Wenger hails ‘sharp’ Ozil…even Keown impressed

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Arsene Wenger liked what he saw from Mesut Ozil at Goodison Park after the Germany international created eight scoring chances for his teammates and helped himself to an assist and a goal.

The World Cup winner’s man-of-the-match performance helped Arsenal to a comfortable 5-2 win over Everton and temporarily dampened the criticism that has been directed at him so far this season.

“I’m impressed [with how he played] but when he is sharp physically like that and at that level of performance, he must enjoy it and of course we as a team enjoy it,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“He can score, he can do what he wants. He has the technical quality, the coordination to score even headers and when he is mobile like that he can get into dangerous areas.

“I think the quality [from the team] was there today and we had all kinds of tests because we were 1-0 down after having started well, so it was a good mental test.

“After that, offensively and defensively, we played very well on the whole and it was good, our quality of passing was good, finishing maybe we could have done a little bit better if you want to be absolutely harsh, but overall we had the quality.”

Ozil’s goal was his 33rd in Arsenal colours and his assist for Alexandre Lacazette his 58th since joining from Real Madrid in 2013. Even Martin Keown, who has been the German’s biggest critic recently, was won over on Match of the Day.

“I’ve been very critical, we’re nine games in and suddenly he’s turned up,” the Invincible noted.

“He knitted everything together. He’s not been closing down. But he has a vision very few players have.

“It was a different head that he played with today. That was a goal with great quality and conviction, he headed it with conviction and I’ve questioned that.”

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53 Comments on "Wenger hails ‘sharp’ Ozil…even Keown impressed"

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goongot

Well we are always capable of playing like this, but never consistently….I have been heart broken so many times by arsenal that i will keep my xcitment in check till we win all 3 home games incoming.

Dave M

Two words: High Tempo!

Jean Ralphio

We should call it Rosicky tempo

Dave M

Gladly, if only he could still play…

Fabulous

The thing is, we will string in 2-3 good performances to get the rest of us interested. Then when the fans start caring again, the 4th game will be another Watford, or a massive trashing against the top 6. The moment we put some level of expectation on the team they crumble.

NorthernGoon

Not really sure how people can down vote this as it’s apparent to anybody that this is exactly what happens, consistently.

PaulS

Didn’t downvote it myself, but just working out the maths of the comment: If a team consistently won 3 games, then lost the 4th that would bring in 85 points, which would be enough to win the league most seasons.

arsepedant

Sorry to be pedantic, but after all that’s my name, and it would be 84 points. 28 wins and 9 losses.

ShadyGunner

but there are 38 games in a season , 28 + 9=37 ?

hml77008

Shurely shome mistake…9 points for every 4 games = 81 points after 36 games, if the season started with the first win in the sequence. Assuming 6 points from the final 2 games the total is 87 points

IamaGoober

I got up at 5am yesterday morning to drive all the way to Liverpool, and I was so relived to see us at it from minute 1. Normally you can tell within 5 minutes what sort of Arsenal has turned up, and I was so happy it was the ruthless version that made the journey.

The contrast between the Watford performance and yesterdays was scary.
Even when we went a goal down I still felt comfortable that we would come back and turn them over. We just looked so potent going forward. Witnessing first hand how fluid we looked offensively was just awesome. I think when you watch a game on TV, due to the elevated position of the cameras, you perhaps miss how fast the game can be. But being pitch side on Sunday, it really made me realise how fast and smooth we can be in the transition, especially in those opening exchanges. In all honestly the Everton should’ve been at least 3 down.

They literally had no idea how to cope with Mesut, Alexandre and Alexis. The beauty of it was they were concentrating so hard on those guys, they totally forgot about Aaron Ramsey, he was off the grid, totally ghost recon. They had no idea where he was. Every time they kind of figured out one of them, Ramsey would pop up out of nowhere and zip one in – it was classic.

I am so delighted to of witnessed the game which saw Ronald get the boot. Normally I am not overly keen on reveling in managers from other teams get the boot, but considering he has been so overly in your face to Arsene and Arsenal when he has beaten us in the past. I have been smiling all afternoon knowing that we were the final nail in the coffin.

FAXE

Great to read a direct report from the stands. I’m very critical of Ramsey but have suspected that he looks different when you’re actually there. A bit like Mertesacker who is immense live but can be villified because TV tends to highlight the situations where he looks slow.

IamaGoober

I think Aarons biggest problem is the fact that he is a confidence player. And confidence in football is built up slowly, each match is a building block. Without doubt his injury problems have been the major factor as to why he is always so consistently inconsistent.

