12 October 2015

Özil proves once again that he's a complete waste of time, space, and money...

With another international break almost done and dusted, Gooners can assess with a discerning eye that performances of the Gunners playing for country rather than club, and, with that discerning eye screwed squarely to the sticking place, face the truth without passion or prejudice. That truth, sad though it may be to say, resounds loudly and clearly: Özil is, as the saying goes, nicking a living. His failures only come into sharper contrast when held up against the successes of other Gunners on international duty. Ramsey? He helped Wales qualify for its first major tournament final in 57 years. Alexis? He became Chile's third-highest scorer in history. Özil? Yawn. One assist in two matches. Against Ireland and Georgia, one might expect a higher rate of return on one's £42m investment.

When we signed this Turkish Talisman, this German Genius, we were told tales of his dazzling displays, perfectly-weighted passes, assists galore, tales to make the mind wander and the mouth drool. Instead, sadly, we've been made to feel like Tantalus, watching forlornly as Özil tempts us time and time again without ever really delivering. Against Ireland and Georgia, Özil delivered eleven key passes, more than the two countries could muster, combined (they managed nine, for those wondering). However, let's face cold, hard facts: a "key pass" is simply a failed assist. Özil, having registered just one assist from those eleven key passes, has a conversion rate of just 9%. That's woeful. Some might even call it wasteful.

Your correspondent, however, is not one of them. If Özil is everything he's been advertised to be, why then can he not succeed more often in deflecting his passes off of his teammates and into the back of the net? Why, against Georgia (just to seize excessively on one example), Özil tried and tried again to find just the perfect pass only to come up short each time. In fact, it comes as no small bit of irony that his strongest contribution to Germany's efforts came when he simply fell down in the area, as if he was saying, "I'm really no good at the passing, lads, you'd be best if you tried to score without me." Thomas Müller, perhaps proving my point, slotted home the penalty. Özil wasn't even in the picture, as if to underscore his the depths of his failure.

As we all know all too well, strikers are little more than overpaid cushions against which the truly skilled players can angle the ball in. Unfortunately, Özil has little if any sense of how to pull this off, as evinced by his shocking failures to do so against Georgia or Ireland. Players like Schürrle, Müller, and Reus have proven quite often that they are three-dimensional objects, perfectly serviceable when it comes to angling balls past keepers. Somehow, however, Özil can't be bothered to make this happen more than once in a blue moon. When he did finally find a way past the keeper, courtesy of Max Kruse, it came almost as a bit too little, too late, as if Özil was saying, "yes, I can do this...when I want to."

Here's a shocking tidbit: did you know that this so-called "best #10 in the world" doesn't even wear the number? Perhaps it's more than bit fitting that the number he wears for Germany—eight—and the number he wears for Arsenal—eleven—average to something somewhat less than ten. We're through the looking-glass here, people. If Özil can't find a way to more-accurately bounce balls off of other people and past the keeper, we'll be left with only one conclusion: we've been sold a bill of goods.

We can talk and talk and talk until we're blue in the face about chances created, key passes, ghosting, movement off the ball, and all sorts of other nonsensical metrics. At the end of the day, it's getting harder and harder to resist the idea that there's a charlatan in our midst, someone who's not quite on the level. Who could it be?

UPDATE; While I'll admit that I'm not the second coming of Jonathan Swift, I thought the satire was a bit more clear than the comments below indicate! I'll have to try harder next time.