Arsenal’s superstar midfielder Mesut Ozil has come in for a mountain of criticism this season for not living up to the hype and ‘going missing’ in big games. The fact that he made 19 assists last season, approaching Thierry Henry’s record, but has only notched up 7 this season, speaks volumes about the impact he is making at the moment.
He was again accused of going AWOL in last week’s defeat at Tottenham, but Arsene Wenger feels he is being unfairly singled out for criticism. “I believe to just criticise Mesut Ozil’s performance against Spurs does not reflect exactly what happened on the pitch.” Le Prof said.
“Overall I believe recently he has put a lot of effort in. He was a bit, like the rest of the team, not physically at his best.
“I felt that we gave a lot beforehand and had not completely recovered for the game. And he was one of them as well. But we have looked at this physical performances and they have been at a very high level.
“And at the end of the day his style is his style and what you measure with Ozil is his efficiency. With that is the basic quality of retention and his creation of goal chances.
“Overall the big players get criticised more than the others. His style is more fluid, less aggressive but it doesn’t mean you want it less than others.”
“Big players have to carry the responsibility of the team. People look at it like that. I think he embraces the challenge to play big games.
“You want all your players to be at their best in every single game so when they don’t achieve that of course you are frustrated.
“We know we are only human beings and you have to accept the ups and downs.”
Ozil himself has said before that he has been made a scapegoat for some of the Gunners’ poor performances, but does he deserve more criticism that our other players simply because of his price tag?