Karen Carney gives an excellent analysis of what Ozil brings to Arsenal

Former Arsenal midfielder Karen Carney backs Mesut Ozil to stay at Arsenal longer than Unai Emery.

The pair have had a stormy relationship since Emery was appointed as the manager of the Gunners last season.

The Spaniard doesn’t seem to rate the German much despite him being the club’s highest earner, and Carney believes it is not exactly Ozil’s fault.

She reckons that Arsene Wenger was able to get the best out of Ozil because he trusted the German to deliver regardless of how he performs in training.

Emery, on the other hand, selects his team based on the performances of players in training and previous matches.

Carney believes that “…regardless of what he earns, Ozil has proven he can be one of Arsenal’s most important players.”

She also thinks that some footballers don’t give their best in training, but they come up with the goods when the weekend comes around, Ozil might just be that sort of player.

Writing as a columnist for the BBC, the headline was: Why Mesut Ozil will stay at Arsenal longer than Unai Emery.

Carney then goes on and gives a great analysis of what Ozil brings to the team. Here is an extract from the article.

Former boss Arsene Wenger seemed to get the best out of him. You saw that in what Ozil contributed, especially in 2016-17 when he was involved in 25 goals in all competitions as an attacking midfielder. Wenger believed in him and seemed to trust him. You don’t get that vibe with Emery. For whatever reason, he just doesn’t seem to like him.

Emery’s doctrine seems to be ‘if you train well and play well, you will get minutes’. That might be a factor in Ozil’s lack of game time and Emery does have to stick to his principles as a coach. I’m not saying Ozil holds back in training, but some players are special and they appear to go through the motions during the week, rock up at the weekend and pull it out of the bag.

He has been around long enough, making 236 appearances for the club, so he knows what he needs to do.

I don’t think Ozil has been used in the right manner at Arsenal.

He can be Marmite – a super, super talent who can frustrate you at times. Arsenal fans know that and they know his vulnerabilities. He’s not a player that will appear to put his body on the line, but people underestimate the work rate and confidence to always want to be in possession of the ball.

Because of how fast the game moves, standing still and using game intelligence can sometimes be mistaken for laziness. He is a special player that is needed in certain games and certain situations.

Nobody else can open up a defence, nobody else can pass the way he does, nobody else has the patience and the composure he brings when he plays.

Most importantly, he has got end product. A lot of players get into good positions but they lack end product. Ozil’s strength is that he knows where the ‘players are going to be, knows where to put the ball and he has got that calmness when everyone else is running around frantically.

He looks like he plays the game in slow motion but he isn’t. He just makes things look very easy

I will leave that there without comment and let you all judge for yourselves if Carney has given an accurate analysis of what Ozil brings to the team.


  1. gotanidea says:

    Wenger could only get the best of Ozil for one season, the rest are barren. Carney is delusional about Ozil’s defense splitting pass, just like Ozil’s avid fans

    Based on Ozil’s playing style, he doesn’t seem to believe in counter-pressing strategy and relies so much on his teammates to get the ball for him

    Klopp has already explained that no playmaker nor no 10 in the world can be as good as a good counter-pressing situation

    We need to win the ball high up the pitch and Ozil is not going to do that for his teammates, so we need to get rid of him first before we can win EPL again

    1. Daulat says:

      Counter pressing style of football is not a win all strategy that you are making it sound like. With every tactics, you need players who can fit that tactic. And Klopp saying that effective counter pressing is greater than any playmaker, I don’t agree with that. Pep’s tiki-taka barca would hard counter klopp’s pressing style any day.

      But can you play Pep style tiki-taka with the current arsenal team and hope to win? NO, because our players don’t have that positional play and passing abilities. Similarly, can we play Klopp’s counter pressing style and hope to win? Still NO because our players are not fit enough for such physically taxing style of play.

      We need to assess our players, and devise the tactics based on their strengths. That’s what any sensible manager does, which Emery has been unable to do.

      1. gotanidea says:

        Klopp has proven the effectiveness of Gegenpressing by crushing Guardiola’s Man City and our team using their hardworking attackers

        Jupp Heynckes’ Bayern Munich used counter-pressing to crush Guardiola’s Barcelona 4-0 at Allianz Arena and 3-0 at Nou Camp in 2013. And that was when Barcelona had the prime Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Messi, Alves, Villa and Sanchez

        Ranieri also used counter-pressing strategy effectively with Okazaki as his workhorse in no 10 position

        Arsenal have lost the pace and the physicality of the Invincibles. Klopp’s Liverpool could possibly take the Invincibles’ title soon, by merely using hardworkers like Wijnaldum, Henderson and Fabinho

        1. Daulat says:

          Pep’s Man City don’t play the same tactic as Pep’s Barca. See? That’s what I’m talking about! Pep’s Barca was just extraordinary! But did he employ that tactics with Man City? NO! That’s how tactics work, in conjunction with the players you have at hand. And Pep’s Barca would destroy Pep’s Man City.

