Mesut Ozil Has Crossed His Last Arsenal Barrier

By Ronnie Macdonald from Chelmsford, United Kingdom (Mesut Özil Uploaded by Dudek1337) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Ronnie Macdonald from Chelmsford, United Kingdom (Mesut Özil Uploaded by Dudek1337) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons /

Mesut Ozil just completed the best performance of his Arsenal career and it made us realize that he has crossed his final barrier in North London in the process.

After getting absolutely embarrassed by Southampton, Arsenal had a lot of work to do to be ready to rebound against Bournemouth a mere 48 hours later. Everyone on the team was exhausted, squad rotation was going to be necessary and despite Arsenal historically playing well when backed into a corner, there were doubts over whether or not they would be able to bounce back.

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Well, they bounced back in tremendous fashion, taking the Cherries down by a very controlled 2-0 score line. Without a doubt the catalyst behind the performance was Mesut Ozil. His stats were ridiculous. One goal, one assist, nine key passes, 95% pass completion, 11 crosses and two tackles for good measure. Those are world class numbers, without a shadow of a doubt.

What made this performance even more remarkable was that it was the first time we had seen Mesut Ozil rebound so forcefully during his time at Arsenal. In his troubled past two seasons, Ozil was a bit of an enigma. He would have good games and bad games. Only his bad games would usually lead to more bad games. It was like a mental pit he would get stuck in.

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What we saw him do against Bournebouth was proof that the Mesut Ozil that struggled at Arsenal is gone for good. Against Southampton, Ozil was essentially humiliated by Victor Wanyama, who rendered him useless. The frustration on his face was palpable. That was a major concern going into Bournemouth. Another major concern was the fact that Ozil had never been a workhorse like Aaron Ramsey. Two games in three days? That did not seem like something Ozil would be able to cope with.

Mesut Ozil’s game against Bournemouth was kind of like an epiphany. Anything that had ever held him back at Arsenal was officially torn to shreds. What remained was a pure, bonafide, world-class midfielder. Players bounce back all the time. It’s part of the game. But we have never seen Mesut Ozil mentally push himself to bounce back the way that he did. What he did against Bournemouth was a direct reaction to what happened against Southampton. That is not something that Ozil of the past would have been capable of.

You can say that the opposition was Bournemouth and that Ozil was going to dominate them all along, but look at what he did. This was no ordinary match. Everything was stacked against Ozil, everything that had ever held him back – lacking momentum, exhaustion, frustration – and yet he came back with the greatest performance of his Arsenal career. Nine key passes, 11 crosses, a goal and an assist, plus playing the full 90? This is a different Mesut Ozil. And that all officially came to light against Bournemouth.

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The last question anyone could have had about Ozil was if he can rebound; if he can mentally turn the tide of his own momentum. This year is a poor judge of that because he has been class all year, but last year he showed tendencies to let the bad get worse.

Not anymore.