Does Arsenal’s ‘passenger’ Ozil need resting?

Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil has been described as a ‘passenger’ by former Ireland international Kevin Kilbane after his dire performances in the the past week.

We succumbed to successive 2-1 defeats having led during the first half of each game this week, with our second-half performances gifting our opponents the points.

Kevin Kilbane has now moved to slam key player Mesut Ozil for his inability to fight for the ball in each of those losses, even describing him as a passenger.

He said: “Ozil was a total passenger in the second half.

“It was a same sort of performance than at Everton last Tuesday.

“In the second half they had no momentum, they were looking tired and without the ball they were very poor in the second half.”

He then praises their shape for the beginning of the match, before ripping into their frail second-half showing once again.

Kilbane added: “I think Arsenal were so good without the ball on Sunday.

“They had a really good shape to the side but they also carried a threat going forward.

“Those two in particular – Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil – were very good.

“The contrast was the second half. There was no real out ball for them and the shape of the side was quite poor.

“Sanchez was the one they were looking for but as soon as he gave the ball away, look at the players’ reactions.

“They’re static. There’s no reaction from players to get back goal-side.

“First half they started the game on the front foot and got right at City.

“They got the goal, had the luxury of sitting deep and had a threat going forward.

“Second half they sat off deep but they didn’t actually go and close City players down.”

Is Ozil tired and in need of a rest? Is he regularly failing to live up to his defensive duties?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Kilbane Man City Ozil


  1. Jansen says:

    I love Ozil and think he reads the game better than anyone and might have the best pass in football.

    Having said that, I am beginning to think he might be a luxury player. ie If the whole team is playing well and dominating a game, you get a lot out of Ozil. But if you play a superior opponent requiring some real fight and spirit, he is a liability. When we don’t have the ball he is also a liability. He needs some strong ball winners around him to not weaken a team in trouble. Other than Coq we don’t really have disruptive defensive players to support Ozil.

    I am not about to turn on Ozil but, I do think the manager should be much more ruthless in games during which Ozil gives a “not home”. Even Ramsey in the nr 10 spot would have done a better job in the second half against City. Ozil is simply not the player for the PL when you are being out-played, that’s when you need fighters.

    None of this is to say it was Ozil’s fault we lost. IMO it was a total system failure, from the manager down to the players.

    1. Trudeau says:

      Great analysis Jansen.

      Ozil is no leader, he can’t make a mediocre team play good, but under the right conditions, he can make a good team great. There is no reason why this group of players can’t be good. As much as Wenger has to cop a significant amount of the blame for our play this week, I would love to see the players hold a closed door meeting. But looking around, who would call it? That’s a big part of the problem.

  2. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Ozil is awesome and our best creative player

    However we do have the quality to rest him.
    eg. Play Alexis in Ozils position and Giroud or Lucas up front or Play Iwobi in Ozils position and Lucas on the left or Alexis on the left with Giroud / Lucas up front. There are many ways to do it.

    I am more worried about the defense
    We score enough but let in too many goals

    1. HA559 says:

      Our team only tackles when around opposition is around our box just on the outside. The midfielders wait and see players lurking around our box and they stand off, upuntill then. Then you get those ricohets and all after making a tackle and it goes back to them because we are so concentrated in one area, and not enough outlet.

  3. HA559 says:

    Put Ozil and Sanchez in AMF with Giroud or Perez in CF, if you want to keep the formation.
    That way Sanchez will do all his chasing in midfield instead of up alone. You can’t drop Ozil at the moment, there is no one else you can play except Sanchez there with Coquelin and someone else behind him in midfield. If we still play with Ozil then it should be like this;


  4. HA559 says:

    Also if you listen to Wenger post match almost after every game his season he kept saying’ we dropped of a little bit in the second half’.

    We played in one half of a match for most games this season and nothing is being done to address why we are dropping the level in the other half. Sometimes its a poor first half and good second sometimes it’s the other way.

    1. bran99 says:

      he always say that, but the old way and clueless he is, he can do nothing as a coach to change it.. he expects the team to do better next time by playing same players, same formation, same everything

  5. Vlad says:

    And who’s going to replace Ozil as number 10? Ramsey? Gimme a break. Ozil is not tired. Well, maybe he is, only mentally, not physically. I’d be tired too if my manager used the same formation/tactics week in and week out against different opposition. I have been a huge Wenger fan/admirer/supporter over the years, but I think he’s done as a manager. I hate his favoritism to certain players (Ox, Ramsey, Theo, Wilshere), and his stubbornness, which borders insanity, is what’s killing this team and subsequently affects the results. We need to keep both Ozil and Sanchez at all costs, but at the same time Wenger should do the honorable thing and retire at the end of the season if things don’t improve.

    P.S. What does Lucas have to do to get some game time? Is scoring hat-tricks in CL no longer good enough, and is for some reason punishable?

    1. Franko says:

      Remember Wenger criticized his goals as cheap goals in the Champions League. Perhaps Wenger wasn’t happy it was Lucas that got those goals.

      1. Franko says:

        Wenger forgot that the ability for a striker to be in the right place at the right time is what makes him a poacher which Lucas is amongst other qualities.

  6. reddb10 says:

    Why would he need a rest? he only ever bothers when we are playing a team in the bottom half or one from a a week european league.
    If he is honestly asking for 200k he can get lost.

  7. ger burke says:

    sadly , ozil , is by far , the most over rated player in the history of our great club. i have been saying this since he arrived here , so it is nothing new to me . he is a disgrace to the shirt.

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