Thursday 20 February 2014

Keep the faith in Ozil

I had to laugh when I read The Sun's match ratings this morning. Rosicky got a 5/10 but 'gave Arsenal better ball retention'. Who writes this drivel? Why give him a 5 if he's so good at keeping the ball? Maybe it was a typo and 'better' meant 'worse'. Anyway, I'm not sure he gifted the opposition the ball in the same way as usual: he was too busy conceding unnecessary free kicks and nearly getting himself sent off in the process.
Judging by the 'Super Tom' chants, a lot of fans appreciate recklessness. That would make Szczesny even better in their eyes than he is. I just want him to stay on his line and err on the side of caution. That's what great keepers do. Instead he's rasher than streaky bacon. Until he learns that, he'll remain a good keeper, only a 'potential' great.
Why Wenger thinks Szczesny's intention to play the ball makes any difference is hard to fathom. Our keeper felled Robben, so a penalty and a red card is the punishment. End of story.
The only plus to come out of this game was Yaya Sanogo. Another good performance from the youngster.
So what about the negatives? Wenger's strict adherence to the 70th minute substitution meant there was no way back once we fell behind.
Ozil looks drained of confidence after his penalty miss, although he started brightly and won the penalty with a perfectly executed Cruyff turn. Michael Ballack thinks Ozil's teammates do not accept him. The ex-Chelsea man may have a point. Ozil's always getting berated. Flamini - a future captain, according to Ian Wright - was at it this time. I think we're going to have to treat Ozil with kid gloves or let him go. Constant nagging will not improve him. I'm worried that teammates are jealous of the money Ozil's on. I hope not. They have to accept, he's our star player, even when he's not at his best. We must all keep the faith in his ability or we'll never see the best of him.

Sent from my iPhone

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