Throwing shade on Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil has become the number one form of release for the large tranche of football pundits, both amateur and professional of late.
However, whether it’s Mo from the office or Robbie Savage doing the bagging, it’s difficult to deny that the much-maligned creative played an important role in the Gunners’ 3-0 victory over Aston Villa.
Ozil latched onto a Danny Welbeck assist to open the scoring at Villa Park with consummate ease, making light of an opportunity that was harder than he made it seem.
The German then turned provider for his provider, serving up an unmissable opportunity for the former Manchester United man’s first Arsenal strike.
It may have been coincidence (it wasn’t), but it was the first time this term that Ozil was employed in the number ten role in which he has made his name.
Previous appearances for the north Londoners since the 25-year-old’s belated return from the World Cup have seen him fill the wide-left position that has become his regular station in a congested attack and even right-midfield.
Given the amount of grief their record signing is receiving and the demoralising effects it clearly seems to be having upon the lad (he barely looked relieved to net in the second city) it seems bizarre that it has taken this long to make the switch.
The 4-1-4-1 Arsene Wenger had used up until the Villa game is seemingly designed with other players in mind, whereas playing centrally in the attacking band of three of a 4-2-3-1 suits Ozil down to the ground.
It’s a fairly simple recipe, to get the best out of a number ten who created more assists than any other player in Europe over the four seasons preceding his Emirates switch deploy him as a number ten.
Ozil and friends are 11/5 favourites to beat Tottenham to nil for the fourth north London derby in succession in the sides’ next Premier League action.