The only example I can give is a personal one; not to blow myself off or anything, but I started playing semi-professionally this year. And in doing so I feel that I have learnt so much more about the game then I had previously from just being a fan. As even though I play in the 5th tier of English football, as a player you do go through similar-ish things that one of the lads in the Arsenal first team would go through.

And when you’re not playing in the first team consistently it is so so difficult to get your game 100% where it needs to be when you are actually given minutes – especially when you’re limited to game time off the bench. So it is really hard to manage your confidence when you aren’t getting games, whether that’s down to injuries, or another reason, but it is so hard. You just start to over think everything, even doing the simple things becomes a big equation.

Just receiving your first pass becomes a huge thing. Your mind races at like a million miles an hour because you’re so focused on taking a good first touch, that might then cause you to forget to check both shoulders to see if you have a man on, or you might forget to decide where the ball is going before you receive it and so on. And we only have 50 – 100 people watching our games. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like trying to battle with that low level of confidence in front of 60,000 fans in the ground with a further 1-2 million viewers on TV, especially when you know your own fans have been hammering you on social media.

So yeah – I think if Aaron stays fit and in the first team, he will iron out those inconsistencies in his game, and playing next to Xhaka does really free him up as well.

Andy Mack

I think most successful players and teams are driven by confidence. It doesn’t change the actual ultimate skill/talent of a player but allows them to access a larger proportion of that available skill.
Leicester didn’t win the PL because of their total talent, but their players were so confident (assisted by the PMGO officials)they could use more of their ability than the less confident players/teams.
Despite the rose tinted glasses view of out history, the Invincibles weren’t actually all the best individual players, but their confidence both individually and as a team made them an irresistible force.

Goonerink

Ozil’s first EVER headed goal was scored as an arsenal player and was almost a carbon copy of this one, glad he is upping his game at our club!

wizardry

HFB would be proud

Dan Gunn

Keown needs to step away from this narrative now. It’s not helpful for the club which is the most important thing.

Salman

He cares for the club, but does not work for it. He is entitled to his views, which are mostly correct. It his criticism does not help the club particularly, it should not be his problem.

Matt P

Yes.
People can go to the Arsenal website if they want propaganda.

A different George

Keown is certainly entitled to his opinions, and Arsenal supporters are entitled to treat those opinions in exactly the same way as those of any other paid pundit, like Michael Owen or Phil Neville. We should understand that, like the others, whatever affection or loyalty he has for his old club is subordinated to the need to pronounce as many controversial judgments as possible. The televised version of clickbait.

Arsenic

Gary Neville ironically is about the best pundit/ex player at the moment. Lucid and fair.

Keown and Henry sway with the wind

Andy Mack

Gary can be decent when Jamie Carragher isn’t involved.
Unfortunately when they’re both involved then he drags Neville down to his level of talking complete bollocks.

Adam

@Dan Gunn-what a load of bollocks

And_Arsene_Said...

What Keown says about Ozil doesn’t always depend on how Ozil plays but also on what head Keown has on. Ozil plays bad and he has lost interest and is already moved on, Ozil plays well and he is playing for a move. Damned if you do, damned if you dont. But I still like Keown.

Johnny

Keowm might have helped AW to challenge and refocus Özil!

Shonky

Why is it every season we need a couple of disastrous performances to wake up and start playing like we can!? By that time we’re scrapping for the minor placings….maddening!

Andy Mack

Most (all?) teams have a few disastrous performances every season.
The Chavs had a really poor start last season but came through.
It’ll be interesting to find out if $itehs and spuddies disastrous performances this season result in losses or only draws….

ForeignGooner

With the way those two teams are playing at the moment, I don’t think they’ll have more than a couple of defeats this season. The title is sadly out of Arsenal’s reach in my opinion, so i’d rather Man city win it than Man U or Chelsea (or Spurs). For all the moanings about their money, they at least play great football. I’d be immensely happy if we could come back from Manchester with a draw against city.

nimble foot

I’d be happier if we become the first team to beat them this season. .. I’d also like for Utd to lose whilst we are beating city (along with Spurs and Chelsea)
I can only dream

A different George

City often play great football, and have an incredible depth of talent in attack, but they are not a perfect team. In defending, they rely on Kompany remaining healthy and Fernandinho avoiding suspension for his endless tactical fouls. And no one really knows how their keeper plays when tested.

