Mesut Ozil – a gifted playmaker that played the game with effervescent ease, supplying the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo with passes that a marksman would only dream of. He sadly departs, to the anger and shock of many Madridistas around the world. However, despite all his talent and wonderful ability, the Los Merengues will continue to move on and prowl forward.
The 11/12 season or as I like to call it the ‘gold stripes’ season, also Mou’s second season with us was probably one of the most underrated in recent memory. I say that because of a bunch of reasons. We won La Liga with a max points and goal total. We also reached the Champions League semi-final where we got defeated by penalties at the hands of a Bayern team that were there for the taking. Still have nightmares of that night, mind you.
What made that defeat more painful was the fact that we would have met a Chelsea team, that to be honest, we would’ve beaten to the curb. That aside, that season was near perfect. The team chemistry was magnificent. Kaka showed signs of not being shite. Higuain and Benz were scoring golazos for fun. Ronaldo was in the form of his life, again. Ozil and Alonso were the ever present heartbeat of the team and oh we had easily the two best left backs in world football in Fabio and Marcelo.
Also, who can forget Callejon’s signature goal celebrations? Or our magnificent La Liga celebration at the Cibeles and the Bernebeu? Who can forget Mou bowing down in front of his players during the Bernebeu celebration? Anyone? Yeah, I thought so. That team was oozing with Madridisimo. Mou made sure he created a team that were just happy and content to play good counter-attacking football.
A team that knew what being in a “team” meant. A team that were not Canteranos, but knew the importance and value of wearing a Madrid jersey. What could possibly go wrong?
You need to fast forward two years on to truly see how much things have changed since then. Team Iker – Team Diego division in the fanbase is a prime example although I’d rather not say more on that topic. My point is the feel good atmosphere during the gold stripes season is gone with the wind. Now back to my question: Who’s to blame for Ozil’s exit? That’s the question on the lips of most Madridistas at the moment.
If you’ve been on twitter since during the 09-11 seasons, you’d notice something: We Madridistas are serial complainers. We’re like the spoiled rich kids that get pissed at the slightest thing and look to blame our misfortune on someone or something. Its the Madridista way and I’m not exempted in this.
Back to the question, so who’s to blame? Florentino Perez or Real Madrid for selling? Carlo for choosing Di Maria to stay instead (according to Marca)? Bale who had no control over the buckloads we paid for him? Isco who’s form so far has been worthy of a price tag two times we paid for him? Or maybe even Mourinho? Decisions, decisions.
The Mou bit may be a bit absurd, but hell I saw someone claiming Ozil’s departure was planned from the first day he came so it was worth a shot. Even for the very best conspiracy theorist of all (one minute of silence in honor of Marca) that’s a bit too far fetched. So is blaming Mou, which is probably the most mainstream thing to do right now (again, big hugs to Marca).
Those aside, in my opinion, all the other possible reasons account to about 10% respectively of why he left. Totalling up to 40%. So what’s the other 60% you ask? The answer is already in the article: Change.
Okay my fragile Madridistas, buckle up for some hard truth. This is not a ‘gold stripes’ season. This is the season where Benzema has a shit haircut. This is the season season where Kaka has finally left.
The season Modric’s name was sung at the Bernabeu. The season Isco has begun writing his name in Madrid folklore. The season CR has scored just one goal in 3 Liga games. The season where we win by not so large margins. This is not 2010. We’re not expecting the world to end in two years time for fuck sake.
In essence, things have changed. A lot of things. This ultimately led to Ozil’s departure. Ozil wasn’t great in preseason and in came this bowed legged wonderkid named Isco. Dribbling preseason defenders for fun, assisting Ronaldo, tracking back to defend AND being a potent threat in front of goal. All the things Ozil brought to the table AND more.
After Ozil came off against Betis after performing poorly (worthy to note he was played out of position) and Isco was still on, in that attacking midfield spot Ozil loves, there was only going to be one grand finale to that. We Madridistas pretend and try to sugar coat things a lot but I’m going to say it as it is because well, that’s just the kind of person I am. If Ozil wasn’t going to leave in this window, it was going to be in the next one in January or the next summer one.
Because truth is, barring any injury, Isco would be in the first team XI in his place. To think we thought Isco coming was a threat to Kaka’s place, when in all honesty, it was a warning shot at Ozil. Once Isco sloted into that attacking midfield spot against Betis, something happened. Something you saw and I saw but rather pretend we didn’t. He had given us what Madridistas more concerned with tactics (like myself) wanted: The Complete 10.
Okay, okay – enough with the Isco wanking, back to Mesut. I surely can’t be the only one that saw Ozil storm off to the dressing room after being substituted against Granada? That sort of settled things, in my opinion.
Although he might say otherwise but Ozil’s decision to leave was made on that very day. Proof? Sergio posted a pic of the jersey he wore that day, with his signature on it. He knew he’d leave. Don’t get me wrong, Perez and Carlo were also partly responsible for him leaving, but Ozil wasn’t exactly objecting to it as he’s made us to believe in his first post Madrid interview.
It was a combined effort from Carlo, Perez, Isco, Bale (his price and balancing the books blah blah blah) and the sheer fact that things aren’t rosy anymore that are all to blame for him leaving. I like, many Madridistas, didn’t want him to leave. I felt he is/was an integral part of the team still. I felt he still had quite a lot to bring to the table as he hasn’t reached his potential yet; but you know what? It is what it is.
Like I pointed out on Twitter, this isn’t new to us. The concept of selling a talent just to accommodate another has been almost synonymous with Real Madrid over the good part of the last 15 years. We can’t act too surprised to be honest.
So what next you may ask? Well, I must speak of my trip to our official website earlier today! Guess what I saw when I checked our squad list? Nooo… guess? Talent! Lo and behold we still have quite a world beater of a team WITHOUT Ozil! Shocker! What a miracle! Who would’ve thought?
Well, now that that’s out of the way, would it be big money to ask all of us to, I don’t know, move on or something? To this little trophy called La Decima, maybe? Without the Dutch exodus, Ronaldo would still be a United player. Or do I need to jog your memory and pull out a bunch of stats that shows how screwed we’d be if that signing wasn’t made? (PS: I’m not trying to defend Bale or his exorbitant price tag, ill touch on that in another article).
Mind you, selling Ozil is something that might eventually come to hunt us but god damn till that day comes? Till that day that he meets us in the Champions League and plays against us like Messi does against teams like Bayer Leverkusen or like Neymar does against Briazilian league defenders? Until that day comes?
Save your bloody tears. Because this is Real Madrid. Not for the weak hearted. If you survived the Manita at the Camp Nou, you can survive this trust me. Let’s get past this and support the team we all love, a team we’re all passionate about, a team we’ll support regardless of signings or departures.
I leave you with this quote from Florentino Perez after his resignation on the 26th of February 2006:
“I’d do it all again. I believe in emotions and spectacle, and without this magic, it wouldn’t be Madrid!”
Blanco hasta la Muerte! Hala Madrid!
Written by David Daniel
Follow David on Twitter @MadridistaDave
Check out his fine football blog, The Mad Merengue
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