by Lewis Ambrose

Manchester United vs Arsenal, Thursday, 27 November 2021, kick-off 8.15pm (UK) is live on Amazon Prime [get a free 30-day Amazon prime trial here].

Mesut Özil reminded me of something with a post on Instagram earlier.

The German star wasn’t really considered as such at last season’s World Cup. Playing the left he wasn’t exerting the sort of influence he can usually have on a match, and he was getting some flack.

Plenty believed Özil should be dropped. We know he has a lethargic, laid back look about him and representing his country that was made all the worse by him not singing the national anthem – that minor offence actually caused some annoyance in Germany.

A year ago… #Germany vs. #Algeria ?⚽⚽ #fifaworldcup #brazil #throwbacktuesday

A photo posted by Mesut Özil (@m10_official) on

Özil finished Algeria off in an unbelievably tense game as Germany went on to become world champions. For once, amid all the frustration, he let his emotions show.

Usually reserved, Mesut Özil fought back – his face said it all. He cares more than anyone can tell.

That same spirit carried on throughout the season as he fought an injury to come back stronger, looking more and more at home in England.

The Arsenal star cares, he’s clearly sick of the nonsense people say about him, and he has worked to put it right over the last year.