Huffing and puffing, Mesut Özil was superb on Sunday afternoon and finally clawed Arsenal back into the game.
Ultimately it was futile, but a backheeled assist for Danny Welbeck was the sort of moment of genius Özil’s teammates have relied on too often so far this season.
If it was only down to the German’s quality, Arsenal would’ve been ahead in the first half. Terrific moments towards the end of first half saw him create chances out of nothing, releasing Joel Campbell behind the defence and nutmegging Nathan Ake before cutting the ball back. It eventually fell to Mohamed Elneny, who wasted a good opening.
Let’s take another look at Ozil’s cheeky nutmeg on Aké… pic.twitter.com/1ziIrZ80X6
— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) March 13, 2016
It was the sort of superb moment Arsenal fans are used to seeing, and another followed in the second half. Coming deep for the ball because his teammates couldn’t deliver, Özil didn’t receive possession in dangerous areas often enough but got into the box once.
Unfortunately he was facing the wrong why, but that isn’t enough to stop him.
— fplbet (@fplbet) March 13, 2016
Arsenal couldn’t do enough to equalise, and it looks like we are closing in on a trophyless season. It would be our first since signing the German in 2013.
The problem is, his contract renewal is due to be discussed soon. Will he sign? He was booked on Sunday for a challenge when frustrated, and he has been looking increasingly agitated lately. Playing the season of his life, he’s being let down by those around him.
Mesut is clearly our best player and he isn’t getting any younger. Now 27, he’ll think long and hard before signing another deal. Have we done enough to keep him? Would you leave if you were him? Could you blame him if he left?
I, for one, would be tired of carrying the rest of the team.