The worst of the Ozil situation is not the fact that Özil plays or not but all the poor and false justifications a lot of you guys try to do.
You guys say that it is because of his attitude in training. Well, nobody knows if this is true and most importantly, if it is the case, why does Arteta have to answer the questions in a very unclear way instead of just saying that, what would be the problem with it? Unai Emery said it a couple times. And when Mesut’s behaviour was bad like in the game against Manchester City, Ljungberg said that he wouldn’t play because of that. So if he is training so poorly that he can’t reach the bench, well, just say that. Everybody thinks he is lazy anyway, so, just say that instead of avoiding the question.
It is true that the current formation doesn’t fit very well on Özil style of play but that justifies that he is not a good asset to even have on the bench? especially when Arsenal is dominating the game but not finding solutions at front.
“The guy doesn’t want to press, the guy doesn’t run for the team blah blah blah” I’m not even gonna go there, if you watched the games before lockdown, you know the truth.
And taking the formation thing again, what if Arteta changed the formation because for a mysterious reason his only number ten is no longer available? Arsenal played 4 – 2 – 1 – 3 before lockdown and lost less games than after lockdown in the premier league with a more defensive approach. And, by the way, before lockdown we played against stronger oppositions and with Mesut on the pitch the team managed to lose just one game and without Mesut the team lost 3 games. So where is the clear advantage of the new formation (3-4-3) or not playing Mesut?
Everyone also talks about how much the team has improved, and yeah, defensively the team is way better against stronger oppositions like Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, we are literally mastering the art of parking the bus but when Arsenal is playing against weaker and more physical opponents this team is a joke, I mean, just remember West Ham game, they (West Ham) dominated most of the game, they created way more chances and they surely deserved to win and when others coaches would be pissed by that horrendous performance of the team and with the midfielders given away the ball for free, Mikel ends up with a big smile because…the attitude of team? I don’t get it.
Let’s talk about the pressing part. Well, I’m not going to defend Mesut in this subject, no because I believe he can’t press but because even assuming the team presses better now, which could be true, it is pointless if the team is unable to maintain possession of the ball. I’ve gotten so frustrated at times watching Lacazette winning possession and seconds later making a wrong pass and the same with Xhaka and Ceballos, where exactly is the benefit of doing so “amazing” pressing if you are gonna lose the ball anyway? What if you have a guy walking around the press but with the quality to keep possession of the ball and hurt the opposition with the right pass?
I am glad the team is getting better in confidence, but this team just don’t have enough quality at the middle or in the back, and sometimes even in the front to win something important and don’t tell me that FA Cup is important because Wenger won those for fun and never were enough.
And talking about the quality of the players, please try to see the big picture here and not only see the downfall of a player but the downfall of the team. Özil is not Messi or Hazard, who can dribble two or three players and win matches alone. Özil needs his teammates, he needs to associate with those around him to build something and you can’t denied that is not the same playing alongside Sami Khedira, Pepe, Ramos, Dí María, Ronaldo than playing with David Luiz, Xhaka, Ceballos, Mustafi and Lacazette. And forget about those big stars at Madrid, just think about what he had when he arrived to Arsenal, on the back Per Mertesacker, world champion, Laurent Koscielny, France National Team captain at the moment, Santi Cazorla, one of the most gifted midfielders that Emirates have ever seen, Ramsey, who last week dominated the midfield for Juventus and Alexis Sanchez. Now compare that context with the current context and try to make a more complete judgment. Mesut is not perfect and is getting old but, man, the current team doesn’t help a bit.
Honestly, I want to watch Mesut play, he has more quality than anybody in the squad, but I was happy to see Arsenal’s matches even without him, what I find really annoying is people trying to build “football arguments” around his absence. There are none. And if his attitude is so bad in training, well, Mikel, just say that clearly and without so much ambiguity.
And one more thing, why is Mesut always the one receiving criticism or nonsense justifications of his absence? I mean did you guys watch the games before lockdown? You can easily see how the entire team lacked confidence except, ironically, Mesut. Even Aubameyang’s lack of confidence cost us points, just go watch how many chances he wasted in that period, especially against Burnley. Or how Lacazette took two and half months to score another goal for Arsenal. Why don’t they receive the same judgment as Mesut? Is it because they show a “good” attitude? Is it because they seem to work hard even though that ended up in nothing sometimes? When did attitude start becoming more important than the things you actually deliver inside the pitch?
And seriously guys, if you want to concentrate on the negative aspects you can destroy any player, even the recent “hero” Auba makes a lot of mistakes. He has shown poor decision making in a lot of moments, he lost the ball quite a lot in some games and he makes wrong passes. You can talk about that or instead we can concentrate on his peace and his excellent finishing ability. And that is the thing here, we can talk and talk about all the things Özil doesn’t do quite well or we can give the guy a little bit of credit for what he is excellent in because at the end he is one of the best creative midfielders and is the only World Champion in the squad, so he must be doing something right.