Ozil is still a Gunner and will play when fit; so let’s Support him as Ramsey is not the answer

Still a Gunner

Whether he plays or not, Mesut Özil seems destined to receive a lot of stick from those who should support him – or at least from a part of them.

We all know the story, the German is lazy and not suited to our game and to the Premier League, he is a luxury player we should offload to cut the loss.

Well, the wish of many looks set to be satisfied, finally.

With only eight months left on his contract, the German is reported to be close to join José Mourinho at Manchester United, for free – unless the Club decides to sell in January to an overseas Club; usual reports have emerged about Arsène Wenger willing to sell in January and is leaving him out of the team with a fake injury, with the final purpose of promoting Aaron Ramsey as our main attacking creator – and possibly our next captain.

Of course, no quotes or solid evidences were attached to said reports but, hey, those reporters and bloggers are “in the know”, so we have to believe.

A Reunion?

I witnessed many supporters’ jubilation when Aaron Ramsey was given Mesut Özil’s role against West Brom, as the Welsh was finally allowed to dominate the game and be the Arsenal’s main man – only for the former Cardiff wonder kid to put in an industrious although ineffective performance: yes, he won us the penalty that Alexandre Lacazette converted into the 2-0 goal but only completed 76% of his passes, recorded zero key-passes and failed to create a single goal-chance.

Is this what you want and expect from an attacking midfielder?

Is he the man who should lead us in the near future?

Not for me, obviously.

I don’t mean to criticize Aaron Ramsey, he is a good all-round midfielder who combines a great physical presence with some good technique but he’s not an attacking midfielder and never will; he’s a runner, he’s a fighter, he’s a complete midfielder but he doesn’t possess the eye for a killer-pass nor the silky touch required to complete an effective through-ball.

Almost each of his fancy touches and flips fails miserably, while he’s excellent when he can charge forward without the ball; asking him to be the director of our orchestra would hurt us as much as it would hurt him.

Asking a pure #8 to be our #10 would plunge us into technical mediocrity, unless we drastically change our way of playing football, something I cannot see happening with Arsène Wenger still at the helm.


Currently, Aaron Ramsey is the player who has been dispossessed the most (9 times) and the third for unsuccessful touches (12, Lacazette tops the chart with 17, Alexis Sánchez has 14) and the midfielder with less key-passes to his name – behind Mesut Özil, Alexis Sánchez, Hector Bellerín, Granit Xhaka, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alex Iwobi, Sead Kolašinac and even Mohamed Elneny, despite having the third-most passes of our entire squad (351).

Numbers are not everything but they don’t lie, Aaron Ramsey isn’t the outstanding footballer we are led to believe he is; much like Mesut Özil, he is a player who isn’t helped by the current set-up nor by the players surrounding him, but the Welsh is hailed as the hero and the German – who obviously is the player with most key-passes at the Club and has the second-best key-passes per 90 minutes’ ratio among all Premier League midfielders, is the villain.

Creative enough for Ozil’s role?

To believe that Aaron Ramsey – or Jack Wilshere – could be our saviour and be a better playmaker that Mesut Özil sounds naïve, at best; to believe that Arsène Wenger will play hard-ball on the German and leave him out until January is totally mad.

Arsène Wenger has never been that kind of manager and his behaviour towards want-away players has never turned into bitterness; au contraire, he always protected any of his players until their very last day at the Club, playing them like they were going to stay.

Therefore, Mesut Özil will be our main man in midfield when fit, regardless of his contract situation.

He’ll be ahead of Aaron Ramsey, Alex Iwobi and Jack Wilshere to play off Alexis Sánchez and Alexandre Lacazette until he is sold – or walks away for free.

I’m not saying that I support this way of doing but that’s the reality, I’m afraid.

Given that he’s been left out of the Germany national team for their next two games and that he didn’t even make the bench against Brighton on Sunday, Mesut Özil is “just” injured at the moment and will hopefully be in the starting XI against Watford, in two weeks’ time, when I expect him to run the show with Alexis Sánchez and Alexandre Lacazette, for what could be a fantastic trio of forwards.

