I might not agree with everything that Arsene Wenger has been saying this week about Arsenal and his under fire players, not many fans would after that shocker against the Greek champions, but I have to agree with him on what he said about the laziness of the football media and how they report on and analyse games and individual performances.
Quite a few Gunners have come in for criticism for their role in the defeat to Olympiacos, David Ospina not surprisingly more than most, and I read one pundit claim that Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez were the only two that had really turned up.
They were certainly our two best players on the night but I cannot see why Mesut Ozil has been singled out again. Well I can actually; it is because he is an easy target and like Wenger says, these so-called football experts seem to be happy to regurgitate a theory they have heard rather than actually think for themselves.
Check out the nasty and lazy piece of journalism from the former Man United midfielder Johhny Giles in The Sport Review.
Giles said, “It was an absolutely disgraceful display.
“He was totally dishonest in the way he played. Instead of making a genuine effort to win the ball back, he was giving silly free-kicks away. That is always the sign of a player who doesn’t want to make a real effort.
“He hasn’t done anything for Arsenal at all. Arsenal won’t do anything if he is in the team.”
This `he doesn´t do anything´ accusation has been used against Ozil ever since he signed for Arsenal and it has been proven over and over again by the stats to be wrong. He may LOOK lazy and languid but he gets through as much work on the pitch as anyone. He is not, however, a defensive player so expecting him to get stuck in and win tackles will always leave you disappointed.
He did struggle a bit with the pace of the game last season but he worked on his strength and fitness when recovering from injury and after that he covered more distance than any other Arsenal player, as reported by The Telegraph. Have you noticed how he does not get subbed off by Wenger half as much these days?
What Ozil does give the team with his running is space and fluidity in our passing and creative play. And as his team mate Theo Walcott told Arsenal Player, the rest of the Gunners are always impressed and grateful about the quality the German play maker brings to the side as he explains why Ozil really is a world class player.
Theo said, “The first thing he does when he has the ball, in fact when he hasn’t even got the ball, is that he looks. He looks first before he gets the ball and he knows where he’s going to play it before he’s even got it. That just shows the sort of quality we have in this team.
“Mesut’s involvement in the Stoke goal sums it up and also shows what he can do for this team. He makes football look easy and he’s a special player who has so many assists in his game.
“He can do it anywhere on the pitch, he’s a threat from anywhere and when you’ve got that in your dressing room you can build on it.
“I know what he’s going to do now when he’s got the ball, I just need to keep making those runs and hopefully we can get that relationship going.”
Ozil already has three assists from six Premier League games and it would be more if our strikers had been on form, so please do not let the constant sniping of the football media make you think that Ozil is a liability.