Arsenal’s attacking midfielder, the Spanish international Santi Cazorla, is known for his enthusiasm and looseness. On the pitch he is not shy to make the right move, but did he made the right move by raving about Mesut Ozil in an interview with the Guardian?
Santi said about signing Ozil:
“I was like a little kid. A great player’s coming and one you know you’re going to fit with, enjoy playing with. I was a fan, looking forward to it.”
“You think, ‘How are Madrid going to let Mesut go?’ It's puzzling. He’s one of the best in the world […]. We were talking about it [and] then one day the manager said: ‘We’ve signed Mesut.’ And the happiness was immense,” the 28-year-old told and continued:
“He can seem intermittent but when he has the ball he’s different. You get that feeling something’s going to happen. It’s palpable. He has huge quality […].”
His comments fit the bill. Not long ago he said something similar:
“He is something different, because he is pure talent, his has magic. It seems that he can change a game with a control, a single pass.”
He obviously can’t throw his teammate under the bus but a little bit understatement could have helped. Cazorla’s praises only creates more drop height and gives the media more room for criticism.
Sure the German international is more often than not the best man on the field. But that could change from time to time.
“The loss of Reus, Gotze or possibly even a Ozil would be bad, but still nothing fundamentally shocking for World Cup expectations.”
Khedira is one of a kind, the journalist continued. Is he right? Maybe Ozil is not that exceptional.
The midfielder, who was born in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, showed in both Champions League matches against Dortmund, where he seemed lost on the pitch, and against United how a downfall could look like - and he did not escape criticism for it.
Two objections may be: Ozil suffered an illness at the most recent game and Dortmund did a really good job keeping Ozil quiet in both games (He completed just 71% of his passes in Dortmund’s home game).
However Mesut Ozil still leads Arsenal, alongside Aaron Ramsey and Oliver Giroud, with assists (4) and has one of the better pass success percentage (86.3 %).
But Arsenal may care to think carefully as they go forward in placing too much pressure and expectation on the German, for his own good.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald