Zee Media Bureau/Jayanta Oinam
London: This is bound to happen. The comparison. The analysis. The projections.
When Arsene Wenger quietly swooped up Mesut Ozil last September, everybody celebrated the coup. In contention for the midfielder at Real Madrid were also Manchester United, under their new boss, the heir-apparent David Moyes. The former Everton manager never did confessed that the Red Devils were in the race for the German international, but everybody knew that the English champions have had indeed failed to judge the market and have overlooked the exigencies in the team.
The differential from that transfer is already evident in the change of fortunes of the two teams. Arsenal, who have failed to blocked the sale of their star-player, Robin van Persie only last season to Manchester United, are now leading the league. But for the Greater Manchester team, its a downward spiral. Now they trail the Gunners by 14 points and without any other competition left except the Champions League. And, in their current state, when will England`s most successful club exit from the continental tournament is only a matter of time.
How well Ozil fared for the London club never become a topic following that initial spur he provided to the team. The 25-year-old was everywhere in the first few months, on the field, on the score-sheet, in the hearts of the fans and most importantly in the minds of their opponents. And suddenly, Arsenal become a strong team, capable of lifting any trophy. The effect that Ozil`s arrival at the Emirates is so huge that even Nicklas Bendtner started to score goals.
Taking a cue from the Ozil narrative, Moyes have chosen to dole out a cool £37m, which is a club record, to buy out of favour Juan Mata. Consider this! Their highest scorer last season, Robin van Persie only costed them £24 millions. And it`s a given that Spaniard, despite his talents, will never be as influential as RVP. Though they play in different positions, it`s a sheer waste to compare them, the charisma, et all.
So, Moyes` buying of Mata can be measured in the lines of Wenger`s purchase of Ozil. However, it is still a matter of conjecture to see the Spaniard internationals would-be influence, or the lack of it at the hallow ground of Old Trafford. But one thing is for sure, no matter what Mata does in his new shirt, everything will be compared to that of Ozil. Both the players chose to join struggling clubs and build new image.