Mesut Ozil: Has he performed up to scratch at Arsenal?

This is a strange one for me because I don’t necessarily think I am right. However, I can not, for the life of me, see the argument suggesting that Ozil is a top player. Five-six years ago when he was playing for Germany in the World Cup, he looked awesome. However, playing for Arsenal I have literally watched him do nothing for an entire game and have then been told and read about how he put in an outstanding performance.

It completely baffles me. His stats are actually very good too which baffles me even more. Maybe on this one I am actually taking crazy pills because I have yet to see him play in an Arsenal shirt and be the stand out player of the entire game.


Did Ozil really play well against Liverpool?

Recently against Liverpool, the 0-0 draw. I was told by many that Ozil played very well. Well, if I could choose between Ozil and Coutinho I would choose Coutinho. Coutinho was quicker, he drove forward more, committed players and looked for clever passes. Ozil at no point turned towards a player and tried to commit him.

So, this is where the Arsenal supporters begin their argument. Apparently he isn’t that type of player. He is not the type to run at defenders, not the type to keep the ball at his feet, he is a passer a contributor. Well fair enough but let me first say, I’d rather my number ten be able to do both.


Compared to his rivals

Let’s look at his rivals, Fabregas, David Silva, Coutinho and Juan Mata. These are all top players and some how Ozil does keep up with them from a statistical point of view. He runs as far, he creates as many chances and he makes as many tackles so I can’t argue against that, but he would be the last player I want in my team.

The fact of the matter is that I have witnessed great play from each of these rival players. Great passes, touches, runs and goals. Ozil has his moments, but he has not matched Fabregas’s pass against Burnley. He hasn’t matched Mata’s goal against Liverpool or many of the things Coutinho and Silva have pulled off.

You can argue that his target men are not of such a high calibre, but then why are Arsenal not angered by his lack of goal contribution? Is it purely because of the price tag that Arsenal supporters ask for more goals from their striker when their number 10 could contribute more, too?


Poor World Cup

In the World Cup for Germany, I thought he was poor. When the ball comes to him I don’t think you get to your feet. I don’t think you feel like anything can happen. You know he is going to slide the ball to the nearest player.

Maybe it’s a good pass, but it’s more about whether that player is available. He isn’t going to shimmy, shift the ball and shoot. He isn’t going to cut the ball back to a player who you didn’t even realise was available, he isn’t going to run through two players to create space for his team mates. He fails to excite and he fails to impress.


Poor running style

It might sound crazy but this could potentially all come down to the way he runs. I don’t think he looks as nimble as some of players. Look at the gif above, it looks great right? It contradicts everything I have been saying, Ozil mugs two players cuts in beyond the third, hard to see a problem.

Just watch the very end of the gif and the little hop he takes before he presumably cuts back again. That’s how you turn in a tight space on an ice rink, he can do it one touch but instead he takes two smalls ones in a tight space and it’s that, that there that makes him look like he is struggling.


He doesn’t stand out

I don’t know, many argue he can see all options ahead of him but I haven’t seen that to be true at all. The fact of the matter is I never see something from him that I think makes him stand out. I never see something from him that makes me believe he is a class above.

The stats may back him and so may many people, but it makes me feel like I’m taking crazy pills for Ozil to be loved by so many.


This piece was first published at the excellent The Players Only Club here. 


Written by Jonny Troy

Follow Jonny on Twitter @Jonny_Troy

Check out his excellent football blog, where this piece was originally published: The Players Only Club

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