By Chris Bryant-Mansell
Confidence, it is everything, yet at the same time it is nothing. It is a state of mind, something created by your own perception of the environment around you. Sports psychologists devote their lives to understanding it and managers tear their hair out trying to contain it.
So let’s imagine we are in our laboratory, mad scientists in out white coats, lightning bolts sparking from oversized tesla coils and smoke billowing from the smoke machine which really shouldn’t be in a laboratory in the first place… it is just impractical if you think about it…. But anyway, our goal: to create a title winning midfield talisman, Ozil 2.0. Our lab rats: One La Liga wining, international sensation, the original Mesut Ozil, who has the incredible super power of occasional invisibility, and one part time professional footballer, Nicolas Bendtner.
Don’t get me wrong I love Mesut more than most, and as for good old Nicky B! Well he is like that cringe worthy uncle you look forward to seeing at the occasional family gathering, the one you laugh with and the one you laugh at, either way you are laughing so it’s all good with uncle Nick! Is Bendtner talented? I honestly believe so. Is he world class? Not even close. Would he agree with that?! Ha! I imagine his response would be to show me his fifty grand watch and medallion, volley a packet of peanuts out my hand into the empty glass the other side of the bar before slow motion walking away from an explosion and diving into a hot tub filled with models in the back of a stretch hummer. Should we mock him for his unwavering self-belief? Well yes, because it is hilarious! But could we learn something from it too when writing the script for the Ozil sequel?
Without his great Danish noggin being full to the brim of lord Bendtner belief there is no way he would be earning more money than we can dream of in a job we can only fantasize about. And this an overweight man of average at best ability getting a reported £50K a week! Now let’s go back to the lab, hand me the scalpel and assist me as we take saint Nic’s mojo and drill it deep in to the mind of mild mannered Mesut.
When you think of Ozil you think of his vision (along with jokes about his eyes), his natural ability to play football, along with the continual reports on his passive nature, unselfishness and all round warm, cuddly fuzziness that could get him a part time job in Disney land. Again there is nothing wrong with this, in fact it is admirable. Few people in the game have a reputation as anything other than a total asshole *cough* Ashely Cole *cough*…
But imagine if you can, this much natural talent, the pre-existing work ethic to excel in a sport dominated by bigger boys at a young age, and combine it with the unflappable ego of a self-professed demi god from Denmark, and there, spawned in the darkness of our little lab of horrors, is an unstoppable, trophy winning titan. Think Mitchell Johnson and his recent ashes domination after years of substandard delivery, but in a much better sport and not an inbred Aussie with poor facial hair.
I am sure it is something that Wenger and the gang will be working on, and something which a deadline day signing thrust into competition on day one has very little time to work on. That combined with a Sanogo like personal training regime which I am sure he will be on over the summer means that next season, I am salivating at seeing a Premiership ready Ozil. A.k.a. Ozil 2.0. Ozil: the Two Towers. Ozil: the Dark Knight. Ozil: The Emipre strikes back… need I go on?! Essentially the sequel will be greater than the original, and when season two of the Mesut Ozil show airs, I hope you join me in a front row seat, with a bag of popcorn, a box of tissues and a big old grin!