Ozil and Sanchez. Challenges with both.

by .


Good morning sports fans.

It’s Tuesday morning. Last day at work for a bit. So I’ll mostly be contributing nothing today. This is my second article of the day. That’s passion for Arsenal.

Anyway, some great debate caused yesterday by all of the Ozil and Sanchez talk.

Few things I want to address. Firstly, the stats issue. Football fans are geeks. We’re given the basic tools to drill into the detail about player performance. So we draw insights from numbers and  generally, most football fans look at numbers in isolation. They also don’t interrogate the data and where it comes from.

I know that football teams data analysts at game code as they go. That’s why managers right notes on the side. If Rodgers sees a wide attack on the left on 27minutes, he’ll pen WA27. Then before half time, he’ll give his notes over and pull up the key moments. So football clubs leave details up to human eye. I don’t know how the freesites work. But you’d imagine it’s not far off that.

Here are a few things that popped up yesterday that I’d question.

> Ozil ran the most distance in the Everton game. Ok, it’s an impressive stat. Where did it come from? What was the speed? How much energy was exerted?

> Ozil contributed the most sprints out of any player that played in midweek. Again, questions would be, what constitutes a sprint (guy behind a desk scoring the game, or a computer programme), which way were the sprints, what distance were the sprints over.

> Ozil makes more defensive interceptions / tackles than Giroud. Ok, where is the stat that points to Giroud terrorising the back four of a team. Where are the defensive sprints included? Is there a stat for the amount of times Giroud closes down space and forces an error without touching the ball? Because on the face of it, it looks like Ozil defends better than Giroud when your eyes will tell you different.

I know that football clubs will have far richer data, way better technology and in the main… far superior analysts than those on the web. So they’ll be getting the data. But my big thing with amateur analysis of data is you can cut it anyway you want to tell a story. When the numbers are quite primitive, it’s really hard to draw conclusions. I guess that’s why teams hire GPS companies and on site statisticians to look at what they do. You can actually get under the skin of the data…

Also, another point I wanted to cover off is that the English can’t deal with a footballer like Ozil. Like, somehow, no one appreciates him because he doesn’t play like David Batty. I think this is totally wrong. People take issue with Ozil because the only shift he puts in is going forward. I think if you compare how he plays versus someone like Cesc (another technically gifted dreamboat) then you can see where I’m going. I know they’re not the same player. I wish they were. Because then we’d be in a better situation.

Alexis Sanchez is about as Roy of the Rovers as you get… but he’s starting to grate on people who see that he’s not much of a team player. He looks out for himself. He loses possession in important areas. He runs through players when he could play a simple pass. He’s a bit selfish. He needs to be controlled… but what I love is his intensity. That’s a Premier League trait. Santi has that as well. Ozil doesn’t, but perhaps he needs to find a bit if we’re serious about winning trophies.

Also, isn’t it about time we cut the bullshit about the Premier League not be technically supreme? Pound for pound, it’s the strongest league in the world by a margin. Don’t kid yourself it’s just a league of thugs. It’s littered with top players, smart coaches and smart systems.

Right, that’s me done. Alex will takeover tomorrow with James dropping a Thursday match report.



370 Responses to “Ozil and Sanchez. Challenges with both.”

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  1. MidwestGun

    Since when is 42 mill relevant? Y’all applying to be Kroenke’s accountant anytime soon? Last time I checked… we have a few dollars.

    Is Sanogo a good player because he’s free? So now suddenly we want a bunch of 7/10 average players who try hard but can never be great?

  2. Bigper

    Tbf cesc bottles big games as well and he always goes off the boil second half of the season plus he was pretty much pushed out the door by barca

  3. Romford Ozil Pele

    “He has talent but got to say he does not do enough.”

    Well this is all subjective. What do yo you class as doing enough? Because he isn’t the matchwinner doesn’t mean he’s not doing enough. His pricetag? Again, he didn’t dictate. Generally speaking our win% is much higher with him in than when he’s not in. It’s not a coincidence to me. Goes back to what many managers/players say about Ozil being able to elevate the performance of his teammates. He’s not someone to court the limelight. Obviously it doesn’t fit the narrative as his pricetag suggests it should.

  4. Danimax

    some people kept saying our league position started improving when ozil and giroud got back in the team. that is funny because they didnt take into account the return of kozzer, the improvement in monreal performance and the emergence of coq. many things influence our recent rise in table position.

  5. gambon

    “Lol maybe because Ozil missed over 3 months of football.”

    Lol, or maybe i was using chances created per game stats.



  6. Danimax

    One thing in football is no risk, no gain.

    I remember some time back arsenal fans were complaining about all passing everytime, we don’t have anybody who could take the opposition on with dribbling.

    With dribbling, there is a big chance of losing the ball. if it works out, it is very nice approach because it will cause havoc in the opposition ranks.

    My take on sanchez dribbling is he should stop doing it in our half, it is very dangerous if it does not work out there. He can try dribbling the full back as along as he want in the opposition box, i have no problem with that.

    If he can limit the amount of people he take on at a time that will also be better. Dribbling one person then release the ball. so simple. i don’t agree with dribbling 3/4 people at a go

  7. Romford Ozil Pele

    “We have so many other problems that we need to address way more than ozil.”

    Pretty much.

  8. vicky


    I do not know how can you so conclusively credit Mesut for our decent run off late. As I said earlier, I would rather say it’s because we have most of our players fit, Coq playing in place of Flamini/Arteta, Jack being absent and that we do well in the 2nd half. You argue when we lose against big teams, it’s not Mesut’s fault but of the team. But here you are quick to credit him for our rise. I would rather say Cazorla playing in the middle has got us going apart from other reasons mentioned earlier.

  9. gambon

    “Is Sanogo a good player because he’s free?”

