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June 2021

Passengers of the beautiful game….

Passengers of the beautiful game….




18/08/2017 at 2:06 pm

Listen to pundits? Never have,never will son.just beleive what my eyes tell me & if you don’t’ think ” ozil” is a passenger most of the time(.that is certainly when the going gets tough.)i suggest you save yourself a lot of anguish & avoid tomorrow’s match.hope if he plays he proves me wrong but I doubt it.”


Mesut Ozil joined ARSENAL in 2013. He was our record signing. I was on a trekking trip. First thing I did when I returned, checked for the result of NLD. Of course Untold too. My jaws dropped. The first thing I see, ARSENAL sign Ozil. Whhhhaaaaatttttt!!!!!!!!!……. That what was not a shock filled with sadness. It was like an overjoyed celebratory what. We had signed one of the finest player in the world. Mesut Ozil. I wouldn’t be surprised if people said, he is the Dennis Bergkamp of the Emirates era. Such a fine footballer. How many times have we not said Oh Zil over the years. Such is his class.

As soon as he’d joined, his critiques followed. The very first one which had gone overboard was “nicking a living” thing. It was such a stupid, shallow comment to make. Ozil doesn’t run about like the premier league legend Scotty Parker. Hence he doesn’t care. The level of analysis, outstanding.

But the allegation has stuck on to him, even after all these years. This transfer window, people wanted us to offload Ozil.  But keep Alexis. If I had no options other than to offload one, I would offload Alexis. Yeah he runs around chasing the ball. The de facto requirement to be a premier league player by experts. But fail to see that he holds on to the ball a lot, and then looses it a lot, hence has to chase around a lot.

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Ozil is not a player who loses the ball a lot. He uses it to perfection unlike any other. Also you find him in our box sometimes making an important interception/tackle. BTW, Mesut Ozil runs more distance than Alexis in almost every game. But hey, Alexis is world class, but Ozil is not. Last week at the Leicester game, commentator says “Ozil for me is a player with world class moments but not a player I would term world class”.

Just checked, for some stats. And here is the result.

Before the weekend, Ozil had made 117 appearances for the Gunners. With 61% wins. 23 goals and 42 assists. He has taken 149 shots with 46% accuracy. Makes about 64 passes per game. Has created 49 big chances, 36% cross accuracy, 172 accurate long balls and 94 through balls. Since joining the PL, he has created the most chances and has the most assists of any player in the league. So where is he nicking a living?

Defence you say, then lets check the defence stats. 113 tackles at 74% success rate, 54 interceptions, 527 recoveries. And most impressive, his errors leading to goal. Only 2. Now pretty impressive for a passenger. I would take this passenger in my team any day. Ozil is about efficiency. Everything he does has purpose. He doesn’t run around to please you. He does to create space for himself and his team mates, dragging defenders around.

PS: Here is what Cabaye (once the must sign player for ARSENAL) has to say about Mesut Ozil:

“The strongest player in England, I think? Mesut Ozil. He is really, very strong.You get the impression that he does not care, that he is nonchalant, but at one point he will put a pass that nobody has seen. He always knows everything before everyone else. That’s what is fabulous about him.”

PPS: For some extra knowledge, Mesut Ozil has won Germany’s player of the year 5 times in last 6 years. The best player in the best national team in the world. Passenger??..


New on the Watching Supporters file: Manchester United.  (If you’ve never seen it you really should).

Elsewhere: The aftermath of Stoke: kill the cat or take on the world.

33 comments to Passengers of the beautiful game….

  • marcos

    I always argue thta arsene and arsenal makes ozil look silly.the lack of suitable forwads make ozil ditter more on d him at madrid n gerrmany.he needs runners not static guys.Dats y he links well wit ramsy alexis n somtimes giroud cos dey are d only ones dat try to make run ins.ozil needs those outlets.but does arsenal forwards understand??No

  • TT

    Ozil’s biggest problem is the manager he has at the moment. Give him a decent manager and good players in front of him and he will shine. Not much hope for that though as the ditherer was given 2 more years to ruin the club.

  • Malaysian gunner

    Stop the pattern weaving and endless passing and go direct.

  • Arsene Nose

    Thank you

  • Dom

    TT ‘the ditherer’ is still one of the best managers in the world but…nevertheless it may be that your superior knowledge of what constitutes a good manager is beyond my ken. Perhaps you should present yourself as a viable replacement and prove to the world how poor he is. I’m sure you’d have a great deal of success. 😀

  • Uwot?