Regardless of what he will decide to do, I will support him until his very last day as a Gunner as he didn’t do anything wrong towards his teammates, manager, the whole Club or us, supporters.

From tomorrow until his last day at the Club, he could play a very important role in our attempt to reach both Manchester clubs at the top of the table, because his qualities are beyond any form of discussion.

Mesut Özil is still a Gunner, do you remember?

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8 Responses to Ozil is still a Gunner and will play when fit; so let’s Support him as Ramsey is not the answer

  1. chris October 4, 2017 at 8:22 am #

    Most of us know when Ozil should play – against weaker teams we need to break down. NOT away to top teams who will be attacking us. I do not know if Wenger and his remaining fans would agree. It depends if he has finally given up believing his beautiful football will play top teams off their own pitch ?

    • AndreaR October 5, 2017 at 6:16 am #

      Hi Chris, the most infuriating thing is that Wenger is perfectly capable of doing that (Man City away, FA Cup semi-final and final last year) but looks reluctant to deploy such tactics on regular basis – is it because of his beliefs? Perhaps.
      Thanks for reading and for your comment

  2. Crispen October 4, 2017 at 9:11 am #

    You are asking arsenal fans to get over their Ramsey is going to be great dream. That will never happen..
    Of course Ramsey is not half the player Ozil is.
    .. Statistically and stylistically.
    Has anyone thought that if it’s OK for Wenger to finish each term then why not the players.

    • AndreaR October 5, 2017 at 6:21 am #

      Ramsey was given some very tough times by Arsenal fans, we have to give him credit for turning things around like he’s doing. He went through a lot of bad things and never gave up, which is something he should praised for.

      Personally speaking, I like his runs and energy but he’s not a top-level midfielder (yet?) and definitely not the player we should build our team around – especially in a more advanced role.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts

  3. Victor Thompson October 4, 2017 at 1:43 pm #

    Andrea, I respect your opinion and I enjoy your articles but I cannot agree with your assessment of Ozil or your comparison with Aaron Ramsey.

    Ozil is more naturally talented than Ramsey but he doesn`t use his talent effectively. I am wary of relying too much upon Statistics. Wenger raged at reporters who used them to criticise his team selections and his lack of tactical nous, when he said that soon we will not need experience or talent; a manager will be able to press buttons on computers to get all the answers. I don`t have the actual quote but that was the gist of it.

    Curiously though he was responsible for purchasing the American sports statistics firm which provides him with the personal performance statistics to identify potential transfer targets. It is hard to see what one can glean from those opposing views.

    My point is that sometimes it is better to rely upon what you see in front of you. For instance in his latest article Gary Lawrence describes how Malcolm McDonald became an iconic centre forward for Arsenal even with his mediocre ball control and lack of finesse because he was physically strong and determined to score goals. Gary also highlights that he did not see it as his job to run after the ball when he had lost it, or to help to assist the midfielders to gain possession. The fans loved him. Unfortunately the game has moved on and all players nowadays have to be able to play in more than one position or to add a different dimension to his game.

    Ozil is a vastly different player and we are not comparing like for like, but in Ozil`s case he is never going to be a fans favourite because he is not convincing in his commitment to the fight. Cast your mind back to his arrival on the scene. He was a breath of fresh air. His ball control was formidable and he scored goals as well as set them up. The fans were ecstatic. The injection of Sanchez and Ozil led us to believe that we were genuine challengers for the title.It didn`t happen and we slid into mediocrity. Ozil`s game has deteriorated in conjunction with the performances of the team. He has, to his credit. tried to muscle up with extra gym work, but his scoring record is abysmal and his contribution to aiding the midfield is poor. he is easily brushed off the ball and he throws the towel in when he is. It is like watching a ballet dancer trying to do a Paso Doble.

    I was fully sold on Ozil when he first arrived but it has been proved to be a delusion. The Golden Idol has feet of clay! On the other hand, Ramsey is not in the same league or ability for natural talent. What he makes up for lack of finesse is his 100% commitment. I have criticised him many times for losing the ball through trying fancy tricks or for misplaced passes, but in 2013 he was the best midfielder in Europe. Unfortunately when he appears to have reached his peak he has suffered severe injuries which sidelined him for lengthy periods.

