Özil: Too Good for Arsenal

One of the phrases I hate seeing more than any other is “X is not good enough for Arsenal”, especially when X is in our current squad of players.

In recent years the list of players tarred with this particular brush is long.

Koscielny – shopping in Lidl while everyone else is in Harrods
Walcott – Should have bought Bale
Ramsey – rubbish and no future sell him to the Championship, hope he dies
Etc etc etc etc

Annoying in some cases disgusting and all proven wrong as these are players that have gone on to shut up most of their critics.

And now we have Mesut Özil, cast your mind back 12 months, Madrid fans welcomed Bale by chanting the name of Özil, we were ecstatic at his arrival, even got an instant song “you sold Bale we signed Mesut Özil” and then he forged a place in my heart with that exquisite left foot strike against Napoli, displays linking with Theo and Rambo, until it all went a bit quiet, he earned the wrath of the BFG on two occasions on the pitch in front of fans for taking silly risks in high profile games and gifting the opposition a goal at the wrong time, and missed that penalty against Munich.

Perhaps the key to Mesut’s dip in form lays at the feet of Walcott and Ramsey or more correctly the cruciate of Theo and the thigh of Aaron. With those two out of the squad he was left with very little to work with. Yet he still managed to chalk up a reasonable amount of assists and goals for a first PL season.

How does he compare to some of the PL other star names? Well i know how everyone loves a table (or ten):

Charts 1 copy

The raw numbers look poor, four players better on goals scored, three were better on assists, but the key to these may be in the number of appearances, the final column is perhaps the most interesting, chances created, under performing Mesut was only bettered by two players, one being Santi, who in that season got to play with Theo for a whole lot longer than Mesut. And if we look at the numbers in the next table the point becomes clearer.

Charts 1

As highlighted by the yellow cells some players did better on a per game ratio for goals than Mesut, games per assist only one beats Mesut, and what about that middle column, only one player bettered Mesut for chances created per game. See where I am heading here, or at least where my headline was going and the only player with more passes per game (so assume involved as much or more than Mesut) well he is an Arsenal player.

Could this just be a freak of first season form and actually because we are judging Mesut against players in their current teams and their current performance levels maybe this is why he is not being appreciated by Gooners.

So I looked at all the players mentioned above, and chucked in a few more for the laughs and a few more who are on the wish we would have signed/kept list. This next chart is only looking at Goals, Assists on a per game basis, and chances created per game.

Chart 2

Can you see what is occurring again here?

Only three players equalled his number of passes in any of their seasons in the PL, and two play for Arsenal, only three have bettered his pass completion, only two have bettered his games per assist, and perhaps most importantly only two have bettered his chances created per game.

You will notice I have not commented too much on Games per goal where he appears to be beaten by quite a few other players, well perhaps this is where the problem is laid bare most dramatically, rather than look at goals per game, how about we look at goals per shot?

Charts 3

Five players have a better shot to goal ratio, but all 5 have had many more shots that Mesut, could this be because they are playing with better players or is it because Mesut is not busting a gut to get not the end of things?

Özil is without doubt a subtle player and perhaps because so much of what he does is uncomplicated he is not appreciated or is it purely down to his work rate going backward? Whatever the resason it certainly can’t be his attacking contribution on the pitch, as shown above he is more than involved enough, so the only reasoned answer is finally we have a player who is not only good enough he could well be too good, maybe we aimed too high at Fortnum and Masons when we should have just upgraded from Lidl to Waitrose.

Written by Gooner in Exile

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128 Responses to Özil: Too Good for Arsenal

  1. RA says:

    GIE,

    Does this come with a calculator? 🙂

  2. mickydidit89 says:

    Exile

    I see this post as a personal attack on all of my simplistic theorems 🙂

    Be back with me slide rule shortly

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    RA
    Snap 🙂

  4. chas says:

    This is a frightening glimpse into the internal landscape of an accountant’s mind. 🙂

  5. chas says:

  6. RA says:

    Well, you have convinced me, Exile, it is obvious that Mesut is rubbish and we should buy Mata, Hazard, Silva and that new bloke you list in the ‘goals per shot’ — erm Rmasey.

    Three or four of them to replace him should work.

    Of course we will have to work out how to get around the 11 man team rule – still, a 14 man team — it’s our huming rites, innit?

