Player of the Season: Mesut Ozil

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I would have liked to have seen out the remaining games of Arsenal’s season, but there isn’t a player worth the attention. The entire club for that matter.

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It’s good that people aren’t attending the game on Thursday, whether due to protest or boredom, both are better than nothing, better than hopeless banners. The club needs to realise. They need to wake up and smell the arrogance. Fans are being taken for a ride, and the only way for change is a protest. They won’t like to hear it, but those that continue to support this sham are part of the problem. Like many, I am totally bored of everything Arsenal, the manager, the players, all the excuses. It’s embarrassing and the club should be ashamed. The season has been a total failure, all down to one man’s arrogance. I can’t see me watching the remaining games, there’s really no point, and they aren’t going to affect my pick for Arsenal’s Player of the Season, of which the choices are threadbare. Arsenal’s best player has even declined dramatically in the second half of the season, but he keeps his spot due to the on-pitch absence of almost everybody else. It’s Mesut Ozil.

The German playmaker came alive this season, and his performances hinted of a triumphant season, that unfortunetly, the club, manager, and squad couldn’t match. He no doubt had his critics during his mixed first seasons, but this year he showed the footballing world that he is still a force, and is still the most talented creater in the game. It’s only Arsenal’s own lack of quality that has hindered Ozil, and is probably a reasonable explanation as to why his output has declined as the season draws to a close. I find it interesting that Ozil was the player to speak out on how Arsenal choked the league. You can imagine all the dazzling stories Wenger spun him on arrival, and now Ozil is starting to see the club for what it is: a cycle of failure. There’s talk of him extending his contract, and with Wenger staying another year, I find that surprising. It’s good for fans, and the Premier League, but it still won’t amount to anything. World class players like Ozil are pointless if the team never progresses. You could even argue that Arsenal, in this season of all seasons, have declined. There’s no energy, no spirit, and certaintly no vision. The manager can’t even get his team to play good football anymore, something he believes above all else. You can try and turn a blind eye, but the reality is that Arsenal don’t play good football. Ozil plays good football, but the players around him are an embarrassment. How many of you turn to phones during the match? This season, I’ve never been more bored than when I’m watching Arsenal. Even the West Ham six goal thriller was boring, because we see Arsenal implode every single season. Look at Tottenham, look how exciting they are with a smart manager? It’s a sad turn of affairs. What is a player of Ozil’s calibre doing here? Arsenal don’t even play like a top four club. I’d sacrifice Champions League in heartbeat for a fresh start.

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Despite everything I’ve said, watching Ozil toy with the opposition is still a joy, and this is one thing that won’t ever bore me. He’s simply gifted. The German has claimed 18 assists this season, and six goals in the Premier League. The goals aren’t impressive, but the former is. He is currently on the brink of breaking Henry’s 20 assists record, and with several games still remaining he should still be able to do that. To highlight the horrendous decline of Arsenal’s season he should have already smashed this record. It’s a testament to Ozil, that he is this close to breaking the record within a club severely lacking. If he achieves this it will be the only positive outcome this season. That and Iwobi, who had he started the season, may have even been in the running. He’s put fragile Theo on his backside. Cech’s another one, a great first season from him, bar a few errors. He’s better than Ospina, so hurray for that. But the young Iwobi is the one to watch next season, unless we sign Simeone, then watch Arsenal again, because it’ll be less terrible. Back to Ozil, what I find most impressive about his assist tally, and contribution, is that he is achieving this with the likes of Giroud, Walcott and Welbeck in the team. Welbeck is the best out of the three, but he doesn’t have the killer instinct needed to compliment Ozil’s creativity. And the other two? Well, they’re just rubbish. So, he’s come from Ronaldo to Giroud. 18 assists? Talk about German engineering. Okay, he has Alexis Sanchez as well, but the Chilean has hardly been dazzling this year. The fact is that Arsenal would be nowhere near the top four without Ozil this season. He is a cut above. He is the best player in the league, despite all the plaudits towards those of Leicester and Tottenham. Critics and fans may disagree about Ozil’s perceived quailty, falling back on the cheap ‘he goes missing in games’.  But if you give Ozil the players he can work with, and that compliment his intelligence, he’ll explode. As it stands, the rest of the Arsenal squad don’t have the intelligence to thrive in Ozil’s light. Imagine Aubameyang or Reus running ahead of Ozil? Mouth-watering. Unfortunately, all we have to watch is a player that runs fast and nothing else, a player that isn’t clicnical enough, and a player that simply can’t run. Wenger’s dream team. Mesut Ozil is performing miracles at this club.

Sometimes it goes unnoticed, and sometimes he does go missing, but it’s never alone, the entire squad can be blamed for that. But I think the best moment that sums up what Ozil is about, and why he is among the elite, is the final seconds of the Leicester game. It’s a dead ball. There’s one chance to kill the game. One chance to take Arsenal two points behind the leaders. One chance to turn the tables. He steps up, wipes his brow, and delivers an inch perfect freekick onto Welbeck’s glorious head. It’s these moments that Ozil earns his wages. This is why he’s one of the best of his generation. Nobody else in the league is better equipped to take that freekick in the dying seconds than Mesut Ozil. Long may he continue in Arsenal colours, and maybe adding some smarter players wouldn’t hurt.