I know that a lot of Arsenal fans are actually quite glad about the news that our Germany international Mesut Ozil will not be available to play for a while because of the knee ligament problem that was identified when he turned up for international duty this week. But you should be careful what you wish for.
The 25-year old midfielder has certainly been a divisive member of the Gunners since joining from Real Madrid in a club record transfer last summer. He is one of those players who rarely catches the eye unless it is for the wrong reasons, failing to track back or being out-muscled in a challenge, but I also think that Ozil is one of those players whose contribution to a team is often under valued because of the way he plays.
Arsene Wenger often talks about this, claiming that Ozil does the simple things so well that he is like the oil in a car engine. Maybe we should look at the Germany result in Poland last night, their first qualifying defeat in 33 games since losing to the Czech Republic in 2007, as a warning as to how much the Gunners might miss the passing and vision of our German playmaker.
I am not saying that being without Ozil is the sole reason why Germany lost, but neither do I think it is a complete coincidence. Germany had plenty of the play and did create some decent chances but overall the problem was their failure to break down a well organised Poland defence, who had the Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny in splendid form behind them to save any attempts the Germans managed to produce.
Our striker Lukas Podolski came closest for the World Cup holders after coming on with 10 minutes to play, but his fierce shot could only find the woodwork. All in all, the Germany side lacked the fluidity and creative spark that they often get from Ozil and I just hope that we do not find the same to be true for Arsenal in the coming months. At least we have Santi Cazorla, but the Spaniard needs to be in top form and, more importantly, has to stay fit until Ozil returns.
Will we miss him as much as Germany did?