  7. steven unwin says:

    OZIL IS NO GOOD FOR ARSENAL, IN THE PREMEIR YOU HAVE TO BE ALOT TOUGHER THAN HE IS.BYRNE MUNICH WANT HIM ,LET HIM GO AH MEN.

  8. The Cockie Monster says:

    E=mc2=GiE=Gooner in Einstein

  9. tosin says:

    I have never doubted his brilliant performances on the field but needs more strength and energy during play. The strikers upfront do not really executive his assist and plays part in the statistics. He will be s great in this season.

  10. mickydidit89 says:

    Exile

    Thank you for the time you’ve put in, quite clearly at the expense of your Company, Wife, Children and any kind of social life you once had before starting the compilation of this data.

    My first question is a serious one.

    If Mesut tried harder, would his stats get better or worse?

  11. RA says:

    Seriously, Exile, anyone who cannot comprehend that Mesut is a class act is not worth trying to convince.

    Özil’s problem seems to stem from his persona on the pitch, which is that he suffers a leedle bit from the impression that ‘he does not always try hard enough’, at one end of the scale, to ‘he is a bit chicken’ at the other end.

    Many players over the years have been known to be pretty average, but they win the hearts of the fans for their courage to ‘take one for the team’, as well as showing commitment and passion, and the fans forgive them their lack of class.

    Mesut, is class, but he seems to hop out of tackles, apparently cowers when too many ‘big boys’ look at him with intent, and the crowd repay him with faint praise.

    This is of course over-simplistic but I am trying to make a point and rationalise why Özil gets such a bad press.

    He needs to work on his ‘body language’ issues.

  12. Gööner In Exile says:

    Micky “personal sacrifice”…,otherwise known as sleep, and anyway I didn’t do defensive stats maybe someone will offer as counter.

    RA – body language is sadly the key

    Morning all, I’m in a blackspot for the rest of the morning, enjoy the debate 🙂

  13. 26may1989 says:

    Nice one, Exile – charts, love ’em, especially the effect they have on Micky….

    Ozil the enigma. Your stats give some insight into what he really gave us in his first season. I for one thought we were a much more limited team when he got injured. As even the Prof says, it’s not obvious every time what Ozil gives you, but lose it, and we soon realise.

    There is too much of a fixation on tackling back (he needs to and does tackle back but he has responsibilities in other areas of the pitch, principally to unlock opposing defences).

    I don’t really focus too much on his goals – he doesn’t and won’t score that many. It’s the assists that really count. In fact, there are also the pre-assists, unmeasured by the counters, but it’s those defence splitters or direction changers that are really the most valuable thing about Ozil. I’d happily acknowledge he wasn’t the best on Saturday but there were several moments in the crucial last quarter where he did or tried things that no-one else would have.

    But we really do need to see a big season from Ozil. He’s had one for getting used to the squad and the league, now he needs to show what he can do. Wenger said he didn’t take up the option to re-recruit Fabregas because he had Ozil. Completely understandable but it does mean Ozil needs to prove he’s better than Fabregas, and Cesc has (much to my disappointment) started very well in that vile blue shirt. Pressure’s on, Mesut…..

  14. Rasp says:

    Bloody brilliant GiE 😛

    Maybe if Ozil played with 5 other Ozils we’d be fine. He has superb vision and moves the ball on (usually forward) at pace. I don’t think he’s played anywhere near his best yet (probably because he hasn’t been surrounded by the right personnel) but the subtlety of his contribution will always be missed by a significant number of supporters.

    There may be certain games that he should not start as they do not suit his style, he certainly needs to be complimented by runners and ball winners to allow him to flourish.

    I often question whether we are overcrowded with playmakers. The best sides have only one (a brilliant one like Pirlo) we sometimes complicate games because we have so many conductors that they confuse the orchestra and end up playing different tunes.

  15. mickydidit89 says:

    I also think there is a danger that we expect similar qualities from all players in terms of sweat, tears and effort, whereas there are occasional gems that ought to be treated differently, and Mesut is one such player.

    His powers lie in his vision and the defence spltting through ball. Ou left, for example, his options are limited to the CF and the odd on-running central midfielder. Wack him in the middle behind the front three and you logically increase his options.

