How can Arsenal turn Ozil’s optimism into reality?

Everyone connected with Arsenal is hoping for and expecting a better showing from the Gunners than we saw in the first half of the season. And we have made a decent enough start, with three wins from the four Premier League games since christmas.

But I am not sure that I quite share the optimism of our German international star Mesut Ozil, who The Mirror have reported as insisting that Arsenal are not out of the race for the EPL title race just yet, despite the fact that we are not even in the top four of the table and are currently 13 points behind the league leaders Chelsea.

Ozil said, “We have a really strong team. People could see that once again against Stoke.

“So I don’t see why we shouldn’t finish right at the very top of the table. When you play football you should always have belief in yourself.”

You have to admire his confidence, and we have seen bigger gaps closed before, but just how likely is it and what do Arsenal need to de differently to make this half of the season so much better?

The obvious answer, I suppose, is to have fewer injury problems, but that is not really something that we can do much about. Perhaps we should ask nicely for our opponents to stop kicking our players and pushing them into the advertising boards. However, barring more disaster, it does look like the Arsenal squad will be stronger from now on, with Ozil himself returning along with Aaron Ramsey, Walcott and Arteta.

But we need those players to hit form fairly quickly, because we cannot afford to drop too many more points. With our best players firing on all cylinders, Arsenal are a match for anyone, but I wonder how long it will take for them all to reach their top level.

There is another big thing we need if there is any hope of Ozil’s words coming true and that is down to the boss. Two good pieces of transfer business this month could have a huge effect on how the season progresses, with the FA cup and Champions League to consider as well.

I would of course love for the Gunners to prove Ozil right and I think that most of us would actually be happy with a strong finish in the Premier League and another trophy to celebrate, but will Arsenal do the things we need for this to happen?

Tags Ramsey Walcott Wenger


  1. No Giroud, I'm happy says:

    Not this season for sure, it is way too late … Actually it is might never turn into reality with Wenger attitudes and tactics …

    1. muffdiver says:

      ozil has until may to prove his worth or hes gone.
      42 milion an he has had maybe 7-8 good performances in total-
      time to show an prove mesut an stop treating this like a extended holiday in london

    2. ArsenalGenes says:

      Theory No. 4:
      Ozil is more of a killer pass guy with less of tiki taka in him. If you observe him, He is always looking for incisive final passes rather than play tiki taka. Santi is more of a possession maintainer and far more patient than ozil. Also cazorla has both feet at his disposal but ozil only trusts his left. Ozil has great dribbling and more agility than cazorla but unless he starts using his other foot more frequently, he is always going to be predictive.
      He wants all the passes to be perfect and should end up in assists, but in premiere league you can’t get them all correct, so you have to keep trying when you lose the ball. Just look at sanchez. When he started the season his passing was little wayward and din’t seem to suit the fluid arsenal attack. But he din’t stop trying and that’s what made him he is now. So Ozil should keep trying harder rather than whining when he loses possession.

    3. jonestown1 says:

      Fred – Whilst I admire your persistence with this “MUST” have theory and agree regarding CB and DM I think your obsession with a big name striker is a little misplaced. At a time when we may have just purchased a 30 goal a season striker you presumably want another name in there to replace Giroud/Welbeck with a presumption that they will add another 30+ goals. RM and Barca rely on non-traditional forwards for the bulk of their goals with Ronaldo and Messi – why can’t we be happy with Sanchez providing similar to us. I think adding the “big name” striker is not that simple, on paper fine, but the reality is different. How many 30 goal players can a team accommodate? We would have to adapt our play as well – a selfish (and I mean that in a complimentary way), back to goal striker operating on the shoulder of the last defender demands different service and team set-up and eats in to the space where the likes of Sanchez is now operating. Whether we like it or not Wenger wants industry in that position, sacrificing an out and out poacher/finisher for a harder working, disruptive type who assists and creates as well as chips in with the scoring at a reasonable rate. We have quite a few front four players in OG, TW, SC and AS (and Ramsey further back) who can or have gotten 15 goals in a season. DW and MO should be getting at least 10-12 as well. Chelsea have nearly everything geared to Costa and it is working out well at the moment – but most of their eggs are in that single basket. Bottom line is have we got enough potential fire power in our front 4 to win things – I say yes. Have we got our 25-30 goal striker – yes. Can we defend well enough to win anything – most of the time, no.

      I am not a huge fan of OG – but on balance I think the media/pundits value and rate him more than we do. He is decent, and of his type actually very good. Whilst we like to beat up on OG his goals/game ratio in PL over the last 3 years is pretty similar to Benzeman – who plays in a team that creates far more chances against arguably weaker opposition week in week out. And it wasn’t that long ago that the 2 were regularly trading places in the French national 1st X1. And KB is one lazy player – something OG cannot be accused of. Benzeman has the big ticket association with RM but the bottom line facts suggest he is not a massive upgrade on OG – and defensively is more a liability.

      Destro is the latest linked player and flavour of the month. He is no more prolific than OG. Might look a better player but no more effective IMO.

      Cavani at £50M? Not sure at all.

      And the risks and the costs associated with hoping one of these big names turns it on and produces are immense. In your wildest dreams – can you imagine the flak Wenger would be getting now if we spent £50M on Falcao, or laid out £20M+ for a year long loan? Or imagine if we had gotten Falcao instead of Sanchez and Sanchez had gone to Liverpool and was on 18 goals by New Year? Suarez at Barca is basically bombing – adding an out of position Suarez to Messi and Neymar is bonkers IMO. The end result is way less than the sum of the parts. Balotelli – remember the significant number on here canvassing for Wenger to buy him? Lol. Lewandoski isn’t pulling up trees at Bayern either – early doors I know but the jury is out nonetheless.

