Mesut Ozil, the 24-year-old German international, marked his debut for Arsenal today with an assist, and beautiful link up play with his new teammates. If today was a sign of things to come for Arsenal, Gooners fans should feel very optimistic about Arsenals trophy chances this season. lime first touch and pass, led to his assist on a goal for Olivier Giroud in the 12th minute. Ozil, after controlling a long floated pass from Kieran Gibbs, slid a perfect pass to the oncoming Frenchman Giroud. He later found a streaking Theo Walcott with another fantastic pass; unfortunately, Walcott was unable to find the back of the net. In the 76th minute, with Arsenal leading 2-1, and needing one more goal to put the game to bed, flashes of the old Arsenal was on full display. Aaron Ramsey passed the ball to Ozil right outside of the penalty box, Ramsey continued his run into the box, Ozil then passed the ball to Olivier Giroud, who then found Ramsey at the end of his run for Arsenal’s third goal. The triangle passing sequence, the lovely one touch passing, Ramsey’s finish, is what the Gunners were known for during the “Invincibles” era.
Here are some stats for Ozil’s debut: three scoring chances created, one assist; 71/79 passes completed – 90%; 34/38 passes in the final 3rd – 89% accurate. Wait until he gets settled to the fast pace game in England, and gets all the injured Arsenal players back healthy. Ozil has already begun making his imprint on this Arsenal team. The passing in the first was crisp, Arsenal was finding open lanes, moving well off the ball, and making the intricate passes that Arsenal have always been known for. The entire team was involved through out the game.
Matthieu Flamini was disruptive in the holding midfield position. Wilshire was playing in his usual tenacious box-to-box midfielder position. Although Wilshire did not have his best game, he was hungry throughout the contest and trying to make things happen. The make-shift defense, missing the big German international Per Mertasacker, did relatively will; although Laurent Koscielny gave up an unnecessary penalty. Arsenal fans voiced their frustrations throughout the transfer window due to the lack of signings, yet Arsenal has a very good squad. There is strong core of young English players, and when the squad becomes healthy, they should be able to make some noise; but the Ozil signing was exactly what Arsenal needed.
Today, Arsenal was missing internationals like Tomas Rosicky, Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Mikael Arteta; even with the squad so thin you were able to see the class in the side. It was good to see Thomas Vermaelean make an appearance; he will add depth to the Arsenal bench. And lastly, Aaron Ramsey is making a case for Arsenal’s best player so far this term. I’m not going to just throw out terms like “World Class” and “Best holding midfielder” just yet, but if he continues his current form, look out.
Arsenal still has plenty of work to do in the defensive half of the field. The second half of the Sunderland game started off shaky for Arsenal. Jozy Altidore and Adam Johnson began asking questions of Arsenals defense; the team looked a little rattled, but they eventually settled in and Ramsey’s first goal eased pressure a bit, and his third goal put the game to bed. This may be the start of another revolution under Arsene Wenger. Wenger once put together the legendary “Invincibles” team that went unbeaten in 49 straight games. This team is nowhere near that yet, but with Ozil, Arsenal has its star signing to help bring in other big name stars. Talk of winning the league is very premature, but regardless, as a Gooners fan, this season is going to be fun to watch.