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Cardiff Away | Mad Ol’ Wayne | Ozil the Quiet: its the Untold Preview

D-Sanchez Cabello

So after a painless Tuesday night in which ITV wasted no chance to talk nonsense, we return to the Premier League to play Cardiff.

As you may have seen: a Cardiff player had the nerve to be kicked by Ol’ Wayne last week! He escaped punishment, but I must implore, as an Englishman, a gentleman, a scholar… when will the FA protect Wayne? Mutch had solid calves, the sort that would viciously repel a half-hearted kick. Thank god Wayne kicked him as hard as he did…

Cardiff are doing better than most would have expected, with 13 points in their first 12 games. The 13th came via a last minute equaliser, which no doubt we all delighted in. From what I have seen, their goals tend to come from set pieces. In previous years that might have concerned me, but with Sir Chesney (the lengths one goes to, to not spell his actual name) on form and a thriving centre back partnership, it no longer does.

The ‘possession pie’ reverted to its traditional shape on Tuesday, so the players shouldn’t be too tired. Monreal was excellent and you have to feel for him that he has to compete with the exceptionally reliable gibbo.

I make the team as follows:



                                       Sagna                   Per               Koz           Gibbs


Watch Arsenal Live Streams With

                                                           Flamini          Ramsey


                                          Wilshere                  Ozil               Cazorla




Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Monreal, Arteta, Rosicky, Walcott

In my tiresome weekly “Defend So and So…” it’s the turn of Ozil to be defended…

Ozil can make the most frantic game look like it is being played at a speed your gran (who plays football?) could deal with. In the same way he can make something extremely difficult appear possible for a humble Sunday leaguer such as myself.

He hasn’t been at his best and he has been quiet. Both of these statements are true, though one shows a lack of understanding in what he does. He isn’t like Cesc, who influenced every part of the game, but a precise specialist who springs to life at the key moment.

By its nature, his role is quiet. He operates in that dangerous area, where modern footballing doctrine, demands you congest with as many players as possible (especially against Arsenal).

The worth of a number 10 is never in how many touches of the ball they have, but in how effective those touches are. Bryan Ruiz will have a similar amount of touches in a game – he is worth £5 million, Ozil is worth £50 million.   Ozil is the best number 10 because most of the time he makes the right decision.

We saw it the other night, where although not at his best, the exact moment he needed to play that difficult pass (in this case to Wilshere), he did so.

Another tendency that pundits have is to understate the significance of teammates in influencing how effective another teammate is. Giroud and Jack have been off form lately, and so has Ozil. Instead of looking at these 3 players as a combination, they judge them separately, assuming their forms are unrelated.

Any position relies heavily on what comes before and after:  if the striker misses/ makes a bad run; if the deeper midfielder passes to the wrong foot or at the wrong speed. Giroud and Jack function on either side of Ozil’s play and if they aren’t at their best, he wont be at his. As it happens, Jack is returning to form, as is Giroud…

Last meetings…

Arsenal 4 Cardiff City 0, FA Cup replay, February 2009

Cardiff City 0 Arsenal 0, FA Cup, January 2009


Arsenal have used 25 different players in the Premier League this season, showing what a horribly thin squad we have.  (That comment was ironic).

Cheers all, enjoy the game, have a good weekend,


Arsenal v 11 Men and the Ref – the Untold Referee Preview

The books…



30 comments to Cardiff Away | Mad Ol’ Wayne | Ozil the Quiet: its the Untold Preview

  • Savage

    I think Ozil has been playing more as our right-winger this season, in Theo’s place. Those expecting him to make a number-10-type impact would obviously have been disappointed.

    Ramsey has been getting into the positions we expect from Ozil, and has of course been producing the kinds of results that we would have expected from Ozil.

    I imagine Theo’s return will see Cazorla pushed out left, Ozil more in the middle, with Ramsey picking the ball up from deeper, alongside Flam/Arteta.

    The good news for Ozil is that Ramsey’s stellar rise will pull markers off Ozil. Goodness knows who will be left to mark Theo.