Andy Mack

It’s the phrase ‘at the moment’ that makes the difference.
They both lack depth in certain areas (I’m not suggesting that we don’t!) so a couple of injuries in the wrong position and the league COULD change dramatically.
While $iteh have to worry about defensive injuries, the spuddies also have the problem that they don’t have a home ground, so when they wobble they won’t have a nice home game to fall back on. That doesn’t mean they’ll crumble but it could cause issues.
There’s a lot of games to go…

Yoyo goon

We need consistency and focus. If he can replicate this performance for 25 matches a season he should be up there competing for the ballon d’or

MrSweaty

Without a doubt in my mind I would much rather have Ozil at Arsenal than see him elsewhere. We won’t realise how much of an amazing talent he is until he moves on (hopefully he stays but unfortunately I doubt he will)

Sean

*Whisper it quietly* he’d be fucking amazing at United and we’d hate every minute of it. Never commented with ‘sign da ting’ before, but Mesut… please? :'(

Martin

Except he has totally denied the media lies

Alex

I don’t even understand why we give so much credit to this Keown… He is part of these guys who bring nothing, even to the viewers and a clever comprehension of football. All he does is spitting regularly on Özil. What has he done to do so? Well, apart from that, let’s not forget a couple of points: start of the seasoin > Wenger putting Chamberlain at all cost and messing up the balance, Sanchez injured, Özil injured one month. Now both are back with Laca! Let’s hope Ramsey will stop going for glory and help Xhaka… This is his job!

Stephen Vallins

How do we know what Ramsey’s job is within the team ?

ForeignGooner

Tactics?

Andy Mack

According to some of our tactical genius fans AW doesn’t do tactics.
Or maybe he does but only tells the players…

Eftee Green

Oh shut up. At least Keown is consistent with his views. Just because Ozil turned up yesterday doesn’t suddenly make Keown the bad guy. Instead, look at yourself as a fickle fan who gets swayed easily by player performances that come in bits and pieces. Everything Keown has said about Ozil till yesterday was absolutely spot on!

Vonnie

Keown is riding on the fact that he was a bit player in the Invincibles team, and some of his criticism of BFG and Mesut has been spiteful. He’s been shown up by both of them.

Glory hunter

If it motivates them to show him up and play like this every week then im happy for Keown to continue criticising cos nothing else seems to work

Martin

I disagree a lot with Keown as a pundit but to call him a bit player is an insult to him. He was a very important member of the team and the type of hard man we could use today.

Andy Mack

He started 3 games and came on another 5 or 6 times as a sub.

Simon

Alex…”I don’t even understand why we give so much credit to this Keown”…really

449 Appearances, 3 League Titles, 3 FA Cups, 43 Caps for England.

Rated (admittedly by Arsenal) as no 20 on all time 50 best Arsenal players.
Absolute legend and if you ever get to meet him really lovely guy.

Now working as a journalist so having an opinion is his job.

Simon

I have always defended Ozil, you see his real contribution when you attend matches rather than the half-arsed analysis showing a missed opportunity to hack a player down that runs past him.

I guarantee that had we lost at Everton everyone would be pointing at Ozil and saying sell to the highest bidder…great player but can’t be accomodated in our team.

I think ForeignGooner hits the nail no the head…tactics with the ball and tactics without the ball. Too much emphasis on expression of individual play. Back to basics.

(I maybe crazy but, as always, looking forward to Swansea game)

Santori

Still very wasteful.

Never mind lapses at the back so much but if we are creating 30 chances plus, we need to be tucking them away at a better rate.

Final finishing and last ball needs more work but very promising although huge dolop of salt cos its also a poor defensive Everton side.

So lets not get too carried away.

Santori

Crisis mongering pundits will now run the narrative that Arsenal need Ozil but are going to lose him.

Meanwhile every pundits fav football genius Klopp and his cult flatters to deceive never mind Liverpool haven’t won a title since start of PLay after century ago. They always your them as having more of a chance at it than us…go figure

Dholio

Glad to hear Martin eat some humble pie on his views of Ozil. But what of all the other pundits and nitwits who have been having on Ozil? Gone quiet all of a sudden. Caragher or the ESPN panel surprisingly have nothing to say now?

Andy Mack

Carragher never has anything intelligent to say anyway…
Like pretty much every pundit that was a former Liverpool player!

Herodotus

58 assists and 33 goals in 168 matches yet we are made to believe that “he’s shite”.

Odizie U Ajike

Keon & the rest of the so-called Legends will for now shut up their mouthsand let him do what he does best

Lula

Agree with Martin here. There is no denying his quality (and enjoying it!) but he has months of retrogression that are unacceptable for one of your club’s top earners. Glad to see he is back in form and hope he has a great season! The inner cynic in me, however, thinks he will fade away after a month or so of good form.

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