    Unless we treat Mesut differently to the others, then I’d say there is little point in playing him. However, allow him to do his ting, and his ting only, and he could make the whole side purr

  16. Pat7 says:

    Brilliant work GiE. You have convinced me that he is worth having in the side when things are going well as an attacking link (only) which is probably why we bought him: to make the difference up front. Of course we know Mata was our real target that season and we spent so long getting our act together that Chelsea nipped in……

    Unfortunately, currently, i see a guy who is unmotivated. Whether that is from ‘overtraining syndrome’ – too much work to prepare for the season ahead or too much stress, perhaps because he is getting physically battered (for his frame) each game and can’t hack it; or whether he is only happy to play in the middle as he has intimated or the current system leaves him with too many close bodies around him making him superfluous, i haven’t a clue!

    I am sure that AW must know the cause and the new PT and psychologist will be working accordingly. I suspect we will get a clue on Tuesday as to whether he plays or not. We certainly can’t afford to carry him so if he plays it will point to the latter being the case. I truly hope he will get back his mojo and start fighting along with the rest of the team – we need him!

  17. Rasp says:

    Ozil ran that game when Germany destroyed England. I think we’ll only get the best out of him when he plays centrally – but then that denies others the opportunity. We saw on Saturday that the Jack we hoped for is re-emerging and again he needs to be central to weave his magic.

  18. henrychan says:

    GIE.. I think Ozil just can’t exposed his ability in EPL yet.. and maybe never will.. Not because of his quality.. just not good enough for EPL..
    Cause EPL is the hardest league in the world.. Here in EPL physical game is allowed.. and referee won’t give card as easy as other league especially Spain..
    In Madrid Ozil is a star.. push him meaning yellow card.. Like they also did for Messi and Ronaldo.. hehehee.. but it won’t apply here.. You can see how brutal is Fernandinho.. he only got one yellow after at least 5 hard-tackle last game against us..
    If he play in La Liga.. he will get at least 5 red in a season.. hahahaha..

    How about barter Ozil for Goetze.. Munchen already give 32 millions pound bit for Ozil.. How much will it cost for Goetze..??

  19. Eddie says:

    I am gob smacked. Are those figures correct, where did you get them from GiE?

  20. 26may1989 says:

    Hi henrychan. I understand your point, and I get seriously wound up by our out-of-date referees and their excessive tolerance for the physical aspects of the game, but I disagree with your view that that means a highly technical player like Ozil can’t thrive.

    Look at Bergkamp, look at Pires, Zola, David Silva, Suarez, Bale, Fabregas. None of those players was/is physically imposing, none of them has the upper body strength of Cantona, Henry, Drogba, van Persie, Ronaldo or Rooney, but each of them (often after a period of adaptation that lasted a year or longer) became a true PL star.

    Ozil can too. Will he? I don’t know, but he certainly can.

  21. JM says:

    Quote from Oliver Ruhnert, academy director @ Schalke 04:

    “Mesut was unbelievable at a young age, a real No 10. But now I don’t think he is the right player for the Premier League (with Arsenal). He is not a fighter. If you need to fight in a match then that’s not him. I think it would be good for him to make a new start, but he is too expensive for us now!”

  22. goonermichael says:

    Great post. I love Mesut. Anyone who thinks he’s not good enough for English football is odd. Even when he has what looks like a quiet game he still puts a lot of nice passes in. People seem hung up on him. Ramsey hasn’t been playing well but because he’s had his share of twats slating him he’s ok. Love Alexis he’s a fighter.

    On Vietnamese TV the pundit was some ex player from leeds. He spent 80% of time talking about Ozil. You would have thought he was the only player on the pitch.

    Love pellegrini moaning. He sent his players out to foul us rotationally. Milner and fernandinho should have been off.

    That’s easily the best football we’ve played so far this season.

  23. jordangoonet says:

    I have no doubt Ozil is a.fantastic player. He needs to be more consistent and stronger in the tackle. His passing, vision, and positioning is excellent. It is.clear he needs excellent players around him. He missed Walcott. Also Sanchex will benefit from Ozil great passing. Also with Welbeck and the Ox, pace, as Welbeck gets to know his game, and the Ox gets a run in the team. The goals will flow. In midfield with Ramsey,Wilshere, Cozorla and Rosicky we have great players to interplay and create goals with Ozil. Giroud and Sonogo also offer a plan against the mid table physical teams.
    Additionally we also have Campbell and Poldolski who when getting game time, need the service of Ozil. It is clear our midfield and attacking options are numerous. However with so many ball players in midfield, we are crying out for tough and physical defensive midfielder. Also another centre half, Arsenal lose the initiative when defending in our own half. I cannot understand hos Wenger cannot see it! For any supporter this was clear away at Citeh, Chelsea and Liverpool last season.

