Remember when Mesut Ozil first arrived at Arsenal after his deadline day transfer from Real Madrid had sent us Arsenal fans into raptures of delight and disbelief and gave the under fire Arsenal team a real shot in the arm? The German started pretty strongly as well, producing a pinpoint assist on his debut, but there were soon concerns about his work rate and influence.
A lot of that came from how he plays, or appears to stroll around the pitch, and I have written plenty of articles defending Ozil and pointing out the things he does bring to the team and do well. However, the play maker did always seem to run out of juice and rarely finished a game in that first season and that was true of his time at Real Madrid as well.
So it was a real boost to see him full of running and popping up to seal the win over Bayern Munich in the 94th minute. And that was not unusual for the new Ozil because ever since he returned from injury last season the midfield maestro has looked stronger and fitter than ever. So as well as being able to help Arsenal blow teams away early on, as he did with a goal and an assist against Man United, he is still mentally and physically fresh enough to take advantage when the opposition tires, as happened with his two assists against Watford.
I do not think it is a coincidence that this has happened after Alexis Sanchez signed from Barcelona, because the Chilean could make a hyperactive gerbil on drugs look lazy. So I´m sure that the Alexis affect has worked on Ozil as well as the other Arsenal players. For me though, it looks like something has clicked in Ozil´s mind, perhaps a reaction to all the negative comments and criticism and a determination to prove people wrong. Or perhaps he now feels that Arsenal are going places and can win any major trophy.
Whatever has re-energised our number 11, long may it continue because he is an amazing player for us at the minute, scoring and assisting on top of his all round influence. So is Ozil now proving that he was well worth the money Arsenal spent on his transfer?