    So you are saying an employees contribution shouldnt be linked to his pay?

    How many factory workers do you know on £120k per year plus benefits.

  10. Ozy

    “Since when is 42 mill relevant? Y’all applying to be Kroenke’s accountant anytime soon? Last time I checked… we have a few dollars.”

    Exactly. Are PSG supporters moaning about the Luiz purchase? Man U the Di Maria purchase? RM supporters over Jamez being bought for about 30 million more than he’s worth? Chelsea supporters for what they paid for Ba, Remy, Salah?

    It’s just us. The club isn’t now checking for change under the couch because we bought Ozil. Yet people still bring up the price tag as if they paid for him out of pocket.

  11. Romford Ozil Pele

    “I do not know how can you so conclusively credit Mesut for our decent run off late”

    I didn’t say he was the sole person responsible for that. Like you say, having most of our players fit is the reason behind the fact we’re third. I maintained that even when we were 7th/8th. Despite our flaws, we’re easily a top 3/4 team. But I don’t like to concentrate on individuals. Football is a team game which is why I always find the need to highlight individuals perplexing. Santi has played well, i’ve never argued against it. But we need to be looking at GK, DM, ST before we start talking about other players

  12. Danimax

    There are many ways to play football. The problem with ozil is the lack of urgency in his game. I will have a rosicky all day over ozil as my CAM. Football sometimes is about passion and drive.

    The dortmund team that dominate german league could press and harrass any team to death.

    The athletico madrid team of last season took the same approach of pressing and harrassing opponnent to death

    The Pep barca team also pressed team to death with three people swarming the opposition at a time

    My point is i dont think ozil has the passion for the pressing game which we want to see at arsenal

  13. Romford Ozil Pele

    “My point is i dont think ozil has the passion for the pressing game which we want to see at arsenal”

    Who says we want to see pressing at Arsenal? Pressing is another one of those things which just seem to be in vogue atm but it isn’t the be all and end all of successful football. I do like watching teams pressing but that doesn’t guarantee success. Every formation/style comes with risk/reward.

    I don’t think Ozil lacks urgency. The way he plays always affords himself more time on the ball than anyone else.

    This is what I mean about the English. We love players running about at 100mph. It isn’t a sign of progress. Part of the reason the NT fails is always because we play more with our hearts than our heads.

  14. vicky

    It’s not only about price. Giroud gets a lot of stick , he was not bought for 40 M. BGF draws criticism. We tore in to Jenko, he did not cost even a million. Let me put it this way : would you guys have supported wholeheartedly an unknown player from Luxumborg who did the same thing as Ozil has done so far for us ??

  15. Danimax

    hazard of chelsea was not known for defensive contribution but now he is also pressing the opposition.

    There is no room for passenger in football. All player must put a shift for the glory of the team.

    Ozil should not be exempted from this. We worked and win as a team

  16. MidwestGun

    Gambon –
    Nope….. not what I’m saying at all. Because transfer fees are just the fee one team charges another based on whatever they think they can extort. So are we gonna argue salaries now or transfer fees? Seems like you are throwing just about everything at the wall to see what sticks.

  17. Rhys Jaggar

    The only stats that are useful for managers are ones which correlate with outcomes.

    How many corners you have means diddly squat if you are so useless at taking them that you score less than 5% of the time. Ditto with free kicks in the final third.

    If however you have an Erikssen, a Gerrard etc who can put a 25 yard free kick reasonably central into the back of the net once every three goes, you have a stat you’d like to monitor over a 19 game half-season.

    If your team can convert a 4 on 3 advantage into a goal 40% of the time, you’d be mighty interested in how many occasions that happened and whether by altering tactics you could up the number of situations of that kind.

    If you have a defensive midfielder who gets booked once every 10 tackles and sent off once every 50 tackles, you’d either like him to learn how to tackle better or you see that as ‘taking a suspension for the team’ if overall it is to the team’s benefit. It depends on how often a sending off/suspension causes the team to drop points, I guess.

    If you have a central defender who loses a one-on-one with a central striker three times a game, you’d be mighty interested in knowing how often those losses led to goals being conceded. You might chose to hire a new central defender with better one-on-one stats if specific coaching on the training ground has no effect.

    You’d be mighty interested in what percentage of crosses your goalkeeper dropped, flapped at or other wise goofed up on. Particularly if 33% of those goof-ups lead to a goal being conceded. If your defenders somehow managed to make those goof ups only lead to goals once in 15 times, you might think spending £20m on a new goalkeeper can be deferred for a while….

    If you are obsessed by ‘assist’ stats, you might like to ask how many minutes of possession/assist, since if Arsenal have 65% possession on average you’d expect a hell of lot more assists from Ozil than from Chris Brunt at West Brom. In fact, you might like to ask how well Arsenal use possession by measuring possession minutes per chance created, chances created per goal scored and of course the outcome of those two, possession minutes per goal scored. Since if you found that Arsenal needed twice as many minutes of possession as Chelsea to score a goal and conceded twice as many goals per minute of the opposition having the ball as Chelsea did, you’d be minded to say that you had a bunch of defensive wallies and a bunch of tippy tappy fanny merchants on the books………

    If I were Steve Bould, I’d be asking someone to monitor how often a wing back was in the final third and one of the CDMs hadn’t dropped back to cover. Nothing wrong with penetration up the wings, but it carries downside risks if you screw up. Adjustments from others is usually the sensible proactive decision.

    If I were Thierry Henry as attacking coach, I’d be demanding the stats since 2007 of percentage of crosses which failed to go beyond the first defender, percentage intercepted by the goalkeeper, percentage which were cleared by another defender and the percentage which actually reached an Arsenal player. If that final percentage were less than 40%, I”d be asking why my wingers expected to get paid this week. Crossing is not some aimless hit and hope, it is a precision passing skill which should be a core competence of at least three players in any starting eleven. If it isn’t, then the team shouldn’t be wasting possession by crossing. Should it??

