John Giles remains a firm sceptic on the Mesut Ozil front.
A few weeks back he announced his bafflement at the praise being showered on Ozil. When advocates tentatively tried to raise the matter of the German's incredible achievements in the field of 'assists', Giles, for whom the very word 'assists' probably has a jarringly modern feel, said 'that's stats'.
John Giles can't understand recent praise for Mesut Ozil. "I don't think he's playing all that well." On the assists: "That's stats."
— Denis Hurley (@Denis_Hurley) December 23, 2015
Gilesy is unprepared to overlook his seeming loucheness and his indifferent form prior to this season. And he seized on the latest opportunity to pour cold water on Ozil-mania.
More than anyone, Giles claimed, Ozil was responsible for Arsenal's failure to see out the game at Anfield on Wednesday.
In the last 15 minutes they collapsed. That was down to dropping back and Liverpool being Liverpool and having a go at them. They need somebody, particularly in midfield, to get hold of the ball. The best way you can defend is by having the ball.
The player that let them down most was the player who is getting most publicity and going for Player of the Year, Ozil.
He was the one who had the talent to get hold of the ball and do what was needed to be done to take the pressure off Arsenal. Ozil was taken off.
If he's Footballer of the Year, then I'm a Dutchman.
When they actually needed Ozil, which they really needed him at that particular time, he wasn't there. None of the midfield players
Leicester's stubborn refusal to vacate the title race stage and drift back towards their natural habitat remains a source of wonderment.
Giles, who argued that 90% of football management is buying the right players, traces the current success back to the unforgettable personality that was Nigel Pearson.
It was once said of Irish governance that it's greatest feature was a centrist laissez faire tendency. It's ability to know when to leave well alone.
Giles merely credits Ranieri with the wisdom to leave well alone. A lesser man might have felt the urge to put his own stamp on things.
The Ozil comments appeared to generate the most blowback. As ever, there was an age-ist tone to some of the responses.
Giles bulshitting about Ozil again @offtheball. Never mentioned him when he was clocking up the assists. Man's a dinosaur and out of touch
— Ciaran Duffy (@duffycj) January 14, 2016
@offtheball Typical bashing of Ozil by J.Giles yet again... I respect him, but as a pundit he hasn't a clue and showing his age.
— Micheal O'Connor (@Micheal_OConnor) January 14, 2016
— Tony O' Reilly (@tonyorei) January 14, 2016
John Giles what a dinosaur
— liam kelly (@locdgooner) January 14, 2016