    What a bench you predict, without Gnabry and with AOC, Podolski still to come as well as the hordes the papers are predicting we sign in January.

  • WalterBroeckx

    We might see some rotation in the next 12 days when we play 4 games.

  • Dominic,

    I chuckled when I saw your line on defending Ozil. It would be funny if it wasn’t just so pathetic that the same people who were telling us that he is the reason for our good run (unadulterated bullshit) are now knocking the poor fella for doing what he has been doing since he joined us, in my humble opinion. What is greatest about Ozil is what you summarised perfectly thus:

    “Ozil can make the most frantic game look like it is being played at a speed your gran (who plays football?) could deal with. In the same way he can make something extremely difficult appear possible for a humble Sunday leaguer such as myself.”

    GUILE is what the guy brings to the team! He is a quiet but devastatingly efficient player. While the usual suspects were giving him all the credit for everything that Arsenal has ever done well this season, I am proud to say that I am one of the few who kept asking for some calm and perspective.

    I LOVE the fact that Ozil now wears the Arsenal shirt. He is a great player but he is neither Cesc nor Arshavin. He would make the same impact as the former while appearing to be putting in the same effort as the latter. That is perhaps what I love best about him. His quiet efficiency. He sneaks up against you and then blow you away with one moment of magic. Look back at that difficult pass for Ramsey’s goal in Dortmund, before which he had had little impact.

    I think has continued to be himself. The problem with his style of play is that unless he makes an assist, it looks like he isn’t doing enough to the untrained eye. I hope he keeps being himself. Something tells me that Arsene Wenger, the expert on this matter, is not bothered too.

    BTW, great match preview as always.

  • AL

    I feel Ozil may have been singled out unfairly for a bit of criticism, and I quite liked this timely article to remind people what kind of player he really is. As yourself & Bootoomee already said, he’s quietly efficient, without breaking a sweat. He makes it look so simple, in a Zidane type of way. And that is a quality that’s not really appreciated in the premiership; where one is expected to bust a gut each time they take to the field.

    The important thing, as you highlight in the article, is not the number of touches one has but how effective those touches are. And Ozil has been at the heart of most of our key wins, providing the decisive/crucial pass; Liverpool, Dortmund, Marseille… He is one man you want to see getting the ball in the final third, as you know 9 out of 10 times he will put it to good use. What many might be overlooking as well is we haven’t really had anyone looking to make those darting runs behind defenders since Walcott’s injury, where Ozil’s passes would be at their most devastating. Giroud has been forced to play too deep in a lone role, and despite being the workhorse that he is, pace is not his greatest strength. I believe with Theo’s return, this team is about to hit new highs.

    Let’s hope for an evenly reffed game.

  • “The teams are in for today’s Premier League clash against Cardiff City

    ARSENAL: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud

    Subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Monreal, Rosicky, Flamini, Walcott, Gnabry”

    Now, remember folks, this team lacks depth. That’s the song that must be sung far and wide!

  • Chippy Brady

    What Ozil does in every game is make room for others to play in. Evidence for this can be seen if you watch replays of Ramsays goals against Liverpool and Dortmund. Against Liverpool he drew 3 players towards him before assisting Ramsay, leaving Toure isolated and backing off, allowing Ramsay ample time to pick his shot. Against Dortmund he drew two players towards him on the edge of the box (one of whom should have been tracking Ramsay), before dinking a lovely ball onto Girouds head to nod down for Ramsay. These are only two examples off the top of my head but watch it, you will see this in every game. Teams doubling up on him leaves space for others. Let the media and idiots say he is under-performing, anyone who has played football and understands the importance of movement knows better

  • AL

    Any links to a good stream? Thanks.

  • AL,

    I’m using

    It’s working fine.

  • AL

    Cheers Bootoomee 🙂



    Fuck yeah!

  • AL

    And the weight.of that pass!

  • Gord

    From the BBC:

    > 1648: GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    > Statisticians Opta: 6 – Mesut Ozil has now made more assists than any other Premier League player this season. Mercurial.


