Arsenal march on: Will Wenger sign new deal before November?
Ozil scores hat-trick as Gunners crush Ludogrets – but tougher tests lie ahead for in-form Arsenal
Mesut Ozil scored the first hat-trick of his senior career as Arsenal crushed Ludogrets Razgad 6-0 at the Emirates and registered their seventh consecutive win.
The German playmaker was joined on the score sheet by Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who made it 3-0 to the Gunners before Ozil took centre stage in the second half.
The Bulgarian side were "swatted aside", says Dominic Fifield of The Guardian, "dismissed by Arsenal's new-found self-belief and the scintillating attacking play which has so illuminated their domestic form of late".
Ozil made his hat-trick look simple, but all three chances were taken brilliantly and showed the rich form he is in. But the German was not the only Gunner to fire at the Emirates. Sanchez was "masterful", says Patrick Jennings of the BBC. "But the player who most obviously embodies Arsenal's new dynamic mood is Walcott. He impressively put two earlier missed chances out of mind when doubling the lead with a powerful strike that signalled the away side's slide towards heavy defeat." He and Sanchez "terrified the opposition backline with their pace".
With Arsenal unbeaten since the opening day of the season things are looking rosy for Arsene Wenger.
"The time is right for Arsene Wenger to sign the two-year deal under lock and key in Stan Kroenke's office", says Matt Hughes of The Times. The Frenchman, who celebrated 20 years in charge of the Gunners last month "has quelled the fan rebellion that marred their opening day defeat by Liverpool, and re-established his side as contenders at home and abroad".
But he has a warning for the Frenchman. "It may not get better than this for Wenger, who would be advised to commit himself to the club while momentum and the supporters are with him."
The turnaround at the Emirates since the "near mutiny" on the opening day of the season has been startling, says Charlie Eccleshare of the Daily Telegraph.
There are several reasons that the Gunners are purring he says. In the absence of Olivier Giroud, Wenger has stumbled upon a new formation with Sanchez playing up front and it has not only brought the best out of him but also of Walcott and Ozil.
The centre-back pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi has also gelled and fewer injuries have given the Gunners a rare consistency.
However, Arsenal have not been faced with too many tough opponents, with the exception of Paris Saint Germain and Chelsea, during their unbeaten run.
"Next month, though, will provide more of a clue as to where Arsenal are, with matches against Tottenham, Manchester United and PSG in the space of a few weeks in a month when Wenger's side have traditionally struggled", says Eccleshare.