    Seeing as you’ve chosen to quote me I feel quite honoured.however stats can be deceptive.often depends how you interpret them as you know on untold full well.i would suggest perhaps that that in order to dissuade the likes of me in my assertion that ozil is a ” luxury” player you do a more in depth analysis of how he performs home & away against the top 10 sides.i over the last two seasons? I’ m pretty confident they’ll be nowhere as impressive as you make for German footballer of the year over the last 5/6 seasons? I think you’ll find that was because he was inpatient the biggest club in the world surrounded with world class players & world class managers.does tend to make a assertion that he is lazy,weak & shines only when the game is won still stands.feel free to prove me wrong.

  • Denis20100

    I think the purpose of this article was to argue what a fabulous player Ozil truly is. .. not to blame the manager or the team mates. The stats presented would in my mind provide evidence that Ozil combines well with his team mates and that his manager makes good use of him.
    What a pleasure it is to watch our silky smooth magician perform his art.

  • Menace

    Uwot – you are a lazy mouthy fool. Make some effort & show us in some form of argument that Ozil is what you claim. In my mind I think Ozil is one of the more intelligent football players. He has a lot of foresight in his play & his movement is deceptively quick. The pundits that criticise him know that but sitting in a studio they can pontificate to kingdom come.

  • Uwot?

    Menace- r u some sort of ozil fanboy?-All the flair in the world means nothing.zilch.if you don’t put in the graft for the greater good of the team.the world’s greatest players past & present all did this consistently.i suggest you open your blinkered eyes & visit some of the other fan sites to see what many of arsenals fans think of for his movement being deceptively quick.i agree.usually first to pull out of a tackle & one of the first down the tunnel at half & full time lol!

  • colario

    Arsenal 13. Thank you. Ozil is one of the best players to play for Arsenal. The evidence you provide says it all.

    I think one reason why he he derided so much is his quite and unassuming personalty. He doesn’t give our ‘expertless, ignorant ones anything to write about other than his football ability. Therefore he is ‘useless’ in their opinion. Sadly for Ozil and us their brain power tells them their opinions are facts.

  • Menace

    Uwot – and which greater good of the team are you supporting with criticism of players? You are obviously more stupid than I initially thought. You should stick to ‘other fan sites’ and perhaps ‘other everything’ because they are your level.
    Here, we are supporting the manager & the team including all of those that make mistakes.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Uwot – we lost yesterday as a team. Oezil can be criticized along with the other 10 players. But, he didn’t lose the game by himself (he wasn’t at fault for the goal, nor did he miss any gilt edged chances) and so he doesn’t deserve any over the top criticism.

  • Bye Gabby; good luck! Welbeck plz, Theo after Coutinho goes. Draxler at £32m West Ham surely cannot out muscle us on Carvalho? That was a big deal. CB at Roma gas a clause for simplicity. Draxler lowers Mahrez value. Canpbell, has he learned to cover his FB prob not yet for EPL. Gibbs if we are playing out of position.

    We don’t have to register Tue under 21’s so not major issues.

    We need to keep selling. At marker rate is fine goven what people are charging.

    Stoke unfortunate but i think it was shit def, gr8 refereeimg, more next week.

    Water flows around rock, eventually rock breaks.

  • Uwot?

    Menace- you really are a muppet i’m as kind as I can be without resorting to keyboard warrior insults.going going goner.fair comment.yes true there are others that should shoulder criticism & I’ll include the match officials & our illustrious manager in that equation .why play to left backs as c/ backs & a right back as left back is anyone’s guess? Perhaps our illustrious manager could enlighten us on that decision?menace is from the school of thought that no matter what the result or performance or lack of effort(ozil)it’s all a supporter you have no right to criticise?what is this ?a dictatorship?we might all have different opinions & have the right to voice them whether you like it or not.hypothetically speaking then if we were facing relegation would criticism be unjust? We all want what’s best for our club at the end of the day.

  • arsenal 13
    thanks a lot 4 the stats.
    we are so lucky to have a team that has arsene as the manager and players such as ozil,ramsey’ giroud ,the ox,lacazette,alexis,xakah and so many more.