    I’d also be asking what percentage of crosses were hit when less than 3 players were in the box to receive that cross. There should be five in the box or 5 yards outside it to keep the opposition guessing: one covering the near post one arriving via the penalty spot and one coming in from beyond the far post. A fourth should be on the edge of the box and a fifth 5 =- 10 yards back to feed off a first clearance. If it’s just Giroud you’re hardly setting John Terry et al a test they will struggle with, are you?

    That’s just a few examples of how stats should be used. Meaningful stats, not cover my arse stats.

    Jimmy Greaves would have had appalling km covered stats, yet this week he was revealed as the highest scoring striker in the major 5 European Leagues in history. What he was good at, he was seriously, seriously good at. He had Dave Mackay to do all the dirty work……..just like Thierry Henry had Patrick Vieira to do the same for him………

  18. Wallace

    comaparing our best eleven now with the one that started the season i reckon you’ve got six changes –


    all pretty much first choice now. not sure that kind of turnaround will happen very often.

  19. Danimax


    Do you like watching dortmund team play? Ath. Madrid? Barca of pep?

    My point is we need to defend as a team from the front.

    If we allow the opposition to pass the ball around in their half without disturbing them, it afford them to pick out themselves better.

    If a player is under pressure, the decision he will take will not be optimum.

    That is what sanchez is doing. Making the opposition rush their decision which may lead to long ball or loss of possession

  20. Danimax

    i am criticizing ozil for the team lack of pressing. But if sanchez is doing it, am sure if rosicky was the CAM he will also be doing it. then Ozil should also try to help the team out by defending from the front

  21. Carts

    Agreed the market has shifted and players are being bought and sold for insane amounts but when you consider the fact that Arsenal take a very conservative approach to player purchases, on average, shelling out what we did made no sense as “creating chances” wasn’t the biggest problem we had.

    It was a massive knee-jerk by Wenger, which for a time, had us all jumping for joy – me included.

    Of course forums were about when Zidane playing. Not as wide spread but I can assure you they existed. Im talking from past experince. The debate, at the time centred around who was better than Zidane. Not whether he was worth the forty-odd million paid for him

  22. Danimax


    i am not asking for total pressing like dortmund, barca or ath madrid.

    But we should not make life too easy for the opposition by affording them all the time on the ball in their half.

  23. Romford Ozil Pele

    Danimax – Yeah but that’s down to Wenger, why are you blaming Ozil?

    “It would be a crime to compare Ozil to Zidane.”
    Nobody compared them. Pires said that Ozil moves about in a similar way stylistically.

  24. Romford Ozil Pele

    Danimax – Pressing isn’t the only form of tactic. Sure it has its merits but if a team bypasses the press, then what? As long as we win I don’t really care how we approach it.

  25. Carts

    “Pires said that Ozil moves about in a similar way stylistically.”

    Pires needs to put the pipe right down.

  26. Wallace

    “Very happy, but let’s not forget that the boy is 17-year-old, comes from Poland and I have taken him in January more for next season because to give a boy of 17 years old six months to adapt to competitive environment like we have here is needed.”

    – Wenger on Bielik

  27. Danimax

    ROP, i get your point about pressing not being the only tactic available. But do you agree affording opposition too much room for playing is suicidal?

    I remember in the everton game in the first half, fan reacted when everton were just passing the ball around in their half under no pressure.

    One person can not press alone, when sanchez is doing it, ozil should also support him at least.

  28. Danimax

    i am not saying Ozil is not a good player. far from it.

    All i am saying is ozil can do better than he is offering at the moment.

    we all want Arsenal to excel as a fan

  29. gambon

    “Bielik is massive. Looks good on the ball as well. Could very well turn out to be our Matic”

    Will be playing in Serie B in 4 years.

  30. Wallace


    nothing unusual about letting a team have the ball in their own half. invites them forward leaving more space in behind.

  31. MidwestGun

    i think the story of the day is most arsenal fans believe ozil can do better than he is performing now.
    Exactly, because he can. We don’t need a bunch of 7/10’s who try hard. That’s the Spurs. We need players who can go to 11(like in spinal tap) and frankly I’m not concerned about the cost. We have money and 2 billionaire owners. Not to mention a huge fanbase and increasing tv revenues.

    So Ozil type talent is exactly what we should be buying. And he’s only 26.
    People act like he is contributing nothing. Use stats to say other players are better then ignore Ozil’s stats because he looks disinterested. Ozil is the 10th best player in the Premier League according to whoscored.com. so like Pedro said stats can be used to say about anything without interpretation.

    Ozil is a talented player who can do better. He has only been here a season and a half. So far we’ve won an FA Cup. I’m willing to see what he does because he has huge upside. And his downside can be overcome.

    To me it basically boils down to its the manager moreso then the players for me at the moment.
    Unless your arguement is Ozil is rubbish like gambon. Then your gonna lose that arguement, imo.

  32. gambon

    “with Koscielny?”

    How are Bendtner, Luploli, Lansbury, Barazite, Merida, Wellington, Ryo and Armand Traore doing again?

  33. gambon

    “So Ozil type talent is exactly what we should be buying. And he’s only 26.”

    No, because Ozil most definitely cant go “to 11”

    He goes to 8 against shit teams and doesnt even register as 1 against any tough team.

  34. gambon

    Wenger doing his nonsensical praising of a player that is playing terribly, Per this time.

    No wonder the players fuck up so often.

    “Hmmm, i think i’ll have a day off today”

    Wife: “But Per, what about the consequences”

    “Its OK honey, i’ll be dropped for one game, then Wenger will tell the world how great I am and reinstate me…..roadhouse!”

