Tag Archives: Mesut Özil

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.


Mesut Ozil to follow Ramsey out of The Arsenal?

The not so secret  big news broke yesterday that Aaron Ramsey is departing at the end of the season for Juventus.

Ramsey is reportedly getting a bumper wage of anything from £250,000-400,000 a week depending on who you wish to believe and if that’s before or after tax. Either way its a shedoad of money. That not only sets him up royally for life it also sets his kids and grandkids up, so fair play to him for that.

Ramsey’s agents have played a blinder. The final contract from The Arsenal was taken off the table a few months ago after over 18moths of negioations. It was very clear that Ramsey had no intentions of signing the contract, despite having “agreed” it.  I dont really blame him when you look at what Mesut Ozil is getting. The rumoured £200k deal is a lot less than he has ended up getting at Juventus.

For Juventus it’s a no-brainer, they are getting a great player for a max of £20m a season including his wages, its like they signed a £60m player paying him £200k a week, something The Arsenal will have to be looking to do this summer if we want to challenge higher up the table next season. There was no way in the world we could’ve matched the money Juventus are paying out.

Emery clearly has a way of playing in his mind and the type of players he needs. Some thought it would often be a choice of Ramsey or Ozil as the false number 10 this season, but often Emery has dropped both even when fully fit.

It seems the decision to either get Ramsey on a wage that wouldn’t slaughter our already too high wage bill or let him go was taken. I wouldn’t be shocked to see more stories about Ozil leaving to a number of sides in the gutter press and click bait junkies from now until the end of the season.

The sad truth is we need to lower the wage bill to rebuild and Ozil is not worth his huge £350k wages. He has recently crossed a barrier meaning he has missed more games than he has played at The Arsenal.

Right now I wouldn’t give Ozil a monkey a week and all the flat whites he can drink, let alone almost the price of a nice 2 bed flat in Islington per week.

If Emery does not fancy Ozil, we need to get shot and use his wages elsewhere. The £18.2m a year tied up in him could finance a deal for a £50m signing; paying £157k a week. Our outgoings would be the same but emery would be able to recruit someone more suitable to his system.

The rules on increased wages is a burden to us right now. We are miles ahead of the FFP rules and will be further in front come the new commercial deals this summer – which will increase club income by over £40million a year.

We have plenty of cash in the bank and this is before the Champions League places are sorted for next season. But the rule stating that wage costs can only increase by £7m a year will hinder Emery’s plans.

Arsenal are able to get around this rule if they show where additional income came from – and we did in 2017/18 increase the wage bill by £24million. However, the club’s latest financial figures showed the club’s revenue was down more than £40m to £388.2m for the year ending May 31, 2018.

For this season, revenue is likely to remain the same or show another slight drop. It would have been hard for the club to justify a wage increase above £7m this season taking into account the lack of player sales.

With Petr Cech hanging up his hat and Ramsey leaving, Arsenal will also release Danny Welbeck and Stephan Lichsteiner this summer. That will free up around £400,000 in weekly wages – or £20m a year. You add the £7m we can increase under FFP and we are talking about over £500,000 in freed up wages.

That should be more than enough to purchase the central defender, left back, winger and central midfielder (Ramsey replacement) we need.

If we can get all or part of Ozils wages off the books then it really does open things up for Emery to get in more of his players and hopefully a few fit defenders.

As for Ramsey I guess if you call him a legend or not is up to you. A bit like labelling a player “world class” it is subjective. There is no set criteria.

He came back from a very bad leg break, he scored 2 FA Cup winning goals, has been a model pro and father on and off the pitch. Him going over to the Cardiff fans recently shows he’s not forgotten his roots and he is clearly a proud Welshmen.

Will he be missed and still loved as much as when Brady moved to Juventus? Probably not. But fair play to him he is moving abroad and to one of the games greatest ever clubs.

If we play Juventus I would certainly afford him a clap onto and off the pitch, whilst hoping he has a stinker for 90mins.

Hopefully next season when we are in the Champions League, Matteo Guendouzi does to Ramsey what Cesc Fabregas did to Patrick Vieira in 2005.

Ramsey has had 11 years playing for The Arsenal, something we would all sell our Nan’s to do. A lot more have done a lot less for the club and got more credit. I am very sure he will do his best, when picked for the rest of the season. In a game of ego’s and selfish players,  he has kept his head down during his career, not courted limelight or controversy, and is one of life’s gentlemen.

Good luck Ramsey.


Arsenal’s new assist king makes case for new contract

During the Bournemouth v Liverpool game, a statistic flashed across the screen. It was the “deadliest duo” one that Sky Sports invented. They try and show which two players have been involved in the most goals with each other (ie assist and goal scorer).

Arsenal’s deadliest duo was Aaron Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

I was not surprised by the presence of Aubameyang, who has been on fire this season. It was Aaron Ramsey that surprised me.

Ramsey has hardly played in the Premier League this season. His start against Manchester United was his first in the Premier League since September. He ha started just 7 of 16 games – playing just 656 minutes in total.

Compare this to (the currently “injured”) Mesut Ozil.

The German has started 10 games, and played 825 minutes in the Premier League. It is clear who Unai Emery thinks is his first choice number 10.

It was announced recently that Arsenal would not be renewing Ramsey’s contract. Fans were split on the decision but the majority agreed that is made sense. The feeling was that Ramsey did not fit into Unai Emery’s system. That Ozil, the assist king, was more suitable. I agreed with that.

But often your eyes and mind deceive you, and when you look at the statistics, they tell a different story.

With 6 assists this season, it is Ramsey who is the clubs top creator in the Premier League – not Ozil. In fact, when you compare Ramsey to Ozil in assists, passes completed and chances created, it is the Welshman who comes out on top overall.

Is the real truth that Ramsey actually fits into Emery’s system better than Mesut Ozil? And that he has over taken the German as Arsenal’s main creative force?

Taking into account that Ramsey also has a higher work rate, is better at pressing, and is a bigger goal threat than Mesut Ozil, it is quite easy to make a case that it should be Rambo staying at Arsenal, not Ozil.

Would I be too upset if Arsenal cashed in on Ozil in January (rumours of Inter Milan offering £25million to arsenal) and gave Ramsey a new contract? No.

Would I be upset if Arsenal kept them both? No.

Ramsey is making a case not only to get a new contract at Arsenal, but to be first choice number 10.

It certainly raises the valid point that Arsenal need to revisit Ramsey’s contract…