Özil clearly wasn’t his only option, though. Koscielny was a very easy/straightforward one. Another was to hit it out first time wide, or like I said, come to meet it and return it to Cech.
Mertesacker is not the midfielder here. Since when should it be the CB’s responsibility to play the first time ball and not the 6’s? Mertesacker makes a nice, accurate pass with his left, it’s a bit ridiculous, IMO, to ask more of him, and then not find fault in Xhaka’s involvement.
Gueye is also not right on him. He receives the ball with a metre of space and it’s a very clean, accurate pass. Watch the touch again, it goes a good 3 metres or more away from him. His body was in between the ball and the presser anyways, anything resembling a decent first touch and at the very worst he’s getting fouled.
Mertesacker does what I want my CB to do there; expect quality from his teammates and play the ball out on the ground. That his teammates don’t have the quality he expects of them–we should expect of them–is another matter.
Honestly can’t believe what a low standard you must have of a 6 to not expect 100% for him to resolve that situation in a decent manner. You do not need to be Santi to do so, silly to bring him up. I’ve seen Arteta make a relatively poor–not as, though, only Coquelin and Flamini regularly make a first touch as bad as that one–touch like that but still have the awareness and guile to keep his body in front of the defender and draw a foul.
edit: actually, watching it, to try a first time pass there from Mertesacker would’ve been incredibly risky. If it’s not a perfectly accurate pass with a lot of pace on it it’s going to be intercepted. As he takes a touch Sigurdsson continues shifting, and the passing lane becomes more viable. Kind of unbelievable to suggest that it’s Per’s fault for not making a first-time pass that if completed Kroos would be extremely proud of. In reality, what you two are suggesting would’ve been a situation to blame Mertesacker.