Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Russia 2018, Week 2 – Arsenal player review

A mixed bag for the Gunners in Russia. Elation for Granit, sadness for Mo and a fair amount of time warming the bench for the others.

Here’s out latest round-up of the action.


Mohamed Elneny
Russia (3-1) Egypt
Tuesday 19 June

Despite a bright first half, Egypt’s World Cup hopes were killed off by a ruthless Russia in St Petersburg. A horrible own goal by Ahmed Fathi put the hosts ahead and they never looked back. Elneny only attempted 23 passes all game, of which 19 were successful. The Pharaohs next play Saudi Arabia in what’s now a dead rubber.

Alex Iwobi
Nigeria (2-0) Iceland
Friday 22 June

Ahmed Musa’s superb brace helped Nigeria to a much-needed win that leaves Group D intriguingly posed ahead of Tuesday’s final round of fixtures. Iwobi, who started the first game, came on as a late substitute.

Joel Campbell
Brazil (2-0) Costa Rica
Friday 22 June

Joel Campbell was an unused substitute as Costa Rica came desperately close to a draw with Brazil. Philippe Coutinho broke the deadlock and the hearts of the minnows in the 91st minute before Neymar, who’d earlier had a penalty overturned for diving, wrapped things up deep into stoppage time.

Mesut Ozil
(2-1) Sweden
Saturday 23 June

Mesut Ozil was left out of a major tournament starting lineup by Joachim Loew for the first time in 26 games. The Swedes were good value for their half time lead but couldn’t hold on to their advantage after the break as Marco Reus and a Toni Kroos stoppage-time free-kick brought the Germans back from the brink of elimination.

Stephan Lichtsteiner & Granit Xhaka

Serbia (1-2) Switzerland
Friday 22 June

Granit Xhaka scored a trademarked thunderbolt as Switzerland came from behind to seal an impressive 2-1 win over Serbia. The Arsenal man smashed home from the edge of the box on 52 minutes to level and Xherdan Shaqiri netted a winner in stoppage time. Both players celebrated their goals by using their hands to imitate the eagle on the Albanian flag – a tribute to their Kosovan Albanian heritage – but it could now lead to a two-game ban if FIFA, who are investigating the gesture, deem it politically motivated. Stephan Lichtsteiner, who has no Albanian blood, also got involved and is also under investigation.

Danny Welbeck
(6-1) Panama
Sunday 24 June

Danny was an unused substitute as England strolled to victory over Panama. Ex-Arsenal striker Harry Kane netted a hat-trick, John Stones helped himself to a brace and Jesse Lingard curled in another on a comfortable afternoon for Gareth Southgate’s men. They face Belgium on Thursday to decide who tops the group.

David Ospina
Poland (0-3) Colombia
Sunday 24 June

David Ospina did what David Ospina does. On three separate occasions, the keeper required medical attention and in between, he made a few decent stops. Radamal Falcao scored his first World Cup goal as the Colombians, who’d lost their opening game to Japan, bounced back in style against Wojciech Szczesny’s countrymen.

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A Different George

Well, I think Ospina did a bit better than “a few decent stops;” very good goalkeeping and, of course, he needs to rest after each of those exertions. Also, continuing my razor-sharp analysis, James Rodriguez is very good at football.


Ospina is actually made of porcelain, fortunately the oddity of his biological makeup is matched only by his superhuman healing capabilities


There’s an interesting story about Emery and Reyes

Emery may well need to have a similar conversation with Mesut Ozil.
If someone is willing to give us any money? And take him off our wage-bill?
I’d be inclined to sell him, unfortunately it looks like we’ve made him the league’s best paid player?despite him being nowhere near the league’s best player, his reputation is currently in tatters.
Putting together a balanced team will be Emery’s biggest challenge., if Emery can’t reinvent Ozil? Then we may well have the league’s most expensive substitute on our hands


It worked for Real Madrid. I jest. There’s clearly a huge difference in output between bale and ozil at the moment (never thought id see that). I thought ozil should go in January, I believe he was paid what he was asked for as part of project get the fans back onside once it became apparently nobody wanted him. I now think we’re likely stuck with him until his contract is up. My big hope is that he was caught up in wengers seeming inability to inprove players in recent years and new ideas will bring him back to his… Read more »


Ozil’s attitude stinks. He’s a lazy cnut and a playboy who probably couldn’t believe his luck when he signed for Arsenal. He’s picking up stupid money then deciding when he’ll play. Like Hantel, I think he’ll stay until his contract expires, costing us many millions. I’m so glad he’s been dropped by Germany. They should send him home.


He’s never been lazy and he will be back in the German team where he was their player of the year for 3 out of 4 years. He’ll play for us next season and continue to create chances and assists as he has always done.


he MIGHT get back in the german team, but only in games that don’t mean anything, and he MIGHT create chances and assists, but onlt a few


You really are a P.O.S.


Ozil’s best Arsenal form was when he had Cazorla playing behind him, but generally I’ve found Ozil’s 5 years at the club quite underwhelming.
Kovacic wants out of Madrid, would be a dream signing for us.


