Mesut Özil

Is Özil a victim of his price tag?

Is Ozil a victim of his price tag? Is it right to expect miracles from him at this stage of his Arsenal Career? Certain sections of football forums  all over the world are questioning if Özil is worth the money he came for? Yes it is natural to expect great things from a great player in his prime but passing a judgement on his worth when he has not even played a full season in the premier league is a bit premature in my opinion.

Most players need a period of acclimatization. In a new country, new language, new team, new club, new coach, new people, there is bound to be a period of latency for any footballer before he goes on to exhibit his full potential. Its like he is on trial every minute in every game. He is still a young bloke who needs a bit of reassurance now and then from his teammates, the manager and the fans. Forget the Gooners, every football pundit out there, the opposition players, the neutrals hailed it as a coup of sorts to sign a top star in his prime from a prestigious club like Real Madrid. Yes we needed a Striker in the summer and we need one now but that does not mean we should have  let go of an opportunity to sign a world class advanced play-maker and hence i do not understand as to why certain sections are complaining that we should have gone for a Striker instead of Özil. Yes we should have gone in for a Striker but he should have been signed along with Özil and not instead of him.

Signing Ozil has been such a massive morale booster for the club. It is such a massive lift for the fans and the players. We sent out a message that we can also sign top quality players in their prime from the best clubs in the world. The way opposition clubs look at us has changed after the signing of Özil . The profile of the club has received a much needed lift as well.

Players with vision and courage  to pass the ball forward even under severe pressure are a rare breed in football these days. Özil is always willing to take his man on and run through the heart of the opposition midfield without fear. These qualities cannot be taught to senior pros. you either have it or you don’t. It takes massive load off the likes of Ramsey and Cazorla as Özil easily occupies at least a couple of opposition players occupied who are assigned to mark him closely. 10 assists and 5 goals is not too shabby for a player who is making his debut in England. Yes there is more to come from him but he needs to be given a full season of acclimatization before passing a judgement on him.

People are comparing Özil with Fabregas which is a bit unfair on Özil at such a nascent stage of his Arsenal carrier. With all due respect to Giroud, Fabregas was playing behind much more accomplished strikers and hence the argument is a non starter in my opinion. Fabregas was around our system from a very young age and its extremely unfair to compare him with Özil who has just begun his Arsenal carrier.

With Walcott having been injured for most part of the season we have seriously lacked the players who can make those runs behind the defence to get to the end of through balls played in by Özil. Its like signing a world class attacking midfielder and asking him to work with a target man. Özil would shine much more if paired with a pacey/nimble/trickier Striker capable of making those short bursts to get to the end of intricate passes played in from the midfield. A fit Walcott and a top quality Striker is what Özil needs to take his productivity to next level. No i am not degrading Giroud nor am i saying Özil simply cannot produce the goods with Giroud as our Center-forward just that his game is much more suited/complementary to a more pacey/tricker/nimble/ Striker.

I am not saying Özil  has no flaws. His work-rate is good but not great. At times he goes through motions. He does not try to win the ball quickly on turning over possession. His concentration levels can improve. He needs to be a bit for focused. Nobody is perfect and he is in the team to be the main creative hub of the team and which is where he should be judged.

Wenger in my opinion did the right thing by Signing Özil cos the opportunity to sign such a top player in his prime does not come by everyday. We had the funds to sign a Striker over and above Ozil deal. I for one do not believe it was a case of either Özil or a Striker. Wenger decided to shut shop after his failed attempt to Sign Suarez and i don’t think the reason for that has anything to with funds. I think Wenger had the funds to buy a Striker irrespective of Ozil’s signing and he CHOSE not to do so. So to blame Ozil’s signing for us not signing a Striker is not appropriate in my opinion.

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