So here we are again, Mesut Ozil drops out of the Arsenal trip to Liverpool complaining of a pain in his knee.
Is it real? Could be. Is it made up? History would suggest that when Mesut thinks bad news is coming there’s often a reaction. Whatever it is, I’m not really surprised that we’re here talking about the mercurial German again.
It’s quite interesting watching a certain group of fans use this issue as something to pin on Emery as bad management.
I think fans need a reminder of what Mesut Ozil has been for Arsenal.
This is the most expensive player on our books by about £150k a week. I know people don’t like the fact I mention the figure, but that’s because it’s a baffling number when you consider his drawbacks. It doesn’t matter how you package money, in football, it should be related to what you consistently deliver to the team. ‘It’s not his fault he’s paid that much’ isn’t an argument I’m afraid.
Mesut needs perfect conditions to perform these days. Nice weather, preferably a little break before he plays, he’s no good away from home, doesn’t like to play bruisers or teams that drop a heavy press, and he also doesn’t like to have to muck in for the team, nor will he play out on the right.
We thought his issue before was having to play with Giroud, so Lacazette was going to unleash his creativity. Didn’t happen. Then we thought signing a striker with pace would help him. Didn’t happen. Then we thought it was Wenger, so we waited for the World Cup, where he tanked. Then we waited for Emery, and he once again tanked.
Not to get into the weirdness of him being given tough away days off by TWO Arsenal managers. Imagine that, being 30 years old, the highest paid player at the club, and you’re given tough games off because the manager thinks you’re lightweight? Embarrassing…
Anyone who thinks the Ozil situation under Emery is weird hasn’t been paying attention to what’s going on in football or on a personal level with the player. The game does not allow for passengers, especially when you’re a Europa League side trying to climb into the Champions League. Mesut is a passenger these days, he’s a quarterback who only wants to do what he wants to do. How does Emery have any other choice outside moving him on?
Can we beat Liverpool away in the Premier League? Likely not. Is taking Mesut there going to change things? Unlikely, he couldn’t make it past 45minutes against Brighton.
Be on the lookout for Arsenal fans using this to go at Unai Emery. The careful-what-you-wish-for contingent are stinging after their summer humiliation. They are softening fans up for questions over the manager because he’s taken all the bold decisions most people who have really been paying attention tend to agree with. Mesut Ozil has been a disaster signing for Arsenal and Emery is addressing that problem as we speak. That’s decisive, it’s bold and it’s the right decision.
If we’re going to beat Liverpool this afternoon, it’s going to be with a team of professionals dedicated to the cause. It’ll have to be a full-throttle performance from every single player. We are capable of such a game as you saw in our destruction of Spurs a few weeks ago, but even if we fail, we’re playing the Premier League leaders with two of our most talented player unavailable because of form or contract troubles.
Our defence looks ripe for destruction. I have no idea how Lichtsteiner and Koscielny are expected to survive an onslaught from the outrageous pace of the Liverpool side, outside a very deep block. In midfield, we don’t have much choice outside a bland offering of three defensive midfielders and up front, our hopes and prayers rest on Auba and Lacazette having an outrageously potent day at the office.
Liverpool’s unbeaten run can’t last forever, but I do think they’re too much for us to handle as a team today.
But, it is what it is, and I don’t think there’s any brand of Mesut Ozil that would help us through today.