If we, as a fanbase, don’t know what we want for our club then surely Mesut Ozil is the perfect poster child.
It has become a badge of honour to choose a polarising view when it comes to our German playmaker. Forget Fifty Shades of Grey, there are just two – black and white.
For those of a positive persuasion, you’d be forgiven for thinking Mesut is the long-lost lovechild of Dennis Bergkamp and Cesc Fabregas, mixing vision and technique into a perfectly brewed cocktail.
For the balance of people, Ozil can best be likened to the second coming of Jordan Henderson…except there are still some deluded people who actually rate the pointlessly pedestrian Liverpool captain!
If you are in ‘Camp White’, you know the statistics of Ozil’s chances created inside out, and blame his teammates’ wayward finishing as the reason that he doesn’t have roughly double the number of assists. And for those who haven’t paid the membership fee to this not-so-secret society, then you just don’t understand football well enough to get his brilliance…in fact why are you even still here? You’re not a “real” fan…
Over in ‘Camp Black’, meanwhile, it’s more fun to gloss over his running stats and decry Mesut’s laziness, or perhaps his implied tendency to sulk. Certainly it’s a camp that many of the print media “journalists” are overly familiar with. And when he does score or provide an assist, that’s all well and good, but he still doesn’t do it often enough, or in the big games when the pressure is on.
A million shades of grey – the light spectrum
The truth is, given space, with the ball at his feet and good movement ahead, Mesut is a true game changer.
It’s why the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo were sad, or even angry, to see him leave Real Madrid.
Against Everton, he was instrumental in generating the type of fluid movement in our attacking half which he himself can so capitalise on when it is mirrored by others in the team.
He did so by role-modelling that movement, with Alexis and Lacazette both sharing a measure of the creative duties to find him as the Chilean did for our second goal.
But it was noticeable that this role-modelling movement was picked up by the rest of our attacking players, including Ramsey, which created gaps and half-spaces for Ozil in particular to exploit at will.
He simply sees things that others do not, and he has the best reverse pass of any player I’ve seen.