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. JJ

    Not sure why we are comparing Ozil to Giroud in defending. They are both so woeful. To say their effort is halfhearted would be an overstatement. What annoys me more is that when they lose the ball, and that is quite often, they offer nothing to get it back. They completely give up. I fucking hate that more than anything about them.

    Look what Sanchez does when he loses the ball, as a comparison. I think people are are looking at Sanchez’s recent struggles the wrong way. He takes it on himself to relieve pressure for the team. Yes, it goes wrong sometimes but he IS doing it for the team. If there was someone in better position, he would most likely distribute it to them instead of “taking on 4 people”. Unfortunately our movement up front with Giroud is awful and he is left to do it by himself.

  2. tunnygriffboy

    Confirmation bias : Have an opinion on something then whenever you look at something you focus on those things that confirm your bias rather than things that go against it.

    Such are the eyes of football pundits and us fans.

  3. London gunner


    Yeah fans are stupidly biased on here, so much so they fabricate reality and form false narratives.

    I think I may be the only fully rationale objective fan on this blog.

    For me I don’t say it how I sees it I say it how it is.

  4. northern gooner


    it looked like a regular thing. The guy was in the stage for a good half hour. I wouldnt be suprised if there are youtube videos with him on. Half the pub were watching him and the other half watching the liverpool game.

  5. N5

    “I think I may be the only fully rationale objective fan on this blog.”

    I think we all like to believe that about ourselves though. I always thought I was being rationally objective with Klopp, but looking back on it, I did allow emotion to cloud my judgement.

    I think it’s almost impossible to be objective when you are passionate about it, but if you can truly be, then you might be right about being one of the only ones that is.

  6. MidwestGun

    Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come.
    Corporation tee-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday.
    Man, you been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long.
    I am the egg man, they are the egg men.
    I am the walrus

    in other words.. if you have to say your the walrus, your probably the eggman.

  7. london gunner

    Lol Wigan has a 23 year old chairman the grandson of the former chairman.

    Must be nice being a rich kid.

    Tired of working around entitled posh kids as much as hipsters. Posh Hiperster=aids.

  8. MrT

    For some reason I am yet to get over that loss to Monaco. The win against Everton does not redeem Arsen or the team in my eyes seriously

  9. kwik fit


    hahahahahaah looks class, I’m heading there for the Hammers game for sure…..and he sure looks like Terry Donavan… with a bit of Johnny Lydon thrown in….good call NG

  10. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah, cost his Granddad £1.3 Million in a failed restaurant.

    Never mind son, we all make mistakes…oh to live a life like that.

    £1.3 Million, written off as an accident.

    Mind you, Arsene Wenger, £5.5 Million, written off (literally) as an accident in Park. Wonder if, if we ever play Wigan the pair will exchange meaningful glances, ‘accidents happen…I feel your pain.’

  11. london gunner


    I didn’t know about the restaurant. Lol what a spoilt kid fucks up a business which no offence to any restaurateurs isn’t rocket science to run and then is handed a championship club.

    To be fair I don’t necessarily have a problem with the age because my friend is 23 and is a CEO, but he wasn’t silver spooned his business he developed it from the ground up.

  12. northern gooner


    We only went in cuz the chap who was sorting our tickets was late so we couldnt get in the toli. Turned out to be superb pre match entertainment.

  13. Ozy

    LG, you come off as … really dumb.

    No offense. Just, you know, a heads up. I don’t think that’s what you’re trying to go for.

  14. Cesc Appeal


    Great, so we’re Arsene Wenger’s play thing on the pitch and the Kroenke family’s play thing in the board room.

    As an American, I’m holding you responsible for the actions of your compatriots, for shame MidWest, for shame.

  15. gambon


    Yes London is the only one on this blog who knows what he’s talking about.

    Oh and Theo is better than Hazard.

  16. MidwestGun

    As an American, I’m holding you responsible for the actions of your compatriots.
    Hahaha. This is about that tea party thing isn’t it?
    Kroenke sounds German to me…. just sayin.