  35. Danimax


    If the opposition pass ball freely in his half for 90 minutes, what will be the outcome of the game?

    A smaller team will have no problem settling for a draw in my opinion.

    Am not saying we should go all out running in the opposition half. But we should force them to make mistake in their half.

    Team have used that tactics against us to effect. when there is no outlet to pass in your half then you either play long ball or you try to force play and concede possession.

    By default, some player are wired like that sanchez, rosicky. They harrass opponent by default.

  36. Carts

    “Doesn’t Ozil have more assists than zidane in his whole career already?”

    No reward for guessing who top pros – past and present – would LOVE to have played with.

  37. vicky


    “To me it basically boils down to its the manager moreso then the players for me at the moment.”

    I am anything but an AKB , but I do not understand what do people mean when they say this and why this argument is made only in defense of Ozil ?

  38. Wallace

    “How are Bendtner, Luploli, Lansbury, Barazite, Merida, Wellington, Ryo and Armand Traore doing again?”

    all playing to a decent level, and only Wellington cost us a fee.

    and we’ve get Bellerin & Coquelin in the first team. both youth players who cost us nothing. pretty good return.

  39. MidwestGun

    Lol if Ozil is rubbish then 514 other players in the Premier are more rubbisher.

    Perhaps your expectations are a tad unrealistic gambon? Just sayin. Get back to me when L’oreal isn’t our CF in the big games.

  40. cladicus

    I like the pressing game as much as the next guy, but to go all out press with this Arsenal team would be suicidal. Possession and scoring are not Arsenal’s problem imo. Got to keep some out.

  41. MidwestGun

    Vicky –
    It means I think the unbalance In the team, the lack of preparation, continued lack of focus on defending, and the ignoring of key positions in the team for years, namely cm and cf is why we struggle. Correct these things and I don’t think we are bashing Ozil on a daily basis.

    All things down to the manager, imo.

  42. gambon

    “all playing to a decent level, and only Wellington cost us a fee.”

    Well this is wrong, so you dont really have much credibility, surprise surprise.

  43. Vince

    And why do you refuse to refute Romford’s argument of all the great players Real Madrid have sold? Because you do like that argument, the “why did RM let him go then?” Come on. Enlighten us.

    Of course Real sells as they will but in case of people like Ozil nobody can deny it was the right choice. they’ve gone on to win everything after he left.
    And there’s no basis for comparing Ozil to the other players they’ve let go wrongfully. Robbe has won everything with Bayern and some of those cups he won them singlehandedly. Sneidjer won UCL with an average inter side and he was the fulcrum of the team after leaving Madrid Ozil has done nothing worthwhile. He won world cup but so did Per. He has to be topnotch for seasons consecutively like Robben before we think Madrid was wrong to let him go.

  44. Drey

    This is the type of problems we should be having as a Club,a £42m player not contributing much to the team,not because he has no actual contributions but because the team has become better and our best players seem to not be on top form…

    Not the “Diaby-a-new-signing or Wilshere a better CM than Xavi” nonsense

  45. Leedsgunner

    “With Wenger in charge it’s all completely moot – like debating about how you should arrange your furniture when your house hasn’t got a f@cking roof on it.”

    Lol…….. well said Crusaderrabbit!

  46. vicky

    “It means I think the unbalance In the team, the lack of preparation, continued lack of focus on defending, and the ignoring of key positions in the team for years, namely cm and cf is why we struggle. Correct these things and I don’t think we are bashing Ozil on a daily basis.”

    Well, I do not think any of these reasons are in any sense specific to Ozil. All the other players play in the same set up. What you are saying are the reasons behind team’s failure, not of Ozil per se. And still it does not justify Ozil not even trying against the big boys in the game.

  47. Wallace


    “Well this is wrong, so you dont really have much credibility, surprise surprise.”

    😉 coming from you that means a lot.

  48. Leedsgunner

    What do people make of the stories coming out of Italy that we ware looking to hire a Juventus bod to be our director of football? Probably nothing in it… 🙂

  49. MidwestGun

    Vicky –
    I do think it’s relevant to Ozil because people keep saying he is the cherry on top of the sundae. Well first we need the Sundae. And really there is no excuse for not giving the type of player Ozil can be the platform to succeed.
    Unless your arguement is Ozil will always be rubbish even with players who can finish Ozil’s chances like gambon is basically saying with his Ozil is rubbish comment.

  50. salparadisenyc

    Can’t be bothered with this Ozil debate, dude can play.
    May not measure up as high as we’d like atm but i’m holding my judgements until this seasons over.

    Other issues that rate more with me, Giroud whom will always hinder us. Finding a player to anchor the midfield in an assured manner, replacing Sczez, Gibbs and Wilshire.

    Summer shopping list: Dybala, Schneiderlin, Kurzawa and Cech.
    Reus like Benzema will be another missed gem.

  51. vicky


    Great players themselves become the platform upon which a team excels. It’s not the other way round. Ozil himself should become the platform rather than the team creating a platform for him to excel.

    Think Of Suarez, Maradona, Messi and other greats. Sanchez joined us and improved us. Cesc ,again a soft skillful type of player,made us a better team, not that he demanded a team be built around him.

    If Ozil needs so much arrangement to be done from our side before he starts delivering, then well , that’s scary.

  52. ADKB

    BBC: “Following the news that Newcastle legend Alan Shearer is to be honoured with a bronze statue, we want to know which sport star you think should have a similar honour bestowed on them. And, most importantly, why?

    Is Mertesacker not already a statue?”

    I protest! 🙂

  53. Danish Gooner

    Ozil is not a bad player but when you are consistently played out of position….Well,ask our stupid manager.At Madrid he was a juggernaut of assists but hey he played under a manager that understood his best assests not this dim witted Frenchie.

