Ozil has not improved as many would have hoped despite Arteta replacing Emery.
Arsenal fans will probably remember the cheeky comment from Mesut Ozil about a month ago, and you can still see it in the video below…
What’s changed for Ozil under new manager Mikel Arteta? “Under Arteta I’m playing” was his rather pointed response, a dig at previous boss Unai Emery for freezing him out the way he did.
— Gilles (@_Grimanditweets) February 10, 2020
Sadly for Ozil, that is pretty much the only change we’ve seen from him under the new regime. Despite getting more opportunities in Arteta’s side, and despite the style of football looking far more suited to his game, he’s still not really influencing games the way we would like.
The German has played 12 games under Arteta, all of those starts, and yet he has just one goal and one assist to show for it in that time. His goal was admittedly a thing of beauty in a flowing team move against Newcastle that he played a fine part in, but this was a 4-0 victory against a poor Magpies side. His solitary assist was his header down to Alexandre Lacazette for the winner against West Ham – hardly the kind of defence-splitting pass we’ve come to expect from him when it comes to creating goals.
Ozil will turn 32 next season and on this evidence we’re highly unlikely to see an improvement from him any time soon. Arteta seems almost the ideal manager for him and has given pretty much everyone else in this squad a lift. That Ozil has failed to feel the benefits of all this is pretty damning.
This is not to say he’s been awful in recent games, but he’s a high earner and still a big enough name that Arteta might feel compelled to try building a team around him, but that just isn’t justified at all.
Unless we see a rapid improvement between now and the end of the season, this is surely Ozil’s last chance to show he deserves his place as a starter and top earner at an ambitious Premier League club. Finding a buyer for him now might not be easy, but it’s crucial for our progress as a team to move on and find someone more reliable to build around in that area of the pitch.