  17. salparadisenyc

    Lets not forget Song is “Outrageously good, same level as Javi M.”

    A breath of fresh blowing reason you are LG.

  18. Ozy

    According to L’equipe, Arsenal loves Schneiderlin. I think we all kinda knew that but it’s a very plausible rumor.

    Unlike the Pogba ones doing rounds…

    Also, you guys heard what Dybala said recently? “If Barcelona wanted me, I’ll swim there.” [paraphrasing]

    Fuck Barcelona.

  19. london gunner


    What on earth makes you think you could give me any worthwhile advice?

    You’re a snotty nosed student who isn’t earning any bank loool.

    Who spends all his time crying about white privilege because you’re making excuses for your own failures.

    Also what kind of man suddenly comes out with petty catty marks for no known reason. Would you do that to my face? Would you make comments like that to any guy in the street I doubt it, but Ozy the Eco warrior feminist warrior is a hard man on the internet.

    You’re not the next Martin Luther. You’re a young man who thinks he’s bigger than he really is.

  20. Cesc Appeal


    When we gifted you that nation several hundred years ago, we didn’t expect you to send Kroenke our way in return!

  21. El Tel 1

    Mesmut Ozil.

    The reason Arsenal have been poor.

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

    I would love to see Ozil play with the midfield of Hleb,Rosicky,Cesc and Nasri,RVP. I would love even more to see Ozil play with TH14,DB10, Bobby Pires and most of all Freddie.

    I would love to see Ozil playing with Overmars and Wrighty.

    All these players knew how to move around the pitch, how to make space and cause absolute mayhem.

    Now I agree Ozil can play much better but FFS when he is in space which by the way is very often the other lot are either fucking about and playing the wrong ball or going off on a lone raid.

    Santa is my favorite player but even he doesn’t see the unmarked Ozil in space sometimes.

    As for losing possession the moment we started playing with a lump up front changed the dynamics. Bendtner,Adethewhore and Giroud. All these players want the ball lumped up early. Most of the time these end up 50/50 balls which we usually lose as the lump is marked by 2 CB’s if not 3 defenders.

    We have gone from a pass and move team to a team who look for the long opportunist punt to get us going.

    I would take a bet that the player Ozil links with best is Welbeck. Welbeck presses well and makes good movement plus he doesn’t like the aerial ball. The only problem with Danny is he isn’t a clinical finisher.

    I like OG but he has turned us more and more into a long bal, team.

    That’s our problem.

  22. Ozy

    Oh shit! Hahaha, tell us how you really feel, LG.

    Did I strike a nerve? A random catty comment? I had to say it after your “I think I may be the only fully rationale objective fan on this blog” comment.

    Mr. “It’s about analyzing the statistical data and blah blah”

    You’re in, what was it again, communications? I interact with people like you every day in business school – nothing but hot air and a lot of talk. Guys with nothing going on upstairs that need to overcompensate by throwing around a lot of empty words that anybody with half a brain can see through in an instant. You so often need to validate your intelligence on here and try to appear like the smartest guy but the fact is, you’re what, 25, 26? There are people here twice your age who see right through your little facade. You may believe you’re the smartest person here because that’s not true anywhere else in your life but .. I had to break it to you, nobody really thinks so. I know it’s an ego blow because your self-worth is tied to this place but try to take it in stride.

    As for me not making bank, I don’t. I’m a student, like you said, and I’ve been very open about my lack of money. Not sure how that determines my worth or intelligence.. but of course, to somebody like you, it does.

    You know nothing about me or how I handle myself outside of this place – I like to think the way we interact here is a reflection of how we do so outside of this forum, with the odd exception such as yourself who probably spends all day in your little cubicle, minding your own business, trying to appear big online.

    You know so little, my man. That is consistently evident with your every word.

    And of course, OF COURSE, you’re an Uncle Tom ass child with a short fuse. I never claimed to be a big man. I often say I don’t know much about football, I don’t have money, I am basically a kid, etc. Humility, LG. You need it.

