Despite helping Germany to win lift the World Cup trophy last summer, and to qualify for the tournament in the first place of course, the Arsenal play maker Mesut Ozil was getting the same sort of criticism from the football media and former players in his homeland as he was from the English press and pundits, for what many perceived as a bad attitude and a lack of effort.
That feeling was never shared by his team mates though, for either club or country, because they are the ones on the pitch with him and so can really appreciate what his vision, ability and even work rate, bring to the team. One player who knows Ozil´s game better than most is Phillip Lahm, the captain of our Champions League opponents tonight and Lahm has warned his Bayern Munich team mates that they are coming against one of the very best.
The German right back certainly appreciates what the Arsenal midfielder can do and an ESPN report quotes him as saying that Ozil is the best he has ever played with in one respect.
Lahm said, “Mesut is probably the most intelligent player I have ever played with, he is probably the most intelligent player in Europe today.
“Mesut sees things only he can — his vision is as good as I have ever seen.
“[Arsenal] are seriously challenging Manchester City for the title in England, and even after a poor start in Europe they can challenge for the Champions League.
“We don’t get beaten often, but we did in London. That would have given Arsenal confidence, and I am sure they now have the belief they can come to Munich and get a good result.
“People don’t necessarily understand his game, he isn’t there to run at players or even beat them, he is far more intelligent than that.
“He finds space and creates chances for his teammates, and you only need to look at the assist table to understand there is nobody better than him at that.”
Lahm´s opinion of Ozil is now becoming more common, but not because people are getting better at appreciating his subtlety and vision. It does help when , as reported by the Evening Standard, you are statistically rated as the best attacking midfielder in Europe.
But will Lahm´s warning help Bayern Munich to nullify the threat of our majestic Mesut?