I know that I am going to get grief from Arsenal fans for standing up for the club record signing Mesut Ozil, because we seem to love to criticise our own players. Let me just ask whether we would appreciate Mesut Ozil a bit more if he had not cost us over £40 million?
Maybe, maybe not, but that price tag always seems to be the first thing mentioned when the football media produces it’s latest critique of the German international. A player that cost that much…blah blah blah…. lazy and disinterested….blah blah blah. Can you tell I don’t agree?
To be honest, I have had my moments of rage at Ozil, the worst being that penalty miss against Bayern Munich and his subsequent disappearance. But you have to give c redit where it is due and Ozil does deserve some. Stasd may not tell the whole story but the fact he is the third most prolific provider of assists EVER in the Premier League is a fact, not an opinion.
Gary Neville’s recent comment in The Telegraph is an opinion and he is, of course, entitled to it. He does mention the price straight away and points to the fact that Ozil has not delivered as we expected and in a way I agree. But is that because we expected too much? Or maybe because injuries and adaptation to the Premier League have held him back? Or maybe because he just looks like he is going for a jog in the park, no matter how well he plays?
The former Manchester United man was trying to undertsand why Angel Di Maria has been so poor recently and as they both came to the Premier League from Real Madrid for big money, the comparison was obvious, but he talked about the burglary to Di Maria’s house and other factors to excuse his form, but unsurprisingly neglected to do the same for Ozil.
Nevilles said, “Just like Di Maria, Ozil was pushed out of Madrid and he has since struggled to be the game-changer that I believe a £42m player should be for Arsenal.
Although Arsenal fans often complain when I highlight Ozil’s shortcomings, my response is that I generally see him in the bigger games against the top opponents and he has not delivered.
“In 22 games against Chelsea, United, City, Liverpool and Tottenham, plus Champions League appearances, he has scored just two goals.
“It is not enough for a player of Ozil’s ability, he does not influence games as he should, but maybe Arsenal and United fans need to accept that it will take longer for the German and Di Maria to come good.”
But hold on G Nev. Ozil has been doing a lot better than Di Maria. He is not a striker so why question his goals record? It is not too bad anyway and his job is to create goals, which he does. Is Ozil just an easy target for the football media and do we really care as long as he does the business on the pitch?