    So with all of that said, again, it would serve you well to try to tone down the act. Nobody is buying it.

  23. MidwestGun

    Cesc –
    Yaaaaa well….. Sorry about that….. really am… of all the sports owners in America it had to be Kroenke. Nobody consulted me, unfortunately.
    I had data out the ying yang… on him. 🙁

  24. salparadisenyc


    You kept the faith in Klopp…. I was beginning to waver just after the winter break but looked at the table and said it was sooooo tight, anything could happen in the back half.

    UCL looks possible, maybe.

    Hell of turn around, regardless of ending position i’d love for him to take over the Arse.

  25. N5

    Sal, I must admit though I was panicking. I said the other night about how my mouth had wrote some pretty big cheques on here and I really didn’t want to have to do what I did with Ramsey and come on with my tail between my legs, admitting I was wrong.


    Dortmund apologised to their fans for their performance which I thought was a class act and then from then onwards they’ve been great. They really have pulled together as a team.

    I’m not sure if that’s down to Klopp and the team or just the team or just Klopp or me, but hell, someone’s done something, somewhere at sometime.

    *got lost in what my point was.

  26. salparadisenyc


    I went panic when they drew the first and lost the second post break. It almost felt self inflicted, then Reus signed on and they’ve done four on the trot.

    We shall see.

  27. Ozy

    Dortmund have completely turned it around and I too felt pretty stupid defending Klopp and the team so fervently..

    That performance against Schalke? That was incredible. They had something like 31 shots to Schalke’s 3. Completely overran them. Pretty big statement of intent.

  28. N5

    Sal, I’m gonna sit very quietly watching until the end of the season and although I don’t see ECL for them this year, I do think that will be a one and only blip for them, it was an anomaly they won’t want to repeat.

    Ozy, that was a crazy game and Dortmund looked like they could match Bayern toe to toe that day. It was a next level performance.

  29. MidwestGun

    Wallace –
    Ha…… the beauty of the internetz. But a good rule of thumb is to try not to sound like johnty.

    “For me I don’t say it how I sees it, I say it how it is”


  30. tunnygriffboy

    Fuck me, we’ve got not just 1 billionaire on our board but 3. The change fallen down the side of their sofa’s would get us all the players and then some that we need. Ffs, sort it. Harumph ! ! !

  31. Cesc Appeal


    Unfortunately the billionaire with all the say at Arsenal is “the collector.”

    But then in all honesty, we don’t actually need any of their money, got more than enough by ourselves, not to mention the increase with the new TV deal.

    I sincerely hope these stories about the Juventus sporting director are true, or at least that we’re looking for high profile sporting directors. That’s a big part of the problem, all the contract negotiations and transfer negotiations at Arsenal seem quite amateur. In serious need of an expert.

  32. Cesc Appeal


    Oh yeah I heard there was some dispute between them, 50 Cent making fun of Floyd for not being able to read.

    Highest paid athlete in the world, ever, not dome bad for someone who can’t read!

    They worked out that Floyd could earn $15 Million or over PER ROUND against Pacquiao…holy shit.

  33. N5

    He never learned to read and he doesn’t need to, he can just punch words!! punch all the words!!!

    $15 million a round, damn. I hope Pacman earns similar. He’ll need it for his recuperation, ohhhhh snap!!!

  34. Cesc Appeal



    I’m not sure how its all worked out, but Floyd is earning more I think, Pacquiao belongs Bob Arums promotion I believe, Mayweather has his own ‘Mayweather Promotions,’ so his cheque will be fatter.

    Either way both guys are making $100 Million, just Mayweather is likely to earn closer to $200 Million.

    I do think he will win, 12 rounds, split decision I think. I really don’t think its going to live up to the hype. Only way it can really is with a Pacquiao stoppage of Mayweather.

    Can’t see it, Mayweather is far too clever, and, no offence to him he’s a nice guy…and a gooner, but Pacquiao doesn’t seem that intelligent a fighter.