  • Abcdef

    If Ozil was so good, why is no other club going for him. He has a year left on his contract. Football has moved on. Traditional #10s like Ozil and James Rodriguez are no longer required. Assisting is not enough. You need to tackle, track back, assist and score. The best midfielders are well rounded- Rabiot, Isco,Kroos,Veratti,Modric- that’s the new definition of a good midfielder. That is why PSG and Madrid will continue to dominate in Europe. They play a holding midfielder plus two complete midfielders either side. Mourinho is trying to copy that. We need to buy Carvalho and play Xhaka and Ramsey either side of him. Xhaka/Ramsey is like playing Gerard and Lampard. Just does not work.

  • omgarsenal

    Abcdef… do you know there was no interest in Ozil?
    Hey Uwot…….you are so knowledgable…why don’t you write an article,giving all your evidence and facts supporting your arguments? I guess sniping from the bushes is more your style?
    TT, when Ozil was at Madrid he has one of the best teams around him, but his stats do not match those at Arsenal, his are superior here.

  • Abcdef
    even if we got carvalho,rabiot,discovered,kroos,veratti and modric you will be screaming if we lose just one game into the season

  • Nitram


    No statistics.

    No evidence.

    Just the misguided notion that what you ‘see’ and what you ‘think’ is beyond the need for any of that nonsense.

    I’ve said this many times. Try winning any legal argument on your opinion alone. Or simply on what you ‘think’.

    To win an argument in court you have to have proof. To have proof you have to have evidence. Without that it is just opinion. No more no less.

    And as much as you would like to believe that your ‘opinion’, and what you ‘think’ is above all others, it is not.

    So given that all our opinions and thoughts have equal credibility, the only way to win or to prove an argument or debate, be it in a court of law or on a blog, is to present evidence.

    Without that you have NOTHING.

    The final nail in your coffin though is when you come out with the classic ‘you can make stats say whatever you want’.

    Which is of course the standard response for anyone that cant actually ‘make them say what THEY want’.


    So do yourself a favour and get some evidence, rather than just repeating your ‘opinion’.

    It’s as simple as that.

  • para

    Ozil style of play is judged like Berbatov’s style of play, to be lazy. Many did/do not see the greatness of both of these players, and i hope we do not ruin Ozil like Berbatov was ruined(being discarded, not understood).

    Malaysian gunner
    Agree we need to be able to play direct football at times too. We are still making the mistake of being too static and not being dynamic enough.
    Our team are just not moving(being dynamic) around the field, they are too static(like statues) most times and it will be our downfall if it does not change to become a natural part of our game.

    Ozil makes many passes to where a player should have moved but because they have not moved, its lost, yet he still manages to have a very high assist rate.

    Imagine if AW would leave him to play the football he wants to play and not try to force him to score goals too, and our players get used to Ozil’s play (they have had enough time me thinks, really) he would be more settled and Arsenal would take off.

    If we don’t play to Lacazette we might as well not have bought him. I’m just waiting for him to take control(atm because he’s the new boy he is not asserting himself just yet) like Henri used to do.

    Ozil and Laca will get their telepathic abilities together sooner than later, look what Laca does when he does get the ball.

    All in all, more deadwood needs to be “burnt” and replaced with better quality.

    Arsenal must realise that the most times a player is sold is because:
    1: club needs the money
    2: player lacks what manager needs
    3: player just lacks.

    One last thing, i really do not know why Reiss Nelson is not used straight away, especially as we are needing someone right now, hope he does not just become a “pre season” hit and then 2 years later decides to go somewhere else.

    Sometimes you have to take a chance with exceptional talents and fast track them else run the risk of demoralising and losing them.

  • Pat

    What a brilliant article. All the evidence is there. Anybody who carries on bad mouthing Ozil is simply refusing to look at the facts. We are so lucky to have him.

    The bit I maybe liked best is that he even covers more ground than Alexis. This shows how superficial the view of football is of the fans who knock him. Too subtle for them. Of course, it doesn’t help that the pundits and the media often echo this superficial view.

    But I do feel the fans who go to matches appreciate him. He always gets massive applause.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Problem for Ozil is that hez not won any trophies. Well, now that FA cup isnt one. SO he has to be in a team which wins the league or the CL to counted as world class.

    For me he is world class. Even is the game vs stoke this Saturday, he definitely wasnt a passenger was he. This was an od game. We had above 75% possession. Created shit loads of chances. Even Ian Wright found it hard to criticize. His words “cant fault the boys, one of those days.”

    This team is potentially a league winner. Unless we have the usual refereeing bollocks.

  • Bobome

    Thanks Arsenal 13 for this great article on Ozil. For the life of me I wish people would make use of their brain cells more often than repeat the foolishness expressed by others.

