Even though the Germany international Mesut Ozil came back from his long injury spell to produce his best football for Arsenal since Arsene Wenger surprised us all by smashing the club transfer record to sign him from Real Madrid, it is still fair to say that the jury is still out on our playmaker, both with the Arsenal fans and with the football media in general.
If the second half of the season was anything to go by, however, I think the German is going to be an absolutely key player for the Gunners next season and in the years to come. Even with that long injury lay-off, Ozil managed a very respectable five goals and nine assists and that does not come close to summing up his role in the side.
Ozil has explained in an interview on the Arsenal website what he feels are his best qualities on the pitch and also how he came to possess the brilliant close control and calmness in tight situations.
He said, “I started playing football with my brother from a very early age. I had the opportunity to play in tight spaces with my friends and my brother, and they were all older than me.
“Through that I had the opportunity to control the ball in the tightest gaps at a young age and that shows today. I’m really thankful for that time.
“You always have the opportunity to improve aspects of your game like finishing, ball control and passing. You can train that but as a youngster, I always played with older people in tight areas and that brought me forward.”
The 26-year old also revealed that many of his amazing defence splitting passes that no other players seem to see, are the product of his footballing instinct rather than a specific training regime or even a plan.
Ozil went on, “I make a lot of decisions instinctively. You can practice passes and other aspects of your game a lot, but I decide a lot through instinct.
“I see things that some other players may not, and that’s why it’s important for me to have that instinct. It takes me forward on the pitch because nowadays you have to take decisions quickly and if you didn’t have instinct, it would be much tougher.”
The thing that really strikes me about Ozil these days is that he seems to be bursting with self confidence after seeming to struggle in the first year or so, especially when every man and his dog wanted to stick the boot in. Now Ozil seems almost arrogant but with the way he plays, that is great news and just what Arsenal need. We certainly don´t want doubts creeping in when he is playing on instinct and getting himself into tight and difficult positions.
A confident Ozil striding around the pitch and running things could be, in my opinion, the fuel that fires Arsenal right to the top. What do you think Gooners? Can Ozil be our main man from now on?