14 July 2014

Özil's most-glaring flaw revealed!

Congratulations, first off, to Germany, for winning the 2014 World Cup, the country's fourth. Ancillary congrats to Arsenal, as we are now without doubt the English club with the most World Cup-winning players in history—Özil, Mertesacker, and Podolski bring our total to seven, surpassing West Ham and Man U, who each have three each. However, the glory's sheen is dulled somewhat, I have to admit, by the failure of our Gunners to make a positive impression. Podolski, of course, did not get to play in the final. Mertesacker only came on in the last few minutes of extra time. We cannot fault them entirely for failing to impress. However, in the case of Özil, it is difficult if not impossible to put him under a high-powered microscope and see his flaws on full display.

Zooming in to 1000x magnification, it becomes abundantly clear that, for all of Özil''s deftness on the ball, for all of his intelligent movement, for all of the assists, key passes and chances created, Özil just isn't good enough. The game, after all, really comes down to one metric and one metric only: scoring goals. By that standard, of course, Özil falls woefully short of his reputation, not to mention the £42m price-tag he somehow seduced us into forking over for his so-called service(s). I suppose it's one thing to be exposed for a fraud in the Prem; this can perhaps be swept under the rug. However, to be discovered as a charlatan on the world's biggest stage leaves us with only one, startling conclusion: Özil just isn't good enough at bouncing the ball off of teammates and into the back of the net.

I present as exhibit A the damning evidence contained in the video submitted by one @mugaisj (give him a follow), in which Özil fails spectatucarly at pinging the ball in off of Toni Kroos. "Wait a minute," you say, "what about the insightful movement off the ball? What of Özil's vision in picking out that pass, against the grain, through a thicket of players, with Kroos making a run in from 20 yards behind the play? Surely, these qualities merit consideration?" To which I reply, "that's all fancy folderol to disguise the fact that Özil failed to angle that pass to bounce off of Kroos's foot at the requisite angle or velocity to go in." Beguile me not with talk of service and ghosting and vision, friend. If Özil were as "class" as his supporters say, would he not have chosen to play that ball a few degrees to the right or, failing that, putting the proper English on it so that it would curl in?

I suppose that now is the time in this tiresome "argument" when you and others trot out those chances, created, key passes, and assists, or, as I call them, lies, damned lies, and statistics. What, after all, are "chances created" or "key passes" if they are not failures on the part of the passer to ping the ball in precisely? Let's call a spade a spade, shall we? If the ball doesn't go in, what else can we call it but a miss? It's what Özil delivered time after time:
  • 44': spins with the ball and plays it off of Kroos but fails to bounce it in.
  • 62': fails to bounce the ball in off of himself.
  • 80': misses the heads of not one but two teammates as he tries to score off their foreheads.
  • 91': tries to bounce ball in off of Argentinian defender. Predictably, fails.
These, of course, are just the glaring in a longer litany, but I'll refrain from delineating them. We don't want to miss the trees for the forest, after all. I think I got that right.

By contrast, we need look no further than his teammate André Schürrle, who in one scintillating moment showed Özil just how one gets the job done. Seeing a flash of white in the Argentinian box, Schürrle lofted in a beautiful, perfectly weighted pass that he managed to bounce off of Mario Götze's chest and foot and into the net. Where Özil had failed time and time again, Schürrle succeeded and with breathtaking simplicity: See teammate. Deflect ball off of teammate. Score. Really, that's all there is to it. Everything else is just window-dressing.

So talk all you want of vision or intelligent movement or ghosting off the ball. Show me table after table of key passes and chances created and asissts. Point out that he's one of the most creative and prolific #10s in Europe. Allow me to apologize ahead of time, friend, for I cannot hear you with my head so far up my own arse.