The way Mesut Özil shifts across the pitch, he reminds me of a figure skater powering through the ice. Head down with his shoulders hunched close to his head whilst seemingly in full control of the ball at all times.
When I fantasize about Mesut Özil I think of him striding past an outstretched opposition foot, skating diagonally across the pitch before another player instinctively runs across his marker before Mesut side foots a zipped pass perfectly into his path. What happens next I guess is a fantasy about whichever player that is chosen at the time.
It is ok to fantasize about Arsenal players right? I am going to assume that we all take part in a bit of dreamy fantasy from time to time when it comes to the Arsenal.
But you must understand that you cannot mix and match your fantasies, it simply doesn't work like that. For example, you don't swap Mesut Özil with Theo Walcott do you? That wouldn't feel right. Theo waltzing through and playing the perfectly weighted through pass kinda kills the fantasy dead.
Now if Theo was that player bursting past his marker at the right time to get onto the pass then you have my attention. But I'm saving that one in the bank for later.
Today is all about our German playmaker, one of the best players I've seen at finding pockets of space before anybody else. One of the quickest thinkers in the game today and you can only assume that he picked up these skills as a young boy, perhaps part of this is his instinct. You cannot coach a player to do everything, some parts of the game is linked with individual personality. It seems that being one step ahead of mere mortals is part of his make up. One of my favourite examples of his quality is this pass to his then team mate and good friend Sami Khedira.
He has the picture in his mind before many and has to execute the action of the pass before the situation has arrived. Masterful.
Former teammate *Xabi Alonso said that Özil was "the kind of player you don't find these days" adding, "He understands the game, sees things, combines and thrives between the lines, unlocking teams."
We know what Jose Mourinho said of our playmaker. Yup, that Mesut Özil was the best. Not any of his much lauded playmakers but our very own.
So given his quite obvious talent and the huge respect shown towards him by big players in the game such as Alonso, Mourinho, Lahm and plenty more, why are we fantasizing about him playing in different roles. Why do we need Mesut to dress up as Alexis Sanchez? Alexis' shorts are far too big for him anyway.
Too many people want all footballers to dress and pout like Steven Gerrard. It seems ingrained in the typical English football fan. Run about a bit, show some passion, get stuck in, don't wear gloves, roll up your sleeves.
Özil isn't going to dive into a 50/50 and leave his foot in on his opponent. He is not going to find opposition players who don't like it up em to well.. give it up em? Too far? Perhaps.
This isn't in Mesut's DNA, that is not what he is and he can never be that player, that character.
He has his strengths and weaknesses like all players in the game and while players can and should work at their deficiencies, most players will lean towards what they are good at rather than what others are better at.
I've read a considerable amount of comments and tweets saying that Özil needs to shoot more, he needs to stop looking for the past and just 'have a go' or 'try your luck', 'stop the tippy tap football and have a crack for gods sake.' Once more this is not natural to Özil, this is not what made him stand out as a boy above probablt everyone he played with.
Imagine being the worlds greatest chef but instead being told to take a break from cooking and help make the cocktails. He doesn't want to make bloody cocktails, he hardly knows where to start but he'll serve you up the tastiest gourmet dish you could wish for. Hopefully dishes that Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott will be devouring on a regular basis in no time. So just let the boy cook.
Mesut does not strike the ball with much conviction. Some players like Lukas Podolski, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can naturally strike the ball cleanly and powerfully. I don't have that feeling when I watch Özil and he often opts to pass the ball to others in the box because that's what he is comfortable at doing. That is what he is best at and that is what we should be fantasing about. Not expecting him to beat people in the air or blasting in shots from 30 yards out.
Let Mesut be Özil and enjoy the fantasy.
* This story about 'Whenga' refusing to pay the extra £3.20 to buy Alonso is nonsense, nonsense spouted by people who love nothing more than bashing Arsene Wenger.
Rafa Benitez was trying to buy Gareth Barry from Aston Villa to his them club Liverpool and the deal was close. If that deal went through then Arsenal would have wrapped up the deal for Xabi Alonso as everything was in place. But the Liverpool and Villa negotiations fell through as the clubs could not agree on a fee.
Ask yourself this, why would Liverpool sell us an important player without buying a replacement?