    Since the debacle against Liverpool, it is obvious that the defence and midfield have had intensive coaching because the holes in the defence have largely been narrowed, if not closed. Ramsey`s performances have coincidentally improved as Xhaka`s have, because they are a good partnership and Ramsey has stopped charging forward without leaving cover behind him. Can you see Ozil being the cover for him when he does that? In the odd match now where he is clearly off form, he can be replaced by Elneny. Most times that doesn`t happen, but if Ozil had to be removed every time he disappeared, he would hardly complete 90 minutes in any game!

  4. AndreaR October 5, 2017 at 6:52 am #

    No surprise, Victor!
    I wish a certain chunk of old-fashioned British fans could move on from the old good times, when running your socks off was enough to get praise.
    Football has evolved, some fans haven’t.
    Trying hard is no longer enough and no longer is the quintessence of football, players have different characteristics and sets of skills they are asked to help the team with – it’s not always about sliding tackles and passionate running.

    To claim that Aaron Ramsey was the best midfielder in Europe in 2013 just because he scored a lot of goals is beyond me: the Welsh wasn’t nowhere near Kroos, Modric, Iniesta, Pirlo or David Silva – not to mention our own Santi Cazorla or even Steven Gerrard – the real game-changers in midfield that year.

    What I see in front of me, to use your own words, is a player who has a fantastic atitude and some good qualities but who also seems to think very highly of himself, perhaps a bit too much. I said it many times, I do believe that those 16 goals were effectively detrimental to his development.
    The Aaron Ramsey I liked the most was the one playing alongside Mikel Arteta towards the end of season 2012/13, putting his enormous engine at the team’s disposal.
    No fancy tricks, no unnecessary flips, just tactical wiseness, energy and selfless distribution of the ball.
    I wish we had that Aaron Ramsey back because it would mean that our midfield would be steady but also dymanic and our back-three wouldn’t be too exposed, centrally.

    Well, about the holes in our defence, I’ll let you watch again the final 20 minutes of the games against Brighton and the first 20 minutes of our match against West Brom – not to mention Koln and BATE Borisov in Europe.

  5. Victor Thompson October 5, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

    One of the wonders of football is that so many people have different opinions on the game and on the same issues. That is why I enjoy exchanges of view.There is not much in your critique that I have not covered. The disparity in skill between Ozil and Ramsey, for instance. I still say that in 2013 Ramsey was the best midfielder in Europe. All of the names you mention have endured at the top of the game and for that reason, Ramsey cannot claim to be at their level, but for one season his star shone brightly and it wasn`t just the 16 goals that he scored. He made a lot of assist, Tackled well and his positional play was first class. As far as I am aware, none of those named by you scored 16 goals that year.

    We have been infamous for our leaky defence which was caused by no coordination between the defence, bad positioning and wide open gaps to exploit. I don`t understand your point in referring to the West Brom, Koln and Bates games. Are you saying that the gaps had not been closed? It was a common feature of all reports that I read, that the gaps had been almost eliminated unlike last season.

    As for your comment about old-fashioned British fans, you miss the point. I simply agreed with Gary that his description of Malcolm McDonald was correct. He was a man of the time, and I don`t know if he would have been as successful now, because the game has moved on. He did excite the fans at the time and they loved him. You probably have not and will not see his like, but Graham and I and many like us still revere him. What is wrong with that? Personally I am grateful for the memories Graham related to in his article whereas for the last

    I think your comment would have been better aimed at Wenger. His game-plan has not moved on for at least 10 years!

    As for trying hard not being a quintessential of modern football, I was not asserting that it is but a team that does try hard and has a modicum of skill will have more success than one which doesent. Look at Leicester!

  6. Victor Thompson October 5, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

    Sorry Andrea but on reading through my comment I have noticed that part of the prose is missing. At the end of the third paragraph it should read whereas for the last 10 years we have had little to remember.

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