  24. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie

    Superb.counter attack

    An accountant spends a year compiling.figures.and stats to formulate what he sees as a bulletproof case

    One sentence and you’ve sent him back to the drawing board :$

    “Yeah Exile, don’t believe the numbers”

  25. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie’s given me a great idea.

    Watch this, as you too could play

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    Exile

    Just a quickie
    Wayne Rooney. 2013-14. 1.71

    Are you sure?

  27. mickydidit89 says:

    ROLF’s and giggles to himself, then runs away

  28. Gööner In Exile says:

    17 goals 29 games….yep

  29. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha ha 🙂 if it was your post micky I would know you are pulling our legs, but GiE is a serious young man, perhaps he didn’t make up those stats 🙂

  30. LB says:

    I don’t really understand what is going on but it looks like a very impressive post.

  31. chas says:

    GIE
    Where are the graphs you promised us?

  32. Gööner In Exile says:

    Graphs were overkill 🙂

    LB….Ozil is too good for Arsenal…..Jack is perfect fit 😉

  33. Big Raddy says:

    Great stuff GIE. I will be looking at the stats instead of/whilst watching WHU/Hull.

    I have to say I have been disappointed with Ozil’s start to the season. I am aware he has only played a few games and is mentally on the beach but I still expected more.

    Think back to his first games at the Ems – the man was a revelation, he certainly wasn’t on Saturday.

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    Great post, GiE! 🙂

    Mesut is always looking to add value to the team, at the service of the team, but in doing so he does not always do what supporters can understand and therefore value. Once he hits full form the team will be buzzing. Just imagine a fully in form Ramsey and Ozil next to the in form Jack and Alexis… The music equivalent is Metallica’s Four Horsemen! 🙂

    Love the stats, btw.

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    Yeah Exile, the graphs? Despite what Eddie thinks, we’re seriously clever people you know 🙂

    Actually, I asked a question earlier this morning about this 4-1-4-1 that bright spark 26 was on about, and yip, I’ve been thinking.

    I get the two 1’s, and I get the back 4, but it’s the other 4 I’m concerned about.

    If Jack and Aaron are cert starters (bar injury and rotation) it means Mesut has to play wide doesn’t it?

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Raddy
    Did you see the graphic Chas put up early just after Peaches said New Post

  37. arnie says:

    Brilliant stuff, GiE. 🙂 My mind is on other things this week, understandable I suppose, but here are my brief thoughts.

    Do our MFs play too deep? Do we have too many of them? Do we have too few front-runners? Do our MFs, Ozil included, lack creativity?

    Perhaps most fans automatically opt for the 4th option without giving the other three sufficient thought. You focus on the 3rd, that is lack of quality around.

    Several astute students of the game in this space have mentioned the 2nd.

    Perhaps, I think, it is the first. Let me explain. Ozil is not going to run into spaces in the opposition penalty box. That is not his game.

    Last year, we had Giro holding up for the MFs to rush in. But not including Ozil. This created the impression of a certain lack of involvement.

    This year could be different. If we can get 3 upfront playing further up, and Ozil as the central provider for the three, things can be different. Perhaps a 4-2-1-3 then?

    But which three? Herein lies the problem. Welbeck and Theo are the only two I can think of. Alexis and Santi’s natural instincts are to move up from the deep. In fact. Alexis was brilliant in this role, I thought, on Saturday. Can we do a 4-2-1-1-2? Perhaps it can work in our case, because we have defenders who love to be in the opposition area. But, we all know the downside.

    Back to square one? Perhaps. Anyway, you have convinced me that Ozil’s correct position is in the centre. Perhaps like a fulcrum around which our MFs and front runners rotate.

    Hmmm, who knows? 😛

  38. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Yes I did. I have downloaded it to my desktop!