  54. Vince

    One of the reasons why we’ve faltered the last 3-4 seasons is because our results against the top four teams has been appalling. What we needed were players who could take us to the next level, give us points against the Man U’s, Chelsea and Man City’s of this world. With our fringe players we should be rotating these topnotch players against Aston Villa, Burnley, Hull and lesser teams like Middlesbrough that we’ll meet in the early rounds of the fa cups and caring cups. Sadly Ozil has shown himself to be well short of our estimations. He was anonymous against Tottenham and Everton, don’t even get me started on the matches against the top teams. Our superstar only shows up against Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and the likes. Against Bayern were amazing until this misfit missed a penalty and all heads went down. Against Monaco, ditto. So what then are we talking about. And guess what? The only big match we’ve won this year was against Man city. and guess who was conspicuously missing?

  55. MidwestGun

    Leeds –
    Well….Juventus does have a great deal of talent on a smaller budget… so if it means better transfer windows. I’m 100% for it. Can’t see AW going for it tho, unless it’s part of the succession plan. Or it means an early retirement. Then hell yes. Lol.

  56. Danish Gooner

    Ozil should be running Fabregas close for assists,instead he lumbers around like a headless chicken.Yes,it is ok for fans to ask for something from a player that cost 42 mil and are badly underachieving.

  57. Vince

    One of the best players the world has ever seen Pele said sometimes ago Robinho waste player that will threaten his stand as the undisputed Le world best player.

    see how that turned out.

  58. Ben

    Everyone here seems to be selective when using stats (basically assists and chances created) when defending Ozil but this does not seem to apply to Theo and guys like Podolski who have also good stats but are passengers in games.

    Ozil may have good technique but is a bit limited in his style of play. His passes are not varied and he does not make enough defense splitting passes yet this is supposed to be one of his strengths and always needs runners to be effective.
    There many instances where he does not seem to see Giroud when moves in the box but goes for the easy option of Gibbs making a run outwide.

  59. Muyiwa


    I understand the noise about Ozil. And I totally understand the sort of player he is.

    But we’re stuck with a manager who’s got a stick up his butt. If we had 2 DM’s in a 4-2-3-1 ( which i think is the most ideal), we’ll realize just how much of a genius Ozil is.

    A Schneiderlin Le Coq base works just fine. Frees up Ozil to do just what he loves.
    We still need a back up DM. I’m not holding my breath for a baby in diapers to sort that midfield out. AW just said he’s isn’t playing this season. We’re back to Flamini if Coq is out.

  60. MidwestGun

    Ozil should be running Fabregas close for assists.
    Maybe but Costa finishes his chances and Fabregas takes almost every corner and freekick with the likes of Terry, Costa, Ivanovich, and Cahill crashing the box. Seems like a moving target, first Ozil was worse then Eriksen (who has 1 assist) all season. Now he needs to beat Fabregas who is off to one of the best starts ever in the Premier League regarding assists.

    Hindsight, we should have had Cesc and Ozil. That’s on AW.

  61. Cesc Appeal

    Juventus’ sporting director AND Pogba in the summer?

    One can dream.

    Metro and Daily Star reporting we’re leading the race to sign Pogba. good enough for me 🙂 Connect the dots with us allegedly going after their sporting director. I’d make this evens 🙂

  62. cladicus


    We should have had Cesc back after TLJ and Will Smith used that memory thing on us. Only way it could have worked.

  63. Cesc Appeal

    Debuchy, Gabriel, Kozz, Monreal
    Schniederlin, Pogba
    Oxlade, Ozil, Sanchez


  64. wattsy

    Wenger did not think too deeply when he bought Ozil, in Mardrid he was surrounded by power players, there was no question of him being needed to chase back and defend. He is not built for it, so our manager should have considered that before parting with 42M. If we had ( and we should have ) some power in our mid field, including a brick shit houseDF, then we to could have the luxury of letting him play where he can do most damage. So lets have some radical thought on the subject ozil is miles better than Rambo and Jack, to my mind they are no better than squad players now anyway, always injured and not physically built for PL. Build the team around Ozil, lets allow him to close players down in their final 3rd, the DM can do the leg work, that’s what we will paying him for. Think we would see a very different Ozil then, more creative, more goals and a smiley face.

  65. goona

    Ozil….underperforming? Or playing at his level? My money’s on the later. He’s lazy and nowhere near determined enough to play for us…..We have paid way over the odds for him….

  66. WengerEagle

    I’m going to weigh in briefly on the Ozil debate.

    I’ve previously defended him when he hasn’t shown up in matches (usually big matches).

    As I’ve now spent a season and a half of watching him play week in week out he’s not as good as I thought he was unfortunately.

    He has wonderful technique, first touch and strikes the ball beautifully with his left foot. He’s also very efficient (against the smaller teams) and does rack up impressive assist/key pass stats. His vision for a pass is unparalleled in our side.

    What disappoints me though is he hasn’t got a great passing range (Cesc, Kroos, Pjanic, Pirlo, etc all have a phenomenal range of passing), his right foot might as well not be there and he doesn’t have the ability to hold onto the ball in tight spaces and work his way out of it, he more often than not loses the ball or plays a sideways 5 yard pass when aggressively pressed which frustrates me.

    Lesser complaints for me would be his almost non-existent defensive application as he never showcased this at Real or for Bremen so it hasn’t surprised/disappointed me.

    For the record he’s still a top player IMO, he’s just a lot more limited than I thought he was. He’s far from our biggest problem and for the record I would not replace or sell him.

    Re big matches if we’re being honest he’s never really showed up in any of our big matches bar Napoli last season. At Real he gained a reputation for this. He HAS to dramatically improve in this respect, there’s only so many excuses that can be made to defend his abysmal showings in any big match we play.