Has more assists and chances created than any other player by a mile. You don’t know class when you see it


whenever a ozil fan talks about ozil, they ALWAYS talk about his assits, because that’s ALL they can say anything good about him, well let me educate you, ASSISTS mean NOTHING, its only a statistic, it doesn,t tell you how well he played over all, an assist can come off someones backside, does that make him a great player, NO, so there you are ozil fans, just because you got caught up in some mass hysteria it doesn,t mean you cant change your mind, so open up your eyes and see the real ozil, then you might just change your… Read more »

Chippys chip

Its an absolute joke that he is the highest paid at the club. AND he is ineffective and uninterested for his country too hahaha

Mesut O'Neill

I think €300m is out of our price range


Kovacic: the new Morata

Prof Wenger to Emerytus

Who better than Emery can sell him to Qatar via PSG for good money for player and Arsenal ?

Faisal Narrage

Woah, I’m confused. I see you have more thumbs up than down for saying such things about Ozil.

I thought that wasn’t allowed? Personally I fully agree.


I’ve never quite understood the Ozil hype train…
He’s inconsistent and you pay a price collectively for his inclusion IMO
He can be a real joy to watch at times and is a supremely gifted footballer, but other than his honeymoon period and when he’s had Cazorla playing behind him he’s not produced consistently enough, and his numbers and overall influence certainly don’t warrant a free role and the problems his inclusion causes collectively.
Not a popular opinion…. but if Ozil doesn’t adapt? I think we’re stuck with a £45million 3yr problem.

Prof Wenger to Emerytus

Compared to Modric, I don’t think Real has any regrets. Compared to mythical No. 10, Zidane won a World Cup for France. Platini is the best free kick specialist in history, has been ballon d’or and received golden boot. He doesn’t have to be in Zidane, Platini bracket but must perform like Modric, Pavel Nedved and surpass Rakitic but that is not what is happening.


Oh dear. More rubbish from Rich and approved of by the Ozil haters. Of course hie his reputation is not in tatters. Like most of the German team he had a bad match but Low has said he needs the creativity of Ozil. There is no need for him to reinvent himself as he is a world class player and has shown it most of his time at Arsenal


oh dear, more rubbish from martin, ozil,s reputation has been in tatters for a while now, I thought it was ozil to be the creative one, low dropped him because he was fed up with ozil playing crap all the time, his replacement, REUS showed him how its done, scored a goal and got an assist aswell, ozil,s place might be lost for germany AND arsenal

A Different George

Yeah, once Ozil was dropped, Germany breezed through against Sweden (a side with nowhere near the pace or counter threat of Mexico; if there had been a justified penalty/red card against Boateng in the first half, they might have been out of the Cup by now).

I thought Ozil was both pretty crap and one of Germany’s best players against Mexico–much better than Mueller, for example (who, by the way, is also a world-class player).


I wouldn’t call breezed through, they barely escaped in the last minute of extra time.

A Different George

I was kinda being sarcastic.


I certainly don’t hate Ozil or think he’s lazy…. it’s just my opinion that unless he changes? Then he’s not worth accommodating, and the wages he’s on could be spent better elsewhere.
Like all the players who play for Arsenal he’ll have my unequivocal support and I’m certainly hoping he succeeds.
Also the transfer business we’re linked with suggests a different type of player.


I’d like to agree, but he is beginning to look like a player in decline.


maybe emery will give him this season to prove himself, if he don’t then maybe he will ship him out for whatever we can get for him, spain or Italy suits his style of play NOT the premier


Ship him out where? No bugger wants him, it’s not like Alexis with Utd & City after him. Maybe his mate ‘Erdogan’ will do a deal & take him to Turkey!


I guarantee if he was on the transfer list which he isn’t there would be many top clubs after him.


no they wouldn,t, madrid couldn,t wait to get rid of him

A Different George


Mesut O'Neill

Absolute bullshit. No one wanted him when he was free, so doubt anyone is going to pay for his services


ha, that’s true, because of his wages we are stuck with him


The Erdogan stunt – supporting a man who plans to abolish democracy in Turkey – completely changed my opinion of Özil. He can be as good as they come, but he denigrated the shirt. Sell him to FC Kandahar.


Ozil has proved himself every season he has played for us. It’s only biased haters like you that cannot see his amazing creativity and I’ve no doubt next season will be the same. He was badly missed in the last German match which Low has concede and the player who has been German player of the year for 3 of the last 4 years will get his rightful place back. I’ve never understood why he is constantly made the scapegoat but when I read the rubbish by fans like you and Rich I can see why. He’s a world class… Read more »


Hold a different opinion to Martin?…..
And it makes you a biased hater….
Rather than someone with a different viewpoint of how they’d like to see the team setup

A Different George

I don’t think you are a biased hater, I just disagree with you. But some of the anti-Ozil posts are just senseless. Certainly afan is not interested in whether Arsenal succeed.


oh, YES I AM, that’s why I rant and rave, because I only want the best for arsenal, NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND


Everyone of your comments is either how jack is the greatest player out there – lumped with Messi & Ronaldo or how bad everyone else on arsenal is.