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    You peddle, I’ll smoke 🙂

  40. 26may1989 says:

    mickster, generally speaking, I think you’re fears about Ozil being expected to play wide are well-founded given the system we appear to be playing more of now. The central berths appear to be for two of Rambo, JW and Cazorla, with Sanchez or Theo wide right. So, yes, Ozil looks to be ear-marked for wide left.

    However, we’ve already seen plenty of fluidity about those positions, and I expect there will be plenty of occasions when Ozil pops up in the middle or on the right.

    Like you, I worry about Ozil being out wide a lot, especially on the left, which he has said is his least favourite position. But I think Wenger sees something in it for him. He’s never going to be Anders Limpar or anything like that, but coming in from the left Pires-stylee, maybe.

    It still worries me though….

  41. 26may1989 says:

    *you’re* ho ho ho, bit of a glitch there!

  42. mickydidit89 says:

    Damn 26, I was just quietly beginning to unworry myself. Now you tell me Mesut himself says he can’t stand playing out left. See, now I’m worried again.

    Mind you, it appears to pale into insignificance compared to the turmoil inside that brain of Arnie’s.

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    Another thing to remember is many players take a while to get going after a WC, and our Mesut was there until the end. That compounded with the effect of playing a first season of up-tempo PL Football.

    He can win us the game in Dortmund, then give the Villa game a swerve.

  44. Eddie says:

    I am upset, seriously. How come I cannot see the brilliance of Ozil? I watch the games, like the last one, and nothing. He looks average at best. What is it that GiE sees and I don’t 😦 I’ve been to specsavers, so no cheap jibes please

  45. arnie says:

    Turmoil indeed. 🙂

  46. GoonerB says:

    Excellent post GIE, but as Micky said have you no work or family to attend to, or have you won the lottery and given up work with lots of time on your hands?

    Maybe Mesut is not up to his full potential yet but you can’t fully judge him based on a 1st full season in the EPL or at the start of a 2nd season when he has played in a world cup final.

    I still think there is much more to come from him but even so he is far better than some give him credit for and it does annoy me that some people get on his back so much. I describe him as an invisible player because there are no regular ooh aah moments but he does things that most people miss. He makes everything tick around him controlling the pace and flow of our attacks. Players often are only recognised with direct assists but Mesut often creates the dangerous play 2-3 passes before the final assist and if you look back on them you realise his timing and weight of pass was so clinical that it opened up or caused disarray in the opposition defence so that the rest of the move unfolded naturally.

    Just support him and see how things are at the end of the season. If he or Aw are not happy with the arrangement at that point then it can be looked at then. I personally think our new look pacy attack will see him step up this year.

  47. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all, Exile, you have fallen into the media trap my friend.

    Good piece though if you like stat’s, which i must admit i don’t. Mathematics can be worked out to make anything right or wrong whatever you are looking for that’s why i always take no notice of them.

    The way to assess a player is watch him play, that tells you all you need to know. I doubted Ozil a little while ago, i thought at that time that Ozil wasn’t worth the money we paid. Now that was a bold mistake i made, i watched the games and didn’t think Ozil was doing enough, i felt he got crowded out, and knocked over to easily.

    Then i started watching the replays again, and i started to change my mind. I read today how Wenger did the same thing and he realised that what he had was what he had paid all that money for.

    Matching stats with other teams players means absolutely zilch as they are playing with completely different players and working another system with different instructions. stats mean didly squat.

    Press and Media take delight in knocking Arsenal even old Arsenal player pundits do the same thats what press and media do. Ozil as you pointed out in your fine post has had to play without certain players who could have made a difference and they will be coming back soon , coupled with Sanchez Campbell and others that will all help his distribution.

    The eyes of the world are on Ozil. and he knows it he gets knocked every week, and it will go on for quite some time, He can handle the pressure, and as we gel and our results start to impress watch the press and media change their tune,

  48. GoonerB says:

    BTW GIE, in case my convoluted answer didn’t make it clear, I agree with you.

  49. LB says:

    “Matching stats with other teams players means absolutely zilch as they are playing with completely different players and working another system with different instructions. stats mean didly squat.”

    Meeeow.

  50. arnie says:

    OK, so back at it again.

    Let us assume Ozil is not playing in his best position, which will be the centre. But it is still a far fetch, for me at least, to say that he is not playing in the best place for the team. That will be Arsene’s call, and I know bu**er all to challenge the Prof on that count.

