Thursday, March 30, 2023

3 Key Takeaways As Arsenal Barrage Riddle Basel | Mesut Ozil, The Ghost In The Machine

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Jon Depp (JD)
Eccentric writer, effervescent blagger. What he lacks in cheekbones, he makes up by being cheeky. The footballing Jack Sparrow pompously navigating the high-waves of journalism. 2015 International Football Blogging Award Finalist, the pin-up boy of The 4th Official.

Arsenal were in imperious form vs FC Basel, who perhaps still haven’t wrapped their heads around the fact how it ended just 2-0. Plenty of positive all around, T4O picks the 3 of the best.

#1 Put Theo In Your FPL Team, Pronto!

There is no denying that Theo Walcott is one of those players who blow hot and cold. When he’s cool, he’s as the unproductive zone biome of the Sub-Serbian Tundra. When he’s not, he’s as bountiful as he was light night. Scoring in three games, and scoring a brace vs FC Basel. The ease and the certitude he showed taking on those chances was almost unfamiliar.

His presence of mind throughout the match was uncharacteristic of a player, who for most parts of his career, has been one to put his head down, and simply run at the opposition. This was a reinvented Theo Walcott version 2.0, who kept looking for the layoff, hunting for space to raid in between the channels and participating in the overall build up, with some crisp link-up play. He looks to be in a rush to cash on his goal rush.

#2 Could Have Been 7-0!

Monsieur Arsene Wenger got the team selection spot on. Shkodran Mustafi felt abundantly secure to step up, out of defence, and thread in a through ball for Mesut Ozil, bearing down on goal, to latch onto. Hector Bellerin bombed down the flanks with usual panache and pace. Nacho Monreal found himself in goal scoring positions. Xhaka picked his teammates out like clockwork.

Santi Cazorla, relishing his run in central midfield, is tellingly growing in influence, having picked out Alexis Sanchez [who was in a voracious mood] to plant the cross onto Walcott’s obliging forehead. All it all, it all just clicked. The team chemistry was superb, everyone knew where the other would be, and it all made for a game that should have ideally finished 7-0, in all fairness. The man who is celebrating his twenty years at Arsenal may have finally stumbled upon his golden equation again.

#3 Mesut Ozil – The Ghost In The Machine

Granit Xhaka’s masterful display vs Basel from deep in midfield had set the wheels in motion. In consequence of this midfield stability afforded by the Swiss international, coupled with Cazorla’s big-man effort, Alexis Sanchez, to the surprise of many, took on the mantle of being the creative force in midfield. What that led to was a flurry of chances, that riddled Basel to the bones, and a Mesut Ozil who was ghosting into spaces, and operating in between the channels, almost as a secondary forward. For Basel, it was like trying to catch a djinn, Arsenal’s ghost in their machine.

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