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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.


The darker hues

But where there is light, there are also shadows.

Mesut’s finishing is inconsistent at best, and that’s perhaps putting it kindly.

For a player who can thread a pass through the eye of the needle, it’s almost unintelligible how often he will shoot straight at a goalkeeper.

I also mentioned earlier how good he is with the ball at his feet, but perhaps I could more accurately said “at his foot” or his left foot to be precise. It always amazes me how very few professional footballers have even a passable “weaker” foot, let alone one worth paying multi-million pounds for. (Oh Santi Cazorla…sob.)

My biggest issue with our playmaker is how often he is guilty of slowing down counter attacks if the movement isn’t “just so”.

On days when our play isn’t quite as flowing as we’d like it be, sometimes our best opportunities come when we’ve finally got the opposition out of position, and it’s therefore all the more painful to see Mesut playing the percentages, and doing so with a seeming lack of urgency.

Maybe it won’t come off, but if you don’t have a go then we’ll be facing eleven men behind the ball again.