89% Pass Accuracy, 20 Chances Created: Is This Arsenal Star Back To His Very Best?

Arsenal head into their Saturday afternoon clash against Chelsea safe in their mind that they have a rejuvenated, perhaps not yet resurgent, Mesut Ozil among their ranks. It might even be fair to say relieved.

Ever since he arrived in North London, the diminutive German has been perennially under the microscope for the fee shelled out by the usually attritional Arsene Wenger to get him. While he’d been far from a disappointment, he had also been far from the player Cristiano Ronaldo was angry with Madrid for selling. Often pushed out on the left wing to adjust Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla in the eleven, he performed more admirably than given credit for.

A contribution of 146 scoring chances in his first two seasons is far from pedestrian, except that the imposing master craftsman from Madrid was seen only on isolated occasions, switching on and off during different phases of the season, fleeting in and out, leaving the fans yearning for more.

Coming back from a lengthy injury layoff at the start of this year, however, Ozil has been playing far more confident, working in tandem with Cazorla, dictating the tempo of the games. Having missed the last FA Cup final, he more than made up for it in the latest edition with a commanding performance, exuding the élan and poise he’s lauded for.  A move to his preferred  No.10 role probably helped, which now allows him to move freely in the centre of the park, work off Cazorla, creating space for and feed either of Giroud, Walcott or Welbeck. The stats show the upturn in his form, as he’s created 76 chances in 2015-more than anyone in Europe, with 20 chances created in the present season itself, with the delightful lob for Walcott’s goal against Stoke the icing on the cake.

He still can switch off at times while coming up against stringent man-marking, as happened against West Ham where Reece Oxford managed to keep him quite and this was repeated against Crystal Palace as well. Sterner tests clearly await against defenders of better pedigree than Marc Muniesa and Pape Souare, as Arsenal play Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United and Bayern Munich in the next 35 days and Ozil will have his tasks cut out.

Wenger said at the start of the season he expects Ozil to have his best campaign for the Gunners and he will be praying on it for if Arsenal are to finally pose a serious challenge for the league title and progress atleast to the quarter finals in Europe, Ozil will have to be on top of his game. The signs are clearly encouraging as he finally looks like settling down in England, proving the skeptics wrong and delivering on a consistent basis.

Stats via squawka.com


Written by SoccerSouls

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