    You can point to his elusive style of play or the fact that we as a team have underperformed against the big sides for years (Wenger has to share blame for this) but to me that doesn’t excuse Ozil frankly embarrassing displays against the big boys in his time here.

    Is Ozil not accountable for his own performances or lack there of?

  67. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah, I think we could all just about accept it, make do I suppose 😉

    If the rumours about Cazorla are true this summer could even make a grab for WengerEagle’s favourite Firmino.

    Schniederlin, Pogba
    Firmino, Ozil, Sanchez

    I would actually be more intrigued with that side in seeing how we bollocks it up, how we manage to still lose to some second rate UCL side 3-1 at home, or still lose to United, Chelsea etc at home.

    It would be difficult, but I have faith in Wenger to see the job through.

  68. MidwestGun

    Eagle –
    He is 100% accountable but then you get the Ozil is rubbish crowd, who want to sell him after a season and a half coming off a full world cup and an injury requiring knee surgery. Ok then…. let’s talk about realistic expectations, perhaps.

  69. Dream10


    From the little that I have seen of PSV, I would rather we sign Wijnaldum. He is more of an attacking midfelder, but can play on the right. He seems to be better very good off the ball, which is something we really need. We have too many players who want the ball at their feet. He can be a Walcott replacement and is more of a complete player. I’m not sold on Depay.

  70. salparadisenyc

    Cesc AppealMarch 3, 2015 15:59:06

    That lineup certainly puts us in with a chance of top honors.

    Pogba seems a bridge too far imo.

    Numbers being thrown around are mental. We’d have to sell Walcott, Wilshire, Arteta,Podolski (as his value plummets), Campbell, and front the rest. Works for me.

    Dybala looks the business. Does everything Giroud does at a higher rate of speed and he can striker the ball. OG needs to be well into the pink to score. That said the kid is pretty green.

  71. MidwestGun

    Underrated –
    They are just jealous because on most blogs if you don’t conform to the Stepford wife like beliefs of the hosts that AW is akin to a Pope performing miracles and to question any player is undermining your fandam then you are either castigated or binned.

  72. Cesc Appeal


    I saw today £60-70 Million. I really don’t think he’s going to go for the crazy, world record fees some suggest. Could be utterly wrong, but I don’t see it. £60-70 Million is still a massive amount of money though.

    But, Wenger has always had his eye on Pogba.

    As you say, Arteta, Flamini and Diaby should all be gone this year, so that’s £200 000 a week freed up off the bat, if getting Pogba meant selling Wilshere, in a heart beat.

    But realistically, we need two great CM players this summer, Pogba is obviously moon shot, but no excuses for getting on one, you can’t rely on Wilshere and Ramsey and Coquelin still has question marks, I like him, but he isn’t the player to carry us forward.

    Our CM needs to be the bedrock for our success, it shields your back line AND allows your forward players to play with impunity. So, so crucial.

    Though I do see an Arteta extension, a ‘we’ve solved Ramsey’s injury problems,’ Wilshere is a new signing and Coquelin is a long term solution as reasons peddled for not getting anyone.

  73. tunnygriffboy


    Wasn’t Wenger drooling over Pogba in WC saying he’s a future Ballon D’or winner. I’ve seen 80 million for him in some newspapers but wasn’t sure that was £’s or €’s.

    Whatever happens the midfield is the first area that needs sorting in the summer. If that is addressed properly some of the problems attributed to Ozil will disappear and become less of a worry.

  74. salparadisenyc


    If we signed Schneiderlin and Pogba, we’d be sorted for quite some time. Fact that Bielik has come in throws Schneiderlin in doubt imo with Coq not having a total mare out there. Certainly one of Ramsay or Wilshire would be out the door with Arteta, Flamini and Diaby.

    Pogba would be a massive coup, making our loosing Reus easier to take for me.

    “Moon shot” indeed.

  75. Relieable sauce

    Ozil is a cherry on top of the cake type signing IMO, a final decidant touch you add to the already well risen tasty treat.
    Our cake however has been thrown together with a hotch potch of back of the cupboard ingredients, futily beaten into an inconsistant gloop only to be half baked by the master patissiere, then chewed up, semi-digested & regurgitated for its final decoration.

    or maybe its sausage casserole…in that case Ozil is still the cherry & Alexis is the chilly powder…I dunno??? What I do know is now i’m hungry & I wont be reaching for the cherries.

  76. underrated Coq


    Fair enough. But don’t you agree there’s a clear difference between
    (A) Giving a balanced opinion about a player by taking into account both his positives and negatives and
    (B) Simply taking the mickey out the blog by constantly being ridiculously negative about the player and then unreasonable in debate.

    There are quite a few posters here that come under the second category. I admit, I have not been on this blog for long, but I can’t help but notice there are some posters here who never have anything positive to say about the club they supposedly support. Always negative and always bashing one player or another, everyday.

  77. gambon


    Be completely honest about this.

    If we had loaned Ozil for 18 months, with an option o buy at £42m – do you honestly think Wenger would take up that option?

    As i have said numerous times, we spent £42m on a player that is no better, and probably worse than the player we already had in that position.


  78. MidwestGun

    Underrated –
    Ya… but it’s nothing different then any walk of life really. You learn quickly who does what. I don’t think it’s related to their fan hood tho. More some people are just contrarian a – holes. 🙁

    But some like gambon just like to start a debate and are deliberately obtuse, sometimes. It’s more about showing his intellect. He doesn’t call himself the Mighty One for nothing. 😀

  79. N5

    “Looks like the ‘fans’ who constantly bash our own players are in full force today. No wonder some Arsenal fans call this blog Le Groan”

    Untold get’s insulted for it’s overly positive posters and Le Grove get’s it for it’s overly negative posters, we all know what sites are what, so why do people complain like they’re surprised.