    Obviously, Ozil has bucketloads of talent. So, good enough for me that Ozil continues his best to do what he does best. That is find gaps and release players forward.

    If this comes good against Dortmund, hey ho!!!!! 🙂

  51. mickydidit89 says:

    We know Mesut has oodles of talent, and that he’s very much an Arsenal type of player.

    It’ll work out, once he’s fresher.

    Tell you what we need, and that’s a heat map of his game against City. I’m serious.

  52. RA says:

    Steve,

    You seem to appreciate Mesut and rightly so.

    GIE has not fallen into the ‘the media trap’ as he rates Özil highly too. His stats were showing the evidence for that stance.

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Need to change the subject for just one question.

    Someone who was with us for the day yesterday had a hearing aid. Made me think. I like loud music, but in the car it’s a problem if other family are with me. If I got good quality hearing aids, would they effectively act as amps?

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    RA

    Don’t let Exile off the hook quite so easily. As Chas correctly pointed out, he couldn’t be bothered to do graphs and all.

  55. RA says:

    I agree Mickster. He is an absolute shower!!

    [Like the Raddish who has defaulted on his promise to record a vid with another song, and is currently cocking deaf ear to my entreaties to make good on it!!]

    Two showers then!

  56. RA says:

    A bit anti-social isn’t it, Micky?

    Micky? Micky? Are you listening to me, you shower? You’ve got what in your ear? B*stard!

    Three showers then!!

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    Come on RA, you’re a brainbox, would an aid up the volume to just me? I think it’s an excellent idea.

  58. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening RA, don’t get me wrong mate, i wasn’t knocking Exile, but if exile is explaining why Ozil is ok in his eye;s he has listened to the Knockers and has felt he has to show why Ozil is ok, if you understand what i am saying,

    Exile has done his home work no knocking that, and of course a good post, but i still think he was sucked in.

  59. RA says:

    The way a hearing aid works is that it takes sounds from the ambience around it.

    Modern aids can be set to pick up certain signals and dampen others.

    You know, if someone has a hearing aid and is chatting to friends in a noisy restaurant, the other persons speech would be over-powered by the surrounding sound, so a tap on the controls damps the unwanted background noise and brings up the speech.

    Other controls do variations on that.

    You could get a louder sound, but in a car it might simply increase all sound, including the kids yelling ‘dad, did you just fart?’

    Two reasons to NOT do it – the cost may be prohibitive for the better quality hearing aid you would need (and may not separate out the noise in a way you need), and secondly, you may very well damage your hearing and you would end up really needing help.

    Raddy is always saying you need help — and I am not a brain box!! 🙂

  60. RA says:

    That’s fine, Steve, I was just saying, in Exile’s absence, that you both agree that Mesut is a class act and will come good in time. 🙂

  61. stevepalmer1 says:

    Well worked out RA 🙂

  62. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks for that RA.

    I’ll get one 🙂

    Must dash

  63. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Never knew that about hearing aids. I marvel at the ingenuity of Micky. That is proper lateral thinking.

    I fear that all the years of very loud rock music will have damaged my hearing beyond the traditional “sorry dear, didn’t hear you” when her indoors asks me to do something

  64. Gööner In Exile says:

    My father in laws new hearing aid has bluetooth and a little box he can place on the table in restaurants sohe can hear the whole tables conversation we are a little worried he secrets it away in his lounge so he can hear what we say about him when he leaves the room. 🙂

    Back to the Wizard of Oz I have to admit to Steve that part of the reason for my post was the constant criticism he seems to face in the media, whilst players like Silva and Hazard are held up as deities, hence why I think it is good to look at stats and how Ozil compares favourably or otherwise to our man.

    It is true that both they and our new Chilean Alexis have a similar appearance when on the ball, a look of intent and purpose, but looks can be deceiving and I think this is what leads the debate rather than what they contribute to the team.

    And whilst I agree he does a lot of pre assist stuff his attempted assists are just as good as those aforementioned talents.

    Is it because he plays for Arsenal? I think not because Alexis has been given great plaudits. I think it’s because he doesn’t look like an ordinary English winger, sprinting, dribbling for dribblings sake and whipped crosses.

    In fact a similar player in the medias eyes would be BFG, not many Arsenal fans would see us leave him out of our defence because we see what he brings to the party week in week out, but many pundits mark him against a typical English centre back like John Terry and don’t get it.

