenal have been in sensational form in 2015. Their 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United in November marked their their worst league start since 1982. However, the Gunner’s scintillating form since the turn of the year has remedied this woeful start, going on to achieve their highest points total after 33 games since the 2009/10 season.
This dramatic turnaround has been the theme of Arsenal’s season. Players returning from injury only to find their best form since donning the famous red and white. Ozil too is no different. He has enjoyed a fantastic year so far and his efforts were recently rewarded with Arsenal’s April Player of the Month award.
Both the German and his team will hope they can keep this momentum going and finishing the season in second place will mark quite an extraordinary turn around.
Also, should the likes of Ozil be able to continue their spectacular renaissance and take this newfound confidence forward, there is no doubt the North London club will have a definitive say in where the title ends up come next season.