  • tobi

    Now I love and rate ozil but saying you’d rather have sanchez sold than ozil is the height of hypocrisy, Alexis is our best player by a mile and you know it, ozil is a very good player and I also understand why someone wouldn’t like sanchez as he wants out, but trying to ridicule his ability is just wrong. We should keep the both of them.

  • tobi

    And I think we can all comment and discuss, I don’t understand why anyone would try to insult anyone as its only a blog. Peace

  • Menace

    uwot – if you based all your opinion on what you saw I would accept some of it but based on reading what others say makes your opinion biased. If you had some evidence other than ‘other sites’ I would give you some credence.

    Dwain -Water flows only when river not dry.

  • Gord

    Thanks 13.

    I think passenger is just another way to say pundit. They are the ones just taking a ride and not doing anything useful.

  • Polo

    Ozil is not useless compare to other midfielders, let see. Taken from for last season in their respective league.

    Player. Apps (min). Goals. Assists. SpG PS%. Aerial win.
    Ozil. 2848 8 9 1.2 86.6 0.3
    Kroos. 2501 3 12 1.1 92.2 0.4
    Rabiot. 1932 3 2 0.8 89.9 1.8
    Isco. 1638 10 8 1.1 89.4 0.2
    Veratti. 2158 3 5 0.4 88.4 0.2
    Modric 1892 1 2 0.8 89.1 0.4

    I’m told the Premier League is the toughest league in the world, so Ozil somehow is not ‘world class’. Ridiculous.

  • John L

    We play 38 games in a season. That is a potential 114 points. Every point short of that target must be the fault of our clueless manager.

    What a disaster this season is proving to be. We have already dropped 3 points after 2 matches. Man Utd, West Brom and Huddersfield have got twice as many points as us.

    This proves that we should have appointed Tony Pulis as manager (presuming, of course, that Piers Morgan was not available).

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Arsenal 13 – Awesome ! Thanks.
    Listening to those idiots on TV would make the newbies think that they were legends . Far from the truth.
    Ozil is class . Teams are built around such gems . His vision is truly astounding.
    Pity not all of can afford tinted lenses and ear plugs !
    Up the Gunners !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    *”Our Journey Together is so Short”*

    A young lady sat in a bus. At the next stop a loud and grumpy old lady came and sat by her. She squeezed into the seat and bumped her with her numerous bags.

    The person sitting on the other side of the young lady got upset, asked her why she did not speak up and say something.

    The young lady responded with a smile:

    “It is not necessary to be rude or argue over something so insignificant, the journey together is so short. I get off at the next stop.”

    This response deserves to be written in golden letters:

    *”It is not necessary to argue over something so insignificant, our journey together is so short”*

    If each one of us realized that our time here is so short; that to darken it with quarrels, futile arguments, not forgiving others, discontentment and a fault finding attitude would be a waste of time and energy.

    Did someone break your heart? *Be calm, the journey is so short.*

    Did someone betray, bully, cheat or humiliate you? *Be calm, forgive, the journey is so short.*

    Whatever troubles anyone brings us, let us remember that *our journey together is so short.*

    No one knows the duration of this journey. No one knows when their stop will come. *Our journey together is so short.*

    Let us cherish friends and family. Let us be respectful, kind and forgiving to each other. Let us be filled with gratitude and gladness.

    After all, *Our Journey Together is so Short!*

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A small story but good one –
    I watched a local football match in a school playing ground.

    As I sat down, I asked one of the boys what the score was.

    With a smile, he replied; ” We are behind 3-0.”

    And I said, ” REALLY ?
    I have to say you don’t look discouraged.”

    “Discouraged ? ” the boy asked with a puzzled look.

    ” Why should I be discouraged when the referee has not blown the final whistle. I have confidence in the team and the managers; we shall definitely overcome.”

    Truly, the match ended 5-4 in favor of the boy’s team.

    He waved at me gently, with a beautiful smile as he left; I was amazed, mouth wide open; Such confidence; Such beautiful faith.

    As I got back home that night, his question kept coming back to me –


    Why should I be discouraged when the referee has not blown the final whistle.

    Life is like a game….

    Why be discouraged, when there is still life.

    Why be discouraged when your final whistle has not sounded.

    The truth is that many people blow the final whistle themselves….

    But as long as there is life, nothing is impossible and it is never too late for you.

    Half time is not full time….. 

    Don’t blow the whistle yourself…..

  • Nitram

    John L

    Many a true word said in jest.