  65. Gööner In Exile says:

    Alex Song only on the bench for West Ham?!?!

  66. Big Raddy says:

    What a goal for WHU.

  67. GoonerB says:

    I think AW should be sacked for not buying Enner Valencia….

  68. chas says:

    ,,,and Dawson.

  69. chas says:

    ……and Jenkinson

  70. Gööner In Exile says:

    Erm…..Monreal hasn’t travelled to Dortmund! Is Gibbs fit?

    Apparently Chambers has back problem but should be available……

  71. 26may1989 says:

    Out tomorrow: Debuchy (ankle), Sanogo (hamstring), Monreal (back)
    Problems to check: Chambers (tonsilitis)

    Here’s what the boss has been saying:

    “The Debuchy injury has put us in a position where we do not want any more. He is out for a longer period. How long, we don’t know yet. Hopefully, we have good news after the scan that he had today. Monreal didn’t travel and we have a little problem with Chambers. We’ll assess him. At the moment, he’s 50-50. Monreal is a back problem. He should be available on Friday. Yaya Sanogo [the striker] also stayed at home with a little hamstring problem.”

    On Bellerín, Wenger said: “He’s a boy with personality. He’s not fazed by the pressure. That’s important when you’re a young boy. His transitional game is fantastic. He’s quick and his final ball is good. He lacks a bit of experience but he’s very dangerous.”

    “We have Chambers who can play in different positions, Monreal who can play centre-back and Bellerín, who I think is now ready to play,” Wenger said.

    “It is always a pressure when you come back to your country,” Wenger said. “The attention is bigger. Our German internationals played in the World Cup final in Rio on 13 July and they came back to training with us on 11 August. It was important for me that they would recover. They have been training for one month and they haven’t reached 100% physically. But they’re close.”

    Dortmund have selection issues of their own. Jürgen Klopp, the Dortmund manager, will be without the injured Mats Hummels, Ilkay Gündogan, Marco Reus, Jakub Blaszczykowski, Nuri Sahin and Oliver Kirch.

  72. arnie says:

    oh dear, Bellerin! nervous, very nervous. COYG. 🙂

  73. arnie says:

    great opportunity for Bellerin. Hope he takes it with both feet. 🙂

  74. 26may1989 says:

    Hi arnie

    My guess is, if we need to make defensive substitutions tomorrow night, there will be a shuffling of the pack involving Flamini, Arteta and Chambers. I doubt we’ll see anything of Bellerin. Unless we get two defensive injuries tomorrow night……

  75. arnie says:

  76. arnie says:

    dont know, 26, maybe you are right. But, he has been talked up by Wenger today. Wenger can put the kid in the firing line. He has done that in the past, most recently with Sanogo

  77. arnie says:

    comment in moderation!

  78. 26may1989 says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Bellerin but would Wenger really play him away to Dortmund when there are options? Hmmm…..

  79. arnie says:

    26: mind games? 😛

  80. arnie says:

    wow, moderator(s) active well past midnight. Thank you. 🙂

  81. mickydidit89 says:

    Sausage Time

  82. mickydidit89 says:

  83. mickydidit89 says:

  84. mickydidit89 says:

    Last one

  85. chas says:

    The missus couldn’t have been happy about how long sausage time lasted.

  86. chas says:

  87. Eddie says:

    out of all the shapes and colours in the world, the Gerams chose their fav food to look like this
    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQC5jlo08alK_prNM6618jvvpDpTiTM8Xq5j91sGKLENOmrvMkYtQ

    Very strange people

  88. chas says:

    This just moved me to tears……

  89. chas says:

  90. Eddie says:

    why would I want to stare at between a woman’s legs??

  91. chas says:

    That looks like chorizo.

  92. chas says:

    To admire her beautiful Chihuahua?

  93. Eddie says:

    it is wurst, as in gorgeous Conchita Wurst

  94. Eddie says:

    I am no expert on wurst, so you might be right, but that dog is not a Chihuahua, but a Miniature Pinscher

  95. chas says:

    “But every now and again it is worth reminding ourselves of the wider context.”

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/football/article4206708.ece

  96. chas says:

    I’m no expert on dogs, so you might be right, how about ‘to admire her Miniature Pinscher’, then?