A Different George

You are convincing me that you are a genuine troll; you maybe ” a fan,” but not of Arsenal.

A Different George

It’s odd then that he keeps creating goals in the Prem, isn’t it? If you were a Chelsea supporter, you probably would have said the same about De Bruyne.


he don’t keep creating goals, he don’t do nothing


I’m pretty sure Sanchez’s blows his pay packet out of the water. But haters are going to hate


Shows the state of our squad. No major contribution to the world cup happenings. Xhaka, surprisingly and exception. Ozil, unsurprisingly, not.

Bould's Eyeliner

xhaka performing is not unexpected–he plays very consistently for Spain, and his form has been on an upward trajectory all season.

So he’s had a few sitters, bad passes, and more than a few bad tackles. Second season blues can be worse, and it’s certain that the right people believe he has the right talent to succeed.


Just for the record he plays for Switzerland. Yes you are right though he does play consistently for them as he plays in true position as a deep lying midfielder which hopefully he will revert to for us next season.

Bould's Eyeliner

Yes I got autocorrected for some reason. Switzerland haha

Faisal Narrage

Somewhat concerning hw these days so little of our players are international starters. I’m not sure Iwobi will start again, Nigeria looked so much better without.

Personally I’ve been more interested in the former Arsenal players and their performances; mainly Chez and Vela in particular.


I turned over to the Colombia game and saw Ospina on the floor, I then watched something else. I turned back over to the Colombia game and saw Ospina on the floor in agony. I thought my TV was broke.

A Different George

When he got up, though, he kept a clean sheet.


No Nacho watch, two weeks running?

A Different George

I saw him expressing amazed agony from the sideline after a goal-line clearance against Spain. You could read every emotion.


Always wondering why Ospina spends so much on the floor receiving treatment.. Is he just a ‘soft’ player? Is it a time-wasting plan? Does he have an unfortunate goalkeeping style that leads to more pain? Honest question haha..

Giroud's scorpion kick

Blog did what blog does. Dish Ospina. Got old.


Özil is out because of the hate campaign led by the media and Matthaus against him. That’s all. He was good against Mexico (a guy who crates 4 chances without taking any Fk nor corners…) but the Bayern players were shit and they are still in.
Check out the political situation in Germany and you’ll get it.


ozil is out because low is fed up with him playing shit, so he created four chances, BIG DEAL, what did he do for the rest of the game, his replacement REUS, showed him how its done, he scored a goal and got an assist, NO the media don’t have a campaign against him, they are just going by what they see, and as for the Bayern players, so they had a bad game, but not as many as ozil, face facts mate


None of them are exactly top names in the world and none are exactly setting the world on fire.

Truth is if you are a neutral, Arsenal has lost its allure worldwide.

We have with exception of ‘maybe’ PEA, hardly anyone you’d consider exciting prospect in the world or a top player.

One of them is lying!

That’s why we need players that excites the fan…like Nabil Fekir or Malcom… someone like Alexis!…or we need to start winning in Europe or the league.


You mean like Lacazette and Aubameyang

One of them is lying!

Lacazette is good… but still a long way to prove to be at Alexis’ level, if i am being honest… Alexis, Hazard and Mahrez those are the players that are exciting to watch…Auba can score but doesn’t have the same sets of skill as those previously mentioned. But just my opinion and preference…some people are more excited by crunching tackles…whatever floats one’s boat.

A Different George

I mostly agree, but several of the (few) times I saw Aubameyang for Dortmund, his was electrifying–the whole match centred on his pace and acceleration, in the way it does around Hazard’s (very different) movement when he is at his best.


Aubameyang is more clinical than any of them. He and Laca are strikers, good ones at that.

Mahrez has had one really good season and Sanchez was awful last year.

We spent 100m plus in the last 12 months on them and got Mkhi as well. Plus we have Ozil (on a new deal) and Ramsey (for now at least).

That’s exciting enough for me. The defensive side of the team is the problem, I think we are doing exactly the right thing.


Plus Auba is far less of a nob than Sanchez, which counts for quite a lot

One of them is lying!

I’m not saying we should get Sanchez …he defintely is a nob… but the type of player he was during 2016/17 season when he got over 20 pl goals and over 10 assists…a player that could make something happen out of nothing. Or at least has the potential to become like that (Malcom or Gelson Martins)… i am happy with current team, don’t get me wrong. But just that I would be much happier with a signing like that. I would even prefer Reiss Nelson to have more game times, just for him to develop into an exciting player instead… Read more »

Bould's Eyeliner

Mhkytarian and Aubameyang should really hit their stride this coming season. Without defensive frailty and room to counter, those two, along with Ozil and Ramsey, can probably shine. Especially Aubameyang.

And if Banega/Torreira (I’m thinking Emery is going to plump for one…) and Xhaka can do for Arsenal what they’ve been doing for their respective teams, we’ve got a very exciting offense already.

Now it’s about sorting the defense, but most importantly, giving a proper shape to our team, so that we can defend and attack more efficiently.

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