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The Highbury Library animted promo v5 350x350

Blah blah blah, 2-0 down blah blah, some other stuff 2-2..

Now can I get on with talking about Mesut Özil’s goal please?

It was an entertaining game, lots of stuff happening at both ends but all I want to talk about is Mesut Özil’s goal. I can’t stop thinking about Mesut Özil’s goal. I’ll get back to the other stuff afterwards if you don’t mind.

Time is ticking down, our mix and match team were looking a little tired in the second half as Arsène alluded to post match and dropped points were looking likely until a wonderful sequence of events. Mesut Özil should be thanking Oliver Giroud as well as Mohamed Elneny for the assist as the big Frenchman showed some real battling qualities to sprint back and launch himself at the Ludogorets player, who would have been the clear favourite to move the ball onto his team mate but Giroud showed the kind of fight we all appreciate from Alexis Sanchez. Giroud appeared out of nowhere to dispossess the player and Elneny took over. Spotting Özil’s run which unfortunately I haven’t been able to see in it’s entirety because of the camera view. The Ludogorets keeper came racing out to meet the ball and Özil quite nonchalantly scooped the ball over his outstretched arm, his first touch after that wasn’t just to control the ball but to swerve inside his man in one movement, then the comedy moment came when two defenders hurtling back to save the day were left bouncing around on the floor as Özil shimmied his way past them both to roll the ball into the empty net. I could be critical of Mesut and ask why didn’t he trust his right foot first time into an empty net but I’d be an idiot. I'm not capable of looking like I can slow down time at the end of a game and win Arsenal the points, Mesut is.

Moments like that is why I enjoy football, results, trophies etc are secondary in my mind, the real joy comes from watching players do incredible things on the pitch in an Arsenal shirt and we have a real superstar associated with our club. I took the likes of Henry and Bergkamp for granted back in the day, assuming I would see real genius forever, so I am learning from that now and will enjoy these moments as long as possible. I cannot count the amount of times I’ve watched that sequence of events already and I’m sure I will continue to do so for a while yet.

In fairness to Mesut, it wasn’t his best game and I wondered if Arsène would consider taking him off and saving him for the weekend but I thought to myself, you cannot remove a player who has the ability to win a game at any moment. I kinda expected that moment to be one of those lovely cut backs or dinked free kicks not a goal that Messi would have been rather proud of. In fact it was very much a Messi type goal if I’ve ever seen one.

We’ve got some big games coming up, including them lot on Sunday so I hope we see some more of that from our talisman.

I fully expected this to be a tough game, we had made many changes, including players who are still trying to catch up with the rest of the squad on the sharpness front.

Ludogorets clearly learned from the first game and had a change of approach, no more allowing us loads of space to play in, they defended deep and looked to spring in behind us when they had the ball. Oliver Giroud had an individual impact on the game but it’s clear that we lack the mobility and movement of our rotating front line of a few weeks back. Two new full backs and a new keeper meant that our old friend cohesion at the back was missing somewhat. A dangerous free kick and not terribly proactive defending gave Cafu a chance to prod the home side ahead and he took it. Minutes later it was two, more good work from Cafu who could interest some clubs in the summer I reckon and his centre was turned in from close range.

2-0 down away from home in the Champions League is not a great position to be in and our record away in the CL hasn’t been great in recent years, teams of the past may have struggled to find a way back but this Arsenal seem to be made of sterner stuff. Özil’s centre found Xhaka in the box to confidently tuck away his chance and that changed the game totally. The pendulum had swung and it was now a case of being professional, not making anymore defensive errors and waiting for the chances to present themselves. Ramsey making his first start in donkey’s years chipped over a lovely inviting cross for Giroud to do what Giroud does, his second near post looping header in two games. Game on!

I was hoping we’d kick on in the second half but physically we didn’t look capable of it. Well until that moment arrived a few minutes from time.

Qualification achieved, a chance of top spot if we beat PSG who won late on in Basel (Grrr) but that is all secondary right now. It’s all about Mesut Özil’s goal.

Thanks for the memories Mesut.

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more