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Is Özil bigger than Jesus and could he join God in bronze?

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At the peak of their powers, the Beatles proclaimed themselves to be 'bigger than Jesus.' This sparked a huge rebuke from the media and the words resonated so loudly that parodies of this comment are still prevalent today. But were they wrong?

The sheer arrogance of such a statement is hard to stomach, but in terms of cold fact they had accrued a truly global fan base, dominated TV sets and record players and sold out everywhere they went. Beatlemania bore all the hallmarks of a theological following and the impact they made is yet to be matched 50 years later.

Some subjects though, are sacrosanct. To besmirch such things is akin to assault for some, and any who cross this fabled line will feel the full force of its followers.

It is no different in the cult of football. Some players—dearly departed and the thankfully still with us—carried the burden of the game on their shoulders. Memories they forged are held up as shining examples of the right way to play the game, and their moments of inspiration are like an instruction manual to show knowledge seekers the correct manner of the sport.

Their talents are the stained glass images that adorn our holy house of football. The merest mention of their names is enough to induce misty eyes and nostalgic conversations. They are our footballing deities, the flag-bearers for the sport, and the antithesis for today's game of primadonnas, scandals and money.

Dennis Bergkamp is one of these men. Perhaps the most talented player we have ever had, and in eleven years with Arsenal he created and scored goals that were hewn straight from the heavens—which is perhaps why he is known as God.

His vision, his touch, his awareness, was unrivalled. His love for the club cemented his eternal bond with the fans. It was believed that there would never be another like him but, forgive me if you disagree, should Mesut Özil extend his contract and sees it out then he has the capacity to sit alongside the Iceman.

From the moment Mesut Özil was declared a Gunner during that crazy Transfer Deadline Day back in 2013 he has besotted us. His first albeit-slightly-underwhelming season was flecked with the signature genius we’ve come to adore. However, last season he truly broke the threshold from fan favourite to hope carrier.

His bagful of assists exhibited a vision, awareness and touch that hadn't been seen for some time. ‘He can't hold a candle to Bergkamp!’ some would cry but the similarities are there for all to see, we just choose to ignore them.

His Arsenal career remains in the shadow of Dennis' and he has a long way to even come close to matching it. Three Premier League trophies, four FA Cups, and memories that ought to be pinned, framed, and put in a museum make Bergkamp the poster boy for Arsenal. Mesut Özil can boast of two FA Cups, but if he can get his hands on the league title, and stay until his new contract ends what is stopping him being held in the same regard?

We all know of Özil's talents. Playing in the spotlight of a million cameras allows his every movement to be documented, and then streamed to any hungry eye that demands to see his sumptuous touch.

His talent is truly unique, and is unequalled amongst his fellow world-class players across Europe and South America. If Dennis were playing today the two would be mercilessly compared, and stats documenting every facet of their play would be scrutinised.

They are twins born decades apart. They share the same selfless nature on the pitch; eye for a pass that no one else possesses; perfect positioning and a velvet touch that makes you wonder if their feet are made from angel’s kisses. They share footballing DNA.

mesut ozil arsenal

Dennis towers above Mesut in the estimation of the fans because he was the cornerstone of a golden era. Wenger built his side around him and Henry. Bergkamp represents a watershed moment in the history of our club.

Like it or not, before Bruce Rioch (or David Dein, dependant on what you believe) brought in the Dutchman, our club was treading water. Talented, but not beyond comparison, had little to no motivation and were just going through the motions. Then Bergkamp joined and his approach to the game, to training, to everything he did, inspired his teammates.

Ian Wright, when asked about Bergkamp, always states that he tried to copy Bergkamp in everything he did for his match preparation.

When Mesut joined, that was a watershed moment of sorts too. His capture was the tangible instant we all finally realised that we could be the club aimed to be. The moment that—after so many years of being shackled by debt and low expectations—we could dream once more.

Özil doesn't influence every minute of every game, but he has the ability to change games with one nonchalant flick— just like Bergkamp.

Should Mesut Özil see out his rumoured contract extension and we win some trophies, then it is not inconceivable the most talented footballer we’ve had since the Iceman could too be immortalised in bronze outside The Emirates.

 Tell us what you think! If you agree, or have a different view, please leave a comment in the comments section or why not write a response or your own article on YouWrite?

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Tags: Dennis Bergkamp, Mesut Ozil

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