Was the signing of Mesut Ozil a necessity or luxury?
The Gooner below fears it was the latter, and in truth, it is becoming difficult to argue against that.
Ozil has been in inspiring form since his return from injury – albeit against weaker opposition – but his solitary forte of providing assists (and scoring the odd goal) comes at a price in a team where defending collectively and scoring clinically are bigger problems than creating chances.
Despite being clearly gifted, there are valid claims that the German is useful only around players of a certain quality – thriving in teams where he is a piece of the puzzle rather than the focal point.
At Real Madrid there was a Khedira or Alonso to win the ball for him while a Benzema or Ronaldo would be available to finish off his passes. Over in London though, former Charlton loanee Francis Coquelin is the best bet to win possession for Ozil while Olivier Giroud is the man being fed with passes.
Not all good players come good in all teams, but through a personality of guts and desire, some elite players make their presence felt wherever they go, regardless of how good their supporting cast of ten men are. Alexis Sanchez in his debut season at Arsenal and to some extent Robin van Persie during his first year at Manchester United are examples of those exceptions.
It can be accepted that the assists that Ozil is known for requires the helping hand of a goal-scoring teammate in order to find recognition. But the sight of 25-year-old shrugging his shoulders or being shackled by defenders so easily in big games is a worrying one for an Arsenal side in urgent need of a conductor.
A fair point raised by the Arsenal fan below is about the contagious effect that Ozil’s relaxed body language has on the team. Indeed, in his absence during that trip to Manchester City for instance, the eleven men wearing Arsenal’s colours that day did not mind working hard for each other.
The root of Arsenal’s problems are deeper than Mesut Ozil but he is becoming part of the problem.