Arsenal’s stuttering season came to an abject end in Baku and, perhaps more importantly, Gunners fans may have seen the last of the misfiring Fortnite addict, Mesut Ozil.
Ozil wore his cloak of invisibility yet again, allowing Xhaka to play the role of playmaker. The Switzerland international has risen to the occasion on numerous occasions, while Ozil still fails to turn up.
Ozil dawdled off the pitch to be substituted, when Arsenal needed to desperately find three goals from somewhere. Perhaps on such a fat salary, Ozil has little understanding of desperation. As has been remarked elsewhere, the German has an alarming lack of fighting spirit, which makes him more of a liability than an asset. For that reason, many think Arsenal should subsidise a move elsewhere for the flaky one, who might put in an invisible shift elsewhere.
Ozil, on his day, can play. There’s no doubt about that. However, his ‘days’ and so few and far between that there doesn’t seem much point in persevering with him.
I’ll be extremely surprised if Arsenal find any takers in the transfer market for him and you have to question why Arsenal broke the bank to keep this primadonna at the club.
On the plus side, at least Joe Willock did a good job, once he came on. I’ve not been the 19-year-old’s greatest fan, but the kid put a shift in and went close to scoring. His performance impressed me.
Aside from Willock and Xhaka, though, who played well? Sokratis looked solid in a defence that looked more porous than a colander. Iwobi scored one of the best goals ever seen in an Arsenal final and didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.
The rest of the team were pretty awful, to be honest. At least, Torreira seemed to care, crying tears after his withdrawal.
However, the changes were too late. Emery usually is quick to react to what’s going on, but on this occasion he was guilty of ignoring Chelsea’s dominance.
Even at 0-0, it was obvious Chelsea were going to score. I wonder how Giroud’s detractors feel now, after seeing the much-maligned striker head an unstoppable effort past Cech to open the scoring.
It got worse, when Giroud was bundled over by Sublime-Ridiculous, who was playing more like the second half of his double-barreled name than the first. At least S-R has time to become more sublime, so he’s not about to written off like Ozil and perhaps some other first-teamers.
On that note, Lacazette has been spotted in Barcelona, so don’t be surprised if he moves on. The Arsenal player of the year is one of the few with a significant resale value.
As we know, Arsenal’s finances are in a mess. Most promoted clubs have a bigger transfer budget than the Gunners. It makes you wonder if the club’s previous parsimonious transfer windows should be blamed on Wenger after all.
On thing’s for sure: whoever bankrolled Ozil should be ousted from the club if they haven’t left already.
One man who shouldn’t leave is Emery. It’s true, the Spaniard is no defensive expert. Nevertheless, the fans want attacking football. Therefore, Emery should stay put; he’s an improvement on Wenger.
After the 4-1 humiliation,
it’s hard to be positive, but after plumbing the depths perhaps scaling the heights is in sight. The young players will certainly benefit from the chastening experience.
If the board can invest more than £40m, Emery can get the team into the top four next season. Without sufficient investment, Arsenal risk yet another ignominious season.