Liverpool 5-1 Arsenal: another big match where Mesut Ozil was too busy playing hide and seek, whilst his team mates were busy getting battered.
At Real Madrid Mesut Ozil earned a reputation for being a world class playmaker, and had established himself as having pin-point accuracy with his deadly through balls.
His reputation grew to such a state that wildly inaccurate memes such the one below became the norm:
By dictating a game, I mean a player having the ability to influence the movement of his own team mates and even the opposition's through his passing. Essentially, a player who can dictate a game is able to slow down the game if his team have been under pressure, or quicken the game, cutting out a section of the field with an incisive pass at a moments notice.
Mesut Ozil has never had this ability. He sits on the periphery of the game, and only if there is space to play the final ball, does he do so. In this regard, only legends like Dennis Bergkamp and Ronaldinho can claim to be ahead of Ozil in this skill.
Ozil's inability to control a game were the bane of Real Madrid in the big matches they played, and now they are the bane of Arsenal. On two occasions Ozil was dispossessed when on the ball when trying to connect what should have been a simple pass; on those two occasions, Ozil's mistakes directly led to a Liverpool goal.
For those of you who still believe Ozil is superior to Iniesta, ask yourself this: would Iniesta have failed to connect those passes?
As someone else was not able to control the game for Arsenal, Ozil was left floundering on the sidelines and he could not even once bring to life his famous through balls.
It is most telling that Arsenal created more chances in the 30 minutes they had without Ozil, than they did in the 60 minutes they had with him.
However, this also reveals more about the psyche of Ozil, than it does his inability to dictate a game. In one of the goals Liverpool scored, Mesut Ozul was out-muscled by perhaps the lightest player on the field: Coutinho. Whilst congratulations are in order for Coutinho in regards to the tenacity showed, the point still remains, Ozil standing at a heady 6ft should feel embarrassed by that.
The fact Ozil continues to have poor big matches suggests he simply hasn't the stomach for them. I am even beginning to wonder if Ozil has the stomach for a title tilt at all?
Since the Everton game on the 8th December, Ozil has only two assists to his name and a plethora of terrible matches under his belt - today's game being the absolute worst. With Arsenal going through a sequence of tough matches, perhaps it would be best if Ozil sat a few of them out?
I am not saying Arsenal do not need him, someone of Ozil's obvious talents has a space in anyone's club, but it is also obvious that Arsenal cannot afford to carry any passengers in this run-in.