  • Aaron Ramsey, you beauty


  • AL

    And what a peach of a pass for his second assist of the day. And he’s supposed to be quiet(from the media’s point of view), if this is what his quietness means I’ll take that all day every day.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Well done the lads, great result thoroughly deserved. Mason remains a very poor referee but we now have the quality to rise above that It will need a referee performance far worse than that to upset our rhythm.



  • Kenneth Widmerpool


  • bjtgooner

    An excellent performance and three very good goals, well done this team!! Looking forward to watching the match again tonight.

    A good team performance with some excellent touches of class – too good for Cardiff and Mason today.

  • I hope those getting on the back of Ozil will be quiet for now. Kudos to Walcott for giving the ball to Ramsey for the 3rd goal.

  • bjtgooner

    Two class assists for Ozil today!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Looking forward to motd too to see our boys and hopefully hear Hansen try and convince the world Liverpool can win the title but we cannot! Have a feeling lineker may be using these seven points to take the piss out of shearer and Hansen later on

  • Mandy Dodd,

    Get out of my head 🙂

    I’m so looking forward to MoTD tonight.

    Man City lost to Cardiff 2-3

    Man United lost 2 points at Cardiff

    Arsenal won 3-0 at Cardiff

    Therefore Man City are contenders for the league title but Arsenal are not.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Wonder if Hansen will cry off sick tonite?

  • Mandy Dodd,

    In Eric Cartman’s voice:

    “Oh God, please let Alan Hansen cry tonight”

    Not off sick though. I need the sucker to be on tonight.

  • Just put up another article showing the league table and asking a few pertinent questions, in case you are interested

  • AL

    Yeah, can’t wait for Motd too tonight 🙂 He might just turn up, because his favourite teams didn’t play and lose today.

  • Gord

    The only win I want to see tomorrow is Hull, the rest of the games I would like to see ties.


  • Gord,

    I don’t mind Swansea and Southampton winning as well. In spite of all the noise surrounding them, I just don’t see Southampton as any kind of threat to us.

  • Nelson Wong

    Ozil is back. Actually did he ever leave?

    I say it time and time again to Ozil critics. If that is “bad performance” from Ozil, I am happy to have Ozil who is performing badly than 99% of EPL players who is performing.

    In a way, you would prefer him to have a better game but when he takes up good position in counter attacks, make a good run and then deliver a precise assist that leads to goals at least once every game, one cannot be too angry.

    Arsenal have the luxury of having one attacking player with ultra high defence ability: Giroud. So they can afford the luxury to have Ozil not contributing as much in defending. Everyone has strength and weakness. It is a matter of balance and Arsenal is very current in very good shape in terms of having a balance team.

    The person we need to worry is Cazorla. He hasn’t find a way to fit into this “new” team. And he is not in goof form which clearly makes it more difficult for him. His shot in the game is an example and his “critical passes” are one or two feet off. Give him some time or a change in position may be.

  • menace

    How does corruption work in footballs EPL? One would think it is done by targetting bookies in the Far East! No, it begins at home like charity. It starts with a closed shop control of the game by the FA. They appoint a set of carefully chosen ‘match officials’. These ‘officials’ do not make it obvious to the passionate football fan but are clearly visible to those who love the Game and understand theLaws of the Game. They choose who to target over a period, so that the impact is made in specific games, Cards have a cumulative impact and target specific players for specific games. Teams that benefit are clearly chosen for financial benefit of the ‘association of cheats’.

    Do not mistake TV pundits for people that understand the Laws of the Game. They make their own Laws. ‘A piece of the ball’ is not in the Laws but has become part of the EPL excuse for allowing a foul to go unpunished.

    Players in their favour are allowed leeway and get away with fouls by selective vision from officials and without any FA questioning and very little media hounding.

    Over the season (one can check from previous seasons) players from some teams miss important games because of fine tuned cumulative bans. Bias from officials have an effect but it is the cumulative undue corrupt pressure that selectively forces teams to the top over the season.

    Teams like Arsenal have had to get success in spite of the bias. Mr. Wenger has in his wisdom learnt to be better and bigger than the cheats by making the game more beautiful and cleaner than ever before.