      1. mike says:

        good analysis. we just need someone strong to protect the chaps up front. then we’ll be very well rounded. but hey, maybe we should just sell everyone and buy an entirely new team? ha.

  2. jonestown1 says:

    I think the record for most points behind at Xmas and winning the league is 13 – Arsenal in 97-98. But very different circumstances now. Hopeless optimism but what else can he say – he’ll get slaughtered for publicly giving up. There has to be some form of motivation to get as high up the table as possible even if winning it is out of the question.

  3. fred cowardly says:

    To get 4th place, we need Top DM and CD
    To try to get 1st-2nd we need Top DM, CB and Top striker (both highly unlikely in January)

    We could get Howedes or Schar and Carvalho, Sissoko, Schneiderlin or Khedira in January and then Falcao, Cavani, Benzema or Destro in Summer

    But by end of this summer we MUST have all 3
    1. Top CB
    2. Top striker
    3. Top DM.

    1. atid says:

      Sorry how far are we from a top 4 place now? And with the injuries we have suffered. Come on let’s face it we have played half a season and for 70% of that we have been without half the squad. So many players have played so few matches, ospina, debuchy, gibbs, monreal, bellerin, coquelin, arteta, rosicky, wilshire, Ramsey, ozil, campbell, Walcott, giroud, diaby, gnabry. When or if these fellas return to regular action they will be raring to go, just like coquelin, giroud and rosicky have been.

      My personal feeling is wenger will now have to sign a defender as we only currently have bellerin Mertesacker chambers koscielny and monreal fit. It’s a shame we cannot recall jenkinson, I honestly think if we offered west ham decent money for reid on condition they let have jenkinson back we would solve all our current defensive issues. We could even throw in ajayi on loan as a sweetener for losing reid.

      Then wenger could spend on a DM, but my own opinion is he will now run with le coq, flamini, arteta diaby (if he ever returns) and bielik as our dm, then use our wealth of attacking players to make attack our best form of defence.

      Which team has a better and bigger crop of 15 attacking players than alexis ozil cazorla chamberlain Walcott wilshire ramsey campbell giroud welbeck rosicky gnabry akpom zelalem contesting 5 positions

      1. mike says:

        you can even see in the last few games how much more our attacking players are in fact tracking back and closing the space. effectively contributing to arsenal’s defensive posture.

      2. jonestown1 says:

        Agreed in the main but Jenkinson to WH was obviously to improve Jenks with more game time (and you can say that has been a success so far) and secondly to simultaneously promote Bellerin. What wasn’t part of the equation was Debuchy being crocked for almost the whole season. It is likely that Jenk will come back a better player and with a more experienced Bellerin as competition. With a fit Debuchy, improved Jenks and a properly blooded Bellerin next season looks quite rosy at RB. Not so good this year though admittedly.

  4. fred cowardly says:

    As for Ozil

    1st step is make Ozil work and earn his place.
    2nd is when Ozil takes the field Wenger MUST play in the center. None of this left wing nonsense

    We have plenty of wingers like Sanchez, Walcott, Oxlade, Campbell, Welbeck. If you want another world class winger then get Reus, but keep Ozil in his best position and he will show both his best effort and best skills.

    I can’t believe we need to tell Wenger this. What does he get paid £8 million per year for?

    1. mike says:

      you tell me, fred. why do you think wenger gets paid all that?

  5. alexhare says:

    We will make top 4. Southampton will eventually fall off. Tottenham, Everton and Liverpool don’t have enough to beat us to it either. Only thing I’m unsure about is whether we finish 3rd or 4th, it all depends on what United do. We have a strong and finally fit squad. We have a few really in form players with Alexis, Rosicky, Ox and Cazorla. Then we have Ramsey and Ozil returning, who have played very few games this season so will be fresh. We are in a good way with some world class talent in our team. Top 4 is going to happen this season, then in the summer bring in some more talent and make a real push next year

  6. jaweant says:

    Give him a little adderall before the game. And if he starts dribbling in circles with his left foot. Someone come up behind him and slap the sh#t out of him.

  7. ArseneIsYourDaddy says:

    Salimata and Bilguisa Simpore; two midfielders are available.

    But seriously Wenger has a pattern; he loans/sells players out before he makes a buy.

    Don’t panic crybabies. We will get there.

  8. Al the Gooner says:

    I feel it’s more down to bringing in the right players. With Santi and Sanchez are firing on all cylinders and Giroud getting 5 in just 6 starts I am very confident we can climb the table. If Theo and Ramsey can reach top form then the title is not that unrealistic. BUT, we clearly have to buy an experienced CB if we are to have any chance and to be honest I can’t see us beating Chelsea without a proper DM. I do think the current midfield paring of Le Coq and Rosicky is probably the best option given the DM problem. Le Coq is looking pretty good and unlike either of our pensioners Arteta or Flamini he should improve, but I can see him struggling against the top 2. Rosicky works well in his current position as he can and does put a shift in defending unlike others. He looks hungry. This weekend against Citeh will be a very interesting test, lose this and I think 3rd place is the best we can achieve. As far as Ozil is concerned he seems a 1 trick pony and can only play number 10, he often seems more of a liability elsewhere. With Santi’s current form I don’t see how Ozil gets a game.

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