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13th Dec 2016

Just what was Mesut Özil doing for Everton’s winner against Arsenal?

People have a lot of questions.


For about half an hour at Goodison Park, it looked like Arsenal would have no trouble whatsoever leaving Merseyside with three points.

A deflected Alexis Sánchez free-kick had given Arsène Wenger’s team the lead, and Romelu Lukaku was getting no change out of the Gunners’ centre-backs.

But Ronald Koeman’s men gradually came back into the game as half-time approached, and were rewarded with an equaliser from Seamus Coleman just before the break.

Both teams had chances in the second half, but Ashley Williams’ late header proved decisive, with the Welshman scoring against the London club for the second straight season, albeit for two different clubs.

But was the goal thanks to a great run from Williams, who escaped the attention of his opponents to nod home a Ross Barkley corner, or was it all the fault of Mesut Özil?

The German would not normally be the obvious candidate to pick up an opposition player significantly taller than him, but even if that wasn’t the plan then his failure to even challenge for the ball seems odd.

Here he is as the closest man to Williams when Barkley’s corner comes in.


Williams’ run is hardly the most complex, yet the Arsenal player doesn’t track him.


And by the time the ball hits the net he’s practically facing the other way.


It didn’t take long for people to pick up on this, and those commenting fell into a few camps.

You had those asking why Özil wasn’t doing more to prevent the goal.

Those who – with good reason – were asking where the other Arsenal players were amid all of this.

Of course, you also have camp three – those who think we can excuse Özil because…erm…he’s good at passing?

Catch up with this week’s episode of Football Friday Live