  35. N5

    Jesus Cesc, can you imagine that sort of payday and all you need to do is get your canister repeatedly punched by what must feel like a horse kick.

    Would you do it, if you knew you’d live?

    I’m with you, the hype has been built to the point that it’s impossible to match, it’s the Watch_Dogs of boxing.

    Had Mayweather taken on Pacman a few years ago, I think it would have lived up to it and then some.

  36. Cesc Appeal


    Everyday of the week! But I suppose it depends on how many rounds you have to survive! Might be a physical impossibility. Ha.

    But £10 Million a round, I’d try to stay on my feet for a few, maybe goad Mayweather like ‘pffft, I hope you hit your ex-wife harder than this.” 😉

    I am of the crowd though that thinks something strange was going on with Pacquiao, he was just an utter freak. Maintaining a KO ration like he has is strange coming up those weight classes.

    Might just have been incredibly fitness and work, in which case hats off to him, but I don’t know. When that who;e blood testing thing came out Pacquiao’s performances started to drop considerably, lost a couple of dire fights and then got K- the fuck – O’d against Marquez…a man Mayweather soundly beat after 24 months in ‘retirement.’

  37. N5

    Agreed Cesc, it was all a little strange. I’m not even as confident as you that he will take him 12 rounds.

    I’ve been rewatching some Mayweather fights and watching his Hatton fight last night just reminded me how hard Floyd can hit. It’s frightening. He turned Hatton into a bobble head at one point and he didn’t know where he was.

    IMO if it does last a few rounds, it will be like the Hatton vs Tszyu fight where Pacman will put on a show, but the inevitable outcome will be obvious from the midrounds.

    Mayweather is unstoppable.

  38. GuNZ

    Couldn’t help myself and had a another look at that photo of Giroud – bit like poking at a painful boil. There’s got to be a mirror glued on to the side of the ball he’s so intent on. It’s the only way he can be keeping up with it.

  39. Dark Hei


    What you describe as pressing by our forward players (Ozil included), is something that is a bit complicated.

    The biggest issue is not whether to press but when to press. Pressing high up the pitch means that we will have to play with a high backline as well, otherwise there will be too big a gap in the midfield.

  40. peanuts&monkeys

    Arsenal has got excellent opportunity to go second. The devilWenger should be targeting reaching second with 8 games to spare. I hope he has the gall for that ambition at least. Bastard of class one order….motherfuckerWenger go for it…else go hang yourself!!!!

  41. Wallace

    Boca Juniors 21yr old striker Jonathan Calleri being linked again. looks more of a goalscorer than a target man.

  42. tunnygriffboy

    Bellerin Gabriel Koscielney Monreal

    Coquelin Rosicky

    Walcott Ozil Welbeck


    Maybe Ox on the left and Welbeck up top. Ramsey to get game time off the bench. Santi and Alexis need a rest and on the bench. Smallest pitch in the league. Qpr have had 10 days off and have been away warm weather training. They do have Barton, Fer, Isla and Onuhua missing though. Good win needed.

  43. Wallace


    i’d start Ramsey alongside Coquelin, bring Walcott in for Sanchez and give Welbeck a start up top.

  44. GuNZ

    QPR now in the bottom 3 so will be playing like hell to get out of it plus their home record is pretty good.

    However, I have great faith in the boys and especially that excellent, handsome Frenchman, Olivier Giroud whom I picking to bag a brace in a silkily efficient 0-3 win to the Arsenal.

  45. tunnygriffboy


    I’d prefer Ramsey to start but was concerned about match fitness after being out for so long. Think Santi and Alexis need a rest. Theo needs to stand up today, not be timid and pull out of challenges and get back to something like his form before he got injured last season. Ozil should enjoy playing with him and Welbeck up top.

  46. Lee

    Oh shit LG you didn’t have to dismantle poor ozzy like that.

    Poor kid won’t be able to leave his house for a month!!

    Got your number