    I don’t like to pretend everything is OK so I avoid the delusion of Untold, I don’t feel as negative as some, but I do find myself agreeing more with the posters on this site than any other, hence I post on Le Grove.

    You just have to filter/ignore the extremes of the spectrum because half the time they are just doing it to get a rise anyway.

  80. N5

    “in that case Ozil is still the cherry & Alexis is the chilly powder…I dunno??? What I do know is now i’m hungry & I wont be reaching for the cherries.”

    If you were hungry, you would eat Chilly powder instead of Cherries?

  81. underrated Coq


    Haha true that 🙂


    Truth be told, I too find Untold way more unbearable than LeGrove. I guess that’s because there’s way more of a balanced opinions here when compared to the ‘everything is rosy’ approach at Untold. But there are some ‘interesting’ posters on here, that’s for sure.

  82. MidwestGun

    Gambon –
    Obviously, not now probably, but that’s hindsight. And I’m of the opinion it’s not a lost cause. Altho, like I said, I really have no faith in AW to help turn it about and that’s what I find tragic. For instance, Joel Campbell looks a new player at Villarreal. I think it takes a certain mentality to play up to your greatest under AW and perhaps Ozil can’t hack it but he’s not a rubbish player. And that’s what I take exception to.

    Lol. You don’t know what I mean…… haha. Exactly.

  83. salparadisenyc

    Would you take Cesc for £42.5M or Ozil for the £27m that Fabregas went for.
    Think we all know the answer to that one and says everything really. Fact we could of had em both if Wenger planned it correctly, inevitably weakening Chelsea is the real tragedy.

  84. N5

    I don’t disagree Underrated, you won’t meat a bigger collection of oddballs, but that’s what makes Le Grove unique. It’s had some unbearable ones and still does, but they nearly always get bored or banned before to long.

  85. Al

    I love ozil but people need to take the blinkers off a bit…He clearly is not performing to the high standards he set at werder or madrid.

    Has he been terrible in general…No, but he has had plenty of stinkers, assist or not.

    Personally for me having seen plenty of his career I know his level and if you asked me honestly what level he has reached for us Or played at..not even been at it 50%.

    I don’t get frustrated by his work rate or careless attitude because that’s him and has always been so I don’t get when people have an issue with that unless they have never seen him play. .

  86. salparadisenyc

    Have to be in with a shout of 2016 alongside German and Spain.

    Debuchy Varane Koz Kurzawa
    Schneiderlin Pogba
    Lacazette Payet Griezmann

    bench options: Digne, Matuidi, Gonalans, Sissoko, Giroud, Sagna, Zouma Ruffier Cabella, Gignac. Valbuena

    Thats with Nasri and Ribery calling time on international careers.

  87. Al

    Also have no issue with his price tag because that’s the price he was worth when we got him.

    Also have every faith he will reach his full potential because he is simply thag good. .but I don’t get why some let him get away with some if his performance. .

  88. reality check

    salparadisenycMarch 3, 2015    15:03:09

    Can’t be bothered with this Ozil debate, dude can play.
    May not measure up as high as we’d like atm but i’m holding my judgements until this seasons over. Other issues that rate more with me, Giroud whom will always hinder us. Finding a player to anchor the midfield in an assured manner, replacing Sczez, Gibbs and Wilshire.

    This right here. Exactly.

    Also, 10 out of 10 for effort Romford. This Ozil debate seems to be never ending. The first divide amongst fans is
    but within that we now have a further divide

    What still amazes me is the Quiet Pass Walcott, The Ox, Gibbs, Szez, Arteta, Flamini, and Welbeck are getting.

    If Ozil isn’t worth it. Then is Wilshere? In wages and Squad place time used. If Bielek will be in Seria B in four years. Where will jack be. Has Diaby been worth it? Has giroud been worth it.

    One could argue, Giroud has performed exactly to what his Price Tag indicates.
    So has it been worth it. The big games girouds flopped in, the big chances he has missed. Was it worth it? How old is giroud now? How much are we paying him and factor in he signed an extention. Will it pay off?

    At least with Ozil theres room for improvement in a short space of time with a high probability of a WC outcome.

    Can we say the same for the Ox?

  89. Wallace


    “Pogba would be a massive coup, making our losing Reus easier to take for me.”

    how did we lose Reus? he just decided to stay where he was and be the main man at one of Europe’s top sides.

  90. Relieable sauce


    You dont like my analogy then???
    Youre right though, Alexis is more far more substantial than chilli powder. Chorizo then? or some other spicy meat ingredient of your choosing.
    Better? 🙂

  91. Cesc Appeal

    Okay, can I book slots after that for both the Wilshere is crap and Walcott is crap discussion?

    Just Wilshere if time won’t permit.

    Thanking you in advance.

  92. reality check

    OzyMarch 3, 2015    17:55:47
    Jesus, people still talking about Ozil?

    yeah, unfortunately. You’re right though. I get it. Enough for today. But this is arsenal.

    It’s like untold saying, jesus Pedro, you still talking about Wenger?

  93. Cesc Appeal


    We could start a radio show.

    And it’s Cesc Appeal with the big drive home debate, who is shitter, Walcott or Wilshere?

    Then you will have MidWest and GuNZ at bedtime, relaxing you into a slumber debating that great lumber, Olivier Giroud.

  94. Vince

    At least with Ozil theres room for improvement in a short space of time with a high probability of a WC outcome.Can we say the same for the Ox?

    You see Oil improving but not Ox? Seriously?

  95. MidwestGun

    Cesc –
    I was all for the Le Grove podcast on u-tube, mainly just so I can see what johnty looks like. Hahaha.

    Drive time…. lineups by johnty. Samba time with Johnty.