  97. RA says:

    I have been very pure for the past 24 hours, so I thought I would pop on and be corrupted again by the usual suspects. 🙂

    Good morning, all.

  98. Eddie says:

    don’t like pinschers, yappy dogs

    Abramovitch corrupt???!!! My fecking foot – he is a crook, a thief and liar. But he supports fair play and honesty on the pitch. ppffffffffff

  99. RA says:

    I dread to think of the abuse Micky is giving to that innocent sausage!

  100. chas says:

    For some reason, I lost a little bit of interest in the CL this season when the draw was made, what with Dortmund again and yet another Turkish club.

    In some ways I wish we were playing Ludosplat Retrograde.

    I’m sure it’ll be different later on today. 🙂

  101. mickydidit89 says:

    Right, back again

    Sort of know what you mean about the CL because of the dull teams in our group, but I have a feeling that with the additional thrust of Danny and Sanchez, we are very well suited and booted for this tournament.

  102. mickydidit89 says:

    26

    I don’t like agreeing with you too much, but I’m struggling just at the moment.

    Watching the Mesut vid I put up, he does look very Bobbyesque.

    Got an idea, Arsene. Play Mesut out left 🙂

  103. Big Raddy says:

    chas 7.05. I prefer the Hendrix version from the Isle of Wight

  104. Big Raddy says:

    My post is encapsulated in the above comments.

    I should never write a post in advance 😦

  105. mickydidit89 says:

    Motning Big

    Memories of our trip have come flooding back.

    And I’m thinking about Satnavgate. How long did it take us to set the bastard up and get out of the car park?

    “You’ve already pushed that button you effing hippy”
    “Shut up Didit, you utter knob”

    And so it went on, and on and on….

  106. Big Raddy says:

    I recall a fine breakfast in a very dull town, and a man who was driving on the wrong side of the road with a caravan of trucks heading toward us 😀

  107. mickydidit89 says:

    The thing that surprised me most about you, was how worked up you got over the smallest of incidents.

    I would thought years of relaxation would have taught you to ignore what I call “acts of aggression on the part of other road users” 🙂

  108. chas says:

    Haha, you two are priceless.

  109. chas says:

    Apologies for jumping the gun on the post, BR.

    Really looking forward to seeing some German cuisine, though. 🙂

    Speaking of Germany, the Nottingham lads have a trip planned to Berlin to see a band none of you would know.

    I think some of these hostelries may get a visit.

    http://www.wanderlust.co.uk/planatrip/inspire-me/lists/berlins-best-german-pubs?page=all

  110. arnie says:

    Motning all. Nice stuff, wide awake now, no need to watch the washing machine disintegrate.

    Just some discussion on a woman’s “Miniature Pinscher”, Conchita Wurst and his (her?) friends, the costs and benefits of sausages, and the Micky-Raddy pilgrimage to Iduna enough to get everyone going.

    A job to be done, COYG. 🙂

  111. mickydidit89 says:

    Ha ha Chas

    You got it. Piloting a left hand drive car with a hippy in the passenger seat with the constant stream of “which way to Woodstock?” Of course I was confused 🙂

  112. Big Raddy says:

    Loving the pics chas. Thank you.

    Micky. If you recall I was bongless which may account for my negative vibes.

  113. mickydidit89 says:

    Bongless and Gongless

    You lacked equilibrium 🙂

  114. Morning all

    The Champions League is back …………..

    ……………… We have a New Post ……………………

  115. david abedi says:

    Hey guys seems like we have not being following ozil ever since his boyhood.
    We should not expect özil who will run miles and miles in the field, ozil who will provide stiff competition with CBs, ozil who will attack and defend goes up and down all the time….. That’s not the Özil we used to know at werder and at madrid. . . . .
    Do not turn your blind eyes to the truth guys. . .
    Özil that we used to know is the Özil who passes the ball and the ball smiles to be kicked by him and always goes to the direction that Özil wants, Özil is always an extra man in every inch of the field, Özil is never too late to give out a pass, Özil have got marvelous first touches, vision and football brain. That’s all you need to be a world class offensive player. . .
    Wenger used to say try to watch preview and watch each and every Özil moves and you will come to realize what kind of player he really is. . .
    I always dont like idea of playing Mesut at the flanks though I am impressed by him. . . . .
    Özil used to say ” I’m the best player in number 10 position ” enough said.

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