It isn’t just Mesut’s fault, is it?
The North London squad needed a flawless performance, a swift blow to the current champions and not to concede any goal… but things turned out to be quite different at the Emirates Stadium.
An injured player, a goalie with a red card and two goals against… not to mention a missed penalty, that’s what the clash against Bayern München left for Arsenal, along with serious questions about the future in both, the Champions and the Premier leagues.
Some people seem to be eager to blame Mesut Özil for the team’s poor performance; some of them have got carried away by doing so:
Öh Mesut! Öh Arsenal! Öh umlauts! They were once every tragic poseur’s must-have diacritic – you were nothing without those special two dots above every vowel in your Twitter user handle. And now? No one wants to be seen dead with one…
Mesut Özil, though. The man appears to be on a one-man mission to destroy the very concept of the umlaut. That really was quite the feeble performance from the German in Arsenal’s 2-0 Big Cup defeat to Bayern Munich last night. It started with an early penalty that was so tame he might as well have picked up the ball, placed it atop a velvet cushion and then deferentially handed it to Manuel Neuer, before offering to do the Bayern keeper’s household chores for free over the next 10 years. And, er, that was it. As soon as the penalty was saved, Özil cleverly eluded the Bayern midfield by letting the Emirates pitch swallow him whole there and then, thereby allowing him to disappear from view for the next 80 minutes. That’s the kind of quick-thinking and deceptive movement £42.5m buys. The Fiver.
Mesut’s display was far from brilliant indeed but then again, so it was his teammates’ except for Fabiański who saved the Gooners from an even more sensational defeat. Wenger, apparently used to the silverware drought was left with little space to move and summed up the night with the following comment:
We were down to ten men and lost another to injury which made it hard to make any changes. It was a difficult night but the team showed a lot of class. However, the bottom line is we still lost. Arsène Wenger.
In the end I do not think Özil is to blame for the situation alone. He should’ve scored, granted, but Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain should’ve been more assertive and should’ve taken control of the sinking ship before it was too late. Now they ought to get over this painful defeat at home and focus on the next fixture against Sunderland. A good position in the Barclays Premier League might boost their spirits ahead of the game in München, to be held in March 11th.
February 19th, 2014.