Well, Mesut Özil’s a bit good.
When he isn’t supplying others with goals he scores them himself. The whole one-man team thing is usually nonsense but we Arsenal fans have seen a side wholly reliant on a super talented guy in the past (I think he’s retired and living in Turkey now, but the 2011/12 season was fun).
There’s no shame in it. Hell, if you’re going to win anything nowadays you need at least one of the super talented guys. The issue comes when he isn’t in form, when he’s injured, or simply when things stop going totally right.
Leutrim Rexhaj recently spoke about Mesut Özil’s assists, and how strikers have been finishing the chances he’s providing at an incredible and unsustainable rate.
This season Mesut Özil’s assisting numbers resemble his prime Madrid season. Extreme conversion does the rest. pic.twitter.com/Xlc8sKWetC
— 11tegen11 (@11tegen11) November 29, 2015
The same idea has been supported more recently by those in the analytics community, and Özil didn’t assist on Sunday after seven consecutive Premier League games when he did lay on a goal for someone else.
He did, however, score to give Arsenal the lead in the 1-1 draw with Norwich and it got me thinking, just for fun, where would we be without his goals and assists this season?
An assist earned the Gunners wins against Crystal Palace and Everton, as well as a point against Tottenham. His goal against Norwich on Sunday earned another point. Without Özil’s goal contributions, the Gunners would be down in 10th place, behind Everton on goal difference.
Absolutely crucially, Özil has either scored or assisted the opening goal in eight of Arsenal’s 14 Premier League games, an incredible record so far this season and a massive one for an Arsenal team that heavily relies on taking the lead.
Of course someone else could’ve assisted, or scored, had Özil not been playing. It’s not like we’d have lined up with 10 men. Having said that, his influence on our results has been huge this season and we can only hope he stays fit throughout the winter.