Should Ozil Play In The League Cup? (not another Ozil article!) by Dan Smith
Many gooners on Saturday were concerned about our lack of creativity. I heard a few on social media talking about how the team lacks that midfielder who can pick a pass, who can do something special to unlock a defence.
The irony is we have a World Cup winner sat at home doing nothing, and assisting and creating chances is his strength, but is at home playing on his PlayStation.
Now many readers will reply with ‘not another Ozil article’ instead of answering any points made, but how can we not refer to the German if our fan base is moaning for a number 10?
If the team had a talent making opportunities for our strikers, I wouldn’t be able to complain, would I?
Like anything the club can easily prove me wrong. Buy Aouar and then you could argue we have an upgrade, but as things stand I still maintain that if there is 10 minutes left of a game and I needed to choose one person off our bench I trusted to create a bit of magic, I don’t see a better option then Ozil.
I understand he might not have the work ethic to fit into Arteta’s ethos and I admit his stats are declining, yet while we focus a lot on what Ozil doesn’t do, has anyone replaced him? Is Joe Willock or Reiss Nelson any better in the final third?
Our manager could easily tell us if the players attitude was poor or if there was a lack of effort in training. If he did the likes of myself could say nothing.
Instead the Spaniard maintains everyone in pre-season started with a clean slate and will be picked on merit, no matter off-the-pitch factors.
If that’s true, then he surely has to select Ozil for the League Cup this week?
We have three realistic chances of silverware and in my opinion, we are not good enough to be putting our nose up to any trophy.
Brendan Rodgers though has already admitted his squad isn’t big enough to juggle Europe with domestic football so might rotate on Wednesday. Even if everyone who started at the weekend is rested at the King Power, we still could select a strong line up.
But let’s use common sense here. If the conclusion at the end of a Premiership fixture is that we need more creativity, then surely Ozil would get in an 11 made up of those on the fringes?
Arteta would struggle to convince me (assuming we rest whoever starts at Anfield) that Ozil not even being a sub at the King Power is a footballing decision. Which is fine as long as we are still in the Cup come Thursday. You can’t write ‘not another Ozil article’ then say a lack of creativity knocked us out of the competition.
In the FA Cup Final did I believe that If Arteta had needed a goal he truly felt 19-year Matt Smith (yet to play a senior game for us) was preferred over Ozil based on talent? No!
That’s wasn’t a decision made for the best interests of the team. Yet we lifted the Cup that day, so the ends justified the means.
At the weekend Eddie got the winner which again is all that matters.
Yet it works both ways. We finished 8th, our worst position in 25 years. The idea it was all Emery’s fault is a myth. Of the 10 League fixtures we lost, 5 were under Arteta.
In fact he was undefeated in the Prem in 2020 when Ozil was starting every week. The moment he dropped him we lost 3-0. We then lost to Brighton. Those are facts which some don’t want to hear. Hence, the ‘not another Ozil article’.
If you were judging this purely on footballing merit. It makes little sense to ghost a player you were starting every week when winning. Responding to losing the first two games after he’s dropped by dropping him entirely, seems bizarre based on footballing merit. We didn’t have a shot on target at Villa Park. So if everyone is being treated equal, shouldn’t Ozil get a chance when his peers had just made zero chances at Aston Villa?
Remember the last time the man played; he assisted the winner. Now he couldn’t get in a 20-man squad who were losing to Brighton and Villa?
It would be the latest slap in the face if he’s frozen out in midweek.
I have given my theory in the past and it’s one the player himself has suggested. He fitted into plans before the break, playing every week, the team don’t lose.
After the forced break he is yet to play again.
Obviously, something happens during the break. The only issue made public was that the player was one of three to refuse a salary cut.
Does that mean I’m questioning Arteta’s honesty?
Put it this way, I think in 2020 politics are a part of being a manager. Arteta, having been mentored by Guardiola, is aware stuff happens behind the scenes. His attention to detail is too much for someone to meet his standards for 3 months, then after a winning run be discarded. it’s too extreme.
So as much as some have the wish to say ‘not another Ozil article’, I also have a right to demand what are we doing about the big creative hole left in the team. Because that’s who suffers.
Ozil still gets his 350,000 pound a week you know, regardless if travels with the team or not. See I don’t care about Ozil, I care about Arsenal. I care about us having the best chance of winning games.
If we are paying someone so many wages to sit at home but are champions, I couldn’t argue – but if I am seeing games where we lack creativity and I know we have someone capable that is not being utilised, I’m allowed to question it.
I could care less if Stan Kroenke regrets extending his employee’s contract. That’s his business, but saving a Billionaire money shouldn’t mean we have zero creativity. When you buy a football club there will be times when your investment doesn’t pay off, but don’t let the whole team suffer. Either coach him to be better or buy someone better. At the moment you have done neither.
I don’t envisage him being involved until the Transfer Window closes. As long as we have creativity at the King Power, I can’t say anything, but if we don’t then expect more Ozil articles.
Or like I said …….sign a creative player who is better.