Tag Archives: Mesut Özil

Leicester City star “unsuitable” to replace Mesut Ozil at Arsenal

James Maddison has been singled out by many as a long term Mesut Ozil replacement.

The Leicester City midfielder has had a good first season in the Premier League and is clearly a talent.

I first noticed him when playing for Coventry. I remember the commentary during a game that he had an unusual method in taking penalties and free kicks – striking the ball with the back of the inside of his foot to generate more power.

He then joined Norwich before signing for Leicester City in the summer of 2018 for around £20million.

Just 22-years-old, Maddison has a bright future in both the Premier League and for England. However a replacement for Mesut Ozil he is not.

A lot of people have jumped all over the “chances created” statistic to highlight that he would make an ideal replacement for Ozil as Arsenal’s creator in chief. The problem is “chances created” is flawed.

Back in 2011 Liverpool  had a team that was struggling to create chances and score goals. The season before they scored just 59 goals. They went out into the market and recruited midfielder who, in 2010/11, had created a lot of chances. This led them to sign Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing.

On paper it looked a smart decision. They were adding 3 different style of players who all create a high number of chances. What they ignored, however, was that all 3 of those players were corner takers.

The problem with “chances created” as a raw statistic is it includes chances created from corners and free kicks. This means that a player who takes a corner has more of a chance of creating a chance than a player who does not.

Corner taken, header over the bar, “chance created.”

The problem Liverpool faced was that they have signed 3 corner takers, yet Steven Gerrard took all the corners. This resulted in no more chances created from open play and their goals scored dropped to just 47.

Whilst statistics are important, it is even more important that they are analysed correctly. By looking at chances created, Liverpool spent a lot of money on corner takers and it backfired.

Likewise this summer if you Arsenal were looking at a goal scoring midfielder to replace Aaron Ramsey, the dimpliest way to do it would be to just search “goals scored by midfielders.”

Coming out top is Paul Pogba with 13 Premier League goals from midfield. In second is Luka Milivojevic of Crystal Palace with 12. On paper, both would look like good options as goal scoring midfielders.

Yet 7 of Pogba’s 13 Premier League goals came from the penalty spot. And 10 of Milivojevic’s were penalties.

The less educated with think “Pogba has had a brilliant goal scoring season” yet he has scored the same amount of goals from open play in the league as Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Milivojevic would clearly not be a goal scoring midfielder if it was not for penalties.

So let’s go back to James Maddison.

He has created 100 chances in the Premier League this season, but he has taken 163 corners – the Premier League leader. Compare this to Mesut Ozil who has taken just 38 corners.

After corners, the second easiest way to “stat pad” the chances created statistic is through crosses.

Like with a corner, you swing in enough crosses over the course of the season, your chances create will go up.

Swing in corner + header off target = chance created.

James Maddison is 5th when it comes to “attempted crosses” in the Premier League with 205.

So he has taken 163 corners and crossed the ball 205 times. Those two put together give him 100 chances created.

Mesut Ozil does not take corners and rarely crosses the ball – just 42 crosses this season.

Combining the statistics; Maddison has swung 368 balls into the box from corners and crosses. Ozil just 80 balls slung into the box.

The types of chances both create are very different.

Maddison’s are very basic. Balls into the box giving a striker a headed chance – and a low chance of scoring. Ozil’s are more complex. Inch perfect passes from open play that lead to a better chance for a striker to score.

The way Arsenal play, the midfielders job is not to put crosses in. That is the job of the full backs. Were Maddison to join Arsenal, he would find that route to chances create dry up as he has to adapt to a different style of play.

Whilst in Maddison Arsenal would be recruiting a good corner taker, it is not taking corners that Arsenal would need to replace in Mesut Ozil. It is chances created from open play.

In summary, Maddison creates a lot of chances from corners or from out wide. What we need when looking for an Ozil replacement is someone who creates chances from the middle of the park.


Mesut Ozil: 5 Best Moments as a Gunner

The 2018-19 Premier League season hasn’t been kind to Mesut. The creative midfielder has rarely featured in the Premier League. Ozil is on pace to provide his fewest number of assists as a Gunner in the league this term. His previous low came in 2014-15 when he tallied six. This term, Ozil has just one assist in 14 Premier League appearances, which is far from his usual performance wearing an Arsenal shirt.

He has missed a lot of the season due to injury. Even when fit, manager Unai Emery has left him on the bench on occasions. Ozil has been challenged by Emery to prove he deserves a place in the team. The 30-year-old may be struggling through the Premier League season, but there is no doubt he has had some memorable moments as a Gunner since arriving in 2013.

  1. Free kick vs. Liverpool

Arsenal were humiliated against Liverpool 4-0 at Anfield in August 2017 and Ozil was heavily criticised for his poor play against the Reds. Four months later, the two teams met at the Emirates with Ozil putting in a classic performance. The next time Ozil takes the pitch, this website will give supporters the chance to back their team. The German inspired an Arsenal comeback and his classy free-kick gave the Gunners a 58th minute lead. The goal reminded football fans of Ozil’s quality.