          And yeah, sometimes even good tactics do fail, but One touch precision passing > Any kind of pressing, you know why? Because a ball can travel much much faster than a human being. And you think achieving the kind of counter pressing that Klopp has is an easy task! It’s not just a matter of ordering your players to counter press. You need coordination, pace, positioning, stamina, etc etc. If we are to play Klopp style counter pressing, we need to sell all of our midfield! Like EVERYONE!

          And Wijnaldum is a mere hardworker? Really? I would swap Arsenal’s whole midfield for that fella. Do you see how good he is with the ball?

          1. gotanidea says:

            A ball can travel faster than a human being, but the passer and the receiver are not invulnerable to their opponent’s pressure. That’s the idea of high pressing, to capitalize on human errors

            To each his own, but Klopp and Ranieri have proven that counter-pressing is highly effective if the players have high stamina and work ethic. Even Guardiola’s Barcelona employed high pressing, as shown in Messi’s and Sanchez’s playing styles

            Wijnaldum’s ball control is excellent, but he is not as fancy nor is he as popular as the likes of Ozil and Ceballos. Had he joined Arsenal from Newcastle, I’d also be happy

  2. Daulat says:

    Agree. Another thing is, it should be imperative that when Ozil plays, other players should seek him out to link up with him more, and always find a way to pass the ball to him more often than not, and not play their own game out in the alternate dimensions. This should be a direct order from the Emery every game.

    1. Sylva Olabanji says:

      I agree with you absolutely.
      Every player comes with their strength and Frailties.Agreed Ozil would not fight for balls, but Wenger got the best out of Ozil using his strength to Arsenal’s advantage. Their was a big chemistry btw Sanchez and Ozil playing for Arsenal with Wenger as manager. But Emery just seem not to be astute technically. He didn’t use Ozil for several games yet, he cound not get any consistently giodresults. What exactly is Emery’s style?

  3. Declan says:

    You make a fair point Daulat. I think where we have really gone wrong is abandoning our one and two touch quick passing football which suited Ozil and him getting into the areas to put through the killer pass. There is too much emphasis on dribbling with the ball and then losing it, Ceballos and Guendouzi come to mind with this. Whatever anyone else says about Ozil and calling Carney delusional is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black. I’m certainly not an Ozil fanboy or an apologist for him, I just think he’s the best we’ve got and we should use him to his greatest strengths.

    1. Daulat says:

      That’s exactly what has been happening. Since last season, I probably has watched very Arsenal prem matches at least twice, and it’s so frustating to see players just dribble down without aim or purpose or any positional sense whatsoever and ultimately lose the ball, then turn around and run around like headless chickens. And it seems many seems to like that!

    2. Sylva Olabanji says:

      I agree with you absolutely.
      Every player comes with their strength and Frailties.Agreed Ozil would not fight for balls, but Wenger got the best out of Ozil using his strength to Arsenal’s advantage. Their was a big chemistry btw Sanchez and Ozil playing for Arsenal with Wenger as manager. But Emery just seem not to be astute technically. He didn’t use Ozil for several games yet, he cound not get any consistently giodresults. What exactly is Emery’s style?

      1. Daulat says:

        Style without style is Emery’s thing. It’s some deep Kungfu style psychology.

  4. Reggie says:

    “He looks like he plays the game in slow motion” and then she goes on to try and defend his ways. What an idiot, Ozil is lazy but very talented and has not achieved what he should have achieved in the game. Yes i know he has won big cups, im not on about that, im on about greed, he isn’t greedy for success like Messi or Ronaldo, thats his problem, he isn’t of the same mindset. If he was he had the potential to be called great, like Mattaius or Keumann, he has wasted his talent not enhanced it. Im sorry but Carney talks with fork tongue. Ozil has wasted his chance of greatness because he isnt strong minded like all the great footballers who dont like being second best, Ozil should for Arsenal be in the Bergy or Henry mould of greatness but they were stronger mentally and wanted it far far more. He wont ever be in any hall of fame ever for Arsenal, he didn’t and hasn’t done enough. He is weak and i don’t mean physically.

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