  96. salparadisenyc


    Quite a few of us began the Reus love pre Dortmund in his last season at Mochengladbach. Scored a shedload that year. He went to Dortmund, but it still seemed possible in the windows that followed. In similar fashion to Benzema whom always looked like he could be replaced until recently.

    The reality is well see neither, both would of wreaked havoc in England.

    Good for Reus, he’s from Dortmund. But christ he’d of been the closest we’ve had to DB10 since the water walker retired. Shame.

  97. kwik fit

    It appears that coq will get action tomorrow but will need protection. I suggest they go for strawberry flavour 😉

  98. Dissenter

    Mesut Ozil is playing for a headless manager who has the tactical acumen of a used toothbrush.
    He wasn’t the player we needed in the summer of 2013.
    We needed a solid defensive midfielder and that was the summer Wanyama and Kondogbia moved for relatively low fees.

    The Mesut Ozil that bedazzled the football world in South Africa is not the one we got. I just watched the summary of the Germany V England game in Bloemfontein. Mesut was the type of player to run at defenders and shoot from afar.
    Now he takes the ball to the corner flag if there are no runners. He has no more offensive aggression left in him. We got the restricted player who is used to hiding behind better players like Ronaldo.
    The fact that Real coped easily without him destroys the cult of personality that Midwest, Romford and the merry band of Ozillites have built up on this site.

  99. Cesc Appeal


    We have to get this off the ground.

    Showbiz with N5! Haha

    All is Rosy, the garden hour with Wallace and Tunny 😉 just joking fellas

    What a Mesut, Ozil has made of the team, with many

    Jack good about Wilshere, with Cesc Appeal

    Don’t be Giroud, with Midwest

    Late night Samba, Johnty 😉


  100. salparadisenyc

    Kroenke likely has a kiddy cup he keeps close to the faucet at night.

    Containing a chewed toothbrush rode hard and put away wet and some Colgate.

  101. Dissenter

    When I first criticized Ozil’s lack of aggression in the autumn of 2013, I was shouted down.
    When gambon initially made the comparison between Ozil and Eriksen [which is understandable since they moved in the same window to two north London clubs], the reaction was a stunned disbelief;

    How dare you compare world class with a budding talent.

    Come the autumn of 2014, the comparison of Eriksen v Ozil is more nuanced
    -erm, you cannot use transfer fee to judge a player [ridiculous argument]
    -erm, its not his fault because the team does not move with him [ I thought he was supposed to be the conductor of the orchestra or ‘FORCE MULTIPLIER’ to quote midwest :-)]
    -erm, Giroud fu*ked up [in the scheme of things, a pathetic Giroud is more indispensable that Ozil in in our team]

    When is it ever going to be Ozil’s fault?

    Its no longer considered derisory to compare both Erickes and Ozil. It could be that Eriksen has improved so much while Ozil was stagnating or that Ozil has become worse.
    I’m not implying Eriksen is better, just that Ozil has stagnated.

  102. MidwestGun

    Cesc –
    True but we don’t want to be too negative. So…

    Manlove for Rosicky hour every Wednesday starring Romford Pele.
    Featuring interviews with Gervinho.

  103. MidwestGun

    Dissenter –
    Still a force multiplier. But as they say zero times anything is zero. So if the team is playing shit he isn’t a savior. In other words good luck multiplying Giroud. 😀

  104. London gunner

    Why are people acting like reus isn’t available…

    Offer him enough money and we can have him.
    Such a defeatist attitude when it comes to the transfer window.

  105. Relieable sauce


    LOL. Loving your wordplay.

    Maybe a special guest or 2 as well.

    Robsons Choice: “Careful what you wish for” – Stuart Robson discusses possible replacements for AW & the merits of tactics.

    The philosophy hour with Joey Barton as co host would be worth a listen.
    What to call it though & who would anchor??

  106. northern gooner


    It was a great day out. The mate i brought down hadnt been before and he is an everton fan. He was well impressed even though they got beat.
    It was nervy but like u say a win is a win.
    Think the highlight was the bloke singing in the Eaglet before the game. He even looked like Ray Donovans brother Terry.

  107. London gunner

    The ozil fan boys are lying to the self if they say ozil hasn’t been playing poorly.

    Now let me explain what poor means. If usain bolt runs a 100 meters in 10:45 that is poor… It’s still riddicalously good for a normal mortals standard, but for bolt it would be ahockingly poor.

    Now ozil hasn’t been awful, but he also generally hasn’t been that good and that’s not comparing him with wc standards, but comparing him to tadic, eriksen and sigfurd of Swansea.

    Now people state that ozils price tag should not be used to reflect how poor he has been, but in life you always value something by its price tag. If you buy a begati veyron and you’re outsped by a moped you know something’s qone wrong.

    A 42 million player should be a game changer.

    As Wenger eagle said.

    “he doesn’t have the ability to hold onto the ball in tight spaces and work his way out of it, he more often than not loses the ball or plays a sideways 5 yard pass when aggressively pressed which frustrates me.”

    The best playmakers in the world can beat a man and work themselves out of tight spaces inesta can, messi can, silva can, hazard, Cesc can hell even Oscand Cazorla can.

    The ability to work well in tight spaces is essential because the final third is congested and by evading tackles/the press from the opposition you open up space for your team mates to operate/make runs in between.

    Right now we don’t have ozil cleverly twisting around opposition opening up space for welbeck.. So welbeck is dropping deep.

    Look at cazorla for instance he draws the defender in beats them skill and that allows him to lay the through ball on a plate to a unmarked attacker

  108. Wallace

    “All is Rosy, the garden hour with Wallace and Tunny 😉 just joking fellas”

    i could do a week long special – “Is Bielik’s the new Pogba?” then follow it up with “Should Project Youth get a Reboot?”. keyboards would be humming.