  1. Volley goal vs. Newcastle

Arsenal met Newcastle at the Emirates just before Christmas 2017. The Gunners picked up a 1-0 victory thanks to Ozil’s 23rd minute volley. The midfielder perfectly tracked a poor clearance from Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot as he backpedaled inside the 18-yard box. Ozil then rifled a brilliant left-footed volley into the Newcastle goal. Arsenal fans can visit https://williamcode.co.uk/ ahead of each Gunners’ game, to benefit from exclusive offers, to wager on the goal-scoring ability of their favourite players.

  1. First goal vs. Napoli

Ozil’s first goal was a thing of Arsenal beauty. It was classic Gunners under the management of Arsene Wenger. Flowing, perfect passing finished off by a goal provided by the entire team. The strike came against Napoli in the 2013-14 Champions League group stage. Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina had no chance of stopping the well-placed strike as Ozil finished off a finally weighed pass.

  1. 2015-16 Assist King

The one thing Arsenal supporters will always remember Ozil for is his ability to create goals. The 2015-16 Premier League season saw Ozil at his creative best. The midfielder tallied 19 assists to lead the league. It was a fantastic return for the German as he was the catalyst to all of Arsenal’s goalscoring during the season.

  1. FA Cup Glory

Since arriving at the Emirates in 2013, Ozil has helped the Gunners win three FA Cup trophies. The first came in his debut season for Arsenal and the second came 12 months later. Those first two FA Cup tournaments saw Ozil play a combined 10 times scoring twice and adding four assists. Arsenal collected a third FA Cup in 2016-17. Although Ozil only played three times as the Gunners took the trophy, he still added a key assist to lead them to the cup final. The German has been at the heart of Arsenal’s most recent success and will go down as an unforgettable part to those teams.


Match Report: Arsenal 5 – 1 Bournemouth

Arsenal (2) 5 AFC Bournemouth (1) 1
Premier League
Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park, London N5 1BU
Wednesday, 27th January 2019. Kick-off time: 7.45pm

(4-2-3-1) Leno; Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal, Jenkinson; Guendouzi, Torreira; Kolašinac, Mkhitaryan, Özil; Aubameyang.
Substitutes: Čech, Elneny, Ramsey, Lacazette, Iwobi, Mustafi, Suárez.
Scorers: Özil, Mkhitaryan, Koscielny, Aubameyang, Lacazette
Yellow Card: Sokratis, Torreira
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Attendance: 59,618

At the end of the day, it was purely down to five goals from five different goalscorers, and a performance that truly showed Arsenal’s class at last in the Premiership. Despite the last few matches in which we looked anything but top four contenders at times, tonight’s performance was absolutely sublime; and this was down to the enigmatic and controversial figure of Mesut Özil.

Okay, it would be easy for the nay-sayers to state that “it was only Bournemouth” and “what else do you expect?” but the bottom line of it all was that Arsenal found their inner beast here at The Emirates tonight, and for once they were single-minded in their approach and ruthless in the delivery of their victory. Right from the fourth minute, when Mesut Özil scored, it looked the match that it really became, where there was only one team on the pitch tonight.

Mesut Özil’s silky skills shone through silver and gold throughout the proceedings, and the second goal, which came after 27 minutes showed his dominance and influence on the pitch. Henrikh Mkhitaryan passed the ball to Mesut Özil who quickly slotted it back to him and of course our Armenian striker wasted no time in scoring Arsenal’s second of the night. Three minutes later, Arsenal hearts were a-flutter in the stadium when the visitors got a goal back through Lys Mousset who scored with a simple tap-in, but really there was no need for panic to set in. For the rest of the half, Arsenal were solid, yet still created chances to score, and despite one or two scares, we went into the break on the ascendancy.

A couple of minutes into the new half, Arsenal were three goals to the good when Laurent Koscielny scored off a post, and although Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang drove the ball home to make sure, the tech results proved beyond doubt that it was the captain’s goal all the way. And still Bournemouth had their chances with a Dan Gosling shot striking the crossbar, and Bernd Leno making an athletic save, but all in all our luck held and our night was not to be ruined. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang showed supreme confidence when he run onto a Henrikh Mkhitaryan pass and simply went past the Cherries’ goalkeeper and placed the ball into the net for the fourth goal, and twelve minutes from time, the substitute striker Alexandre Lacazette was the fifth and final Arsenal player to get onto the score-sheet tonight with the winning goal from a firmly-taken free-kick. Arsenal 5, AFC Bournemouth 1. A scoreline that brings back confidence to a sometimes lacklustre team and a warning shot across Tottenham Hotspur’s bows for the North London derby at Wembley Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.

Mr. Emery’s tactics tonight were absolutely spot-on; he saw the challenge of Bournemouth, rose to it, met it and summarily destroyed it. Arsenal are now fourth in the Premiership and at this stage in the season, it is vitally important for us to retain the momentum and keep going and maintain the boiling pot at all costs. Whether this team will be same one that starts on Saturday is open to conjecture, but with three important matches coming up in the next eleven days against Tottenham Hotspur, Rennes (in the Europa Cup) and Manchester United, the pressure is truly on. Keep going lads, you’re looking good; don’t let it slip.  Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as these early days are going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Victoria Concordia Crescit.


Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.