Former Gunner’s boss explains why Ozil cannot get into this Arsenal team

George Graham has attempted to explain why Mesut Ozil is struggling to get into the current Arsenal team.

The German has been a key player at the Emirates since he moved to Arsenal in 2013.

His first few years at the club were very good ones, but he has since become a shadow of his former self.

Despite being dropped by Unai Emery, Mikel Arteta gave him chances to prove his worth when the Spaniard became Arsenal’s manager.

However, in due time, Ozil proved that he isn’t worth given chances to.

The club has tried to get rid of him, but he wouldn’t leave and they have now been forced to exile him from their registered squads for competitive games this season.

Former Arsenal manager, Graham claims that Ozil is perfect for a team that always has possession because he can do great things with the ball.

However, his not good enough for any top team without the ball.

Graham told Talksport: “He’s got to be in a team that’s dominating games and he’s got to be on the ball as much as possible. Without the ball… just no. He is definitely lacking, not even at the top level. Without the ball he’s not good enough.

“With the ball he can be good enough, but he has to be in a good team. He was up and down like a yo-yo under Arsene Wenger. He obviously isn’t playing into the new manager’s style.

“You play when you’ve got the ball but you also play when you haven’t got possession. He’s just not up to the standard that Arteta wants.”

Tags George Graham Mesut Ozil


  1. All we know is that we were winning under MA when Ozil was playing and we are loosing when he is not. So Ozil having the ball, not having the ball, sleeping, playing video games or day dreaming are immaterial. We were winning and playing descent football. As for George Graham I’ll say, your SPURS are calling and Arsenal does not need your advise.

    1. Had to laugh , as a non OZIL fan, reading your comment as an Ozil fan yourself, at the irony in your comment that when he played we were playing “descent” football. Descent means going down! I KNOW YOU MEANT “DECENT” of course but it was hugely enjoyable, having the views that I DO OF HIM AND BEING AN ARCH PEDANT TOO.

      For the record, I am pedantic as I seek the WHOLE truth, not half truths and falshoods and accurate words give truth, whereas inaccurate ones do NOT!

      1. You don’t know the truth even if it hit you over the head. You are trying too hard to be relevant and that’s why you put people down by insulting them, correcting their grammar and screaming at them. A descent human being would have responded with facts to dispute my claim but facts do not matter to you. I am older than you are and have many friends. I never encountered anyone as miserable and complexed as you are. Get a life.
        Before you answer my post, I concede ahead of time that you will undoubtedly win at being nasty, insulting, belittling and all the morally unacceptable attributes you need to feel like you belong. You are not capable of surviving without them.

          1. Just to note that falshoods is actually spelt falsehoods… not that it really matters, as the contents are what should be of the prime concern.

            As for GG and style of play, Stroller should stop calling the kettle black.

          2. Now that I calmed down, I am sorry I responded the way I did because it was out of the norm for me. This is not the first time your response rubbed me the wrong way. From now on. I won’t read them since you don’t even realize how unkind they are.

    2. @Icw

      We never would have seen the performances against City in last season’s FA Cup semi, or our first win in 14 years at Old Traffold, if Ozil had played, because if refuses to put a shift in for the team. Even Auba has sacrificed himself for the good of team!

      1. ThirdManJW: You are too selective. Why don’t we rather look at Leicester and Villa’s game? Why don’t we look at where we finished the season? How did Auba sacrifice himself for the good of the team? By not scoring? How do we know Ozil refuses to put a shift in for the team? If shelving Ozil was the right decision, how come we are playing worse than when he was on the team? We can’t change facts.

        1. Yes, Auba is not scoring because he has sacrificed his game for the team. Arteta has asked Auba to play wide, and defend, which he has been doing. How am I being selective, when you have just mentioned only two games?

          I agree we have a problem in attack, but Arteta has acknowledged that, and hopefully we’ll see an improvement in due course. Also to add to that, Ozil is not the answer, has he has proved for the last 3 years. Arteta gave Ozil a chance, and he did absolutely nothing. Ozil creates a lot of half chances, but he was well down the list last season on clear cut chances created. Even Mustafi was ahead of him! You simply have to watch Ozil to know he doesn’t put in a shift.

          And it’s not as bad as you’re making out. 10 wins from 14 games, and a trophy, is a great start to the season! We’re beating the big boys, and competing with them. So yes, facts are facts!

          1. Auba playing wide is his natural position where he always played from Arsenal to Borussia to Saint-Étienne.
            So Auba is Ok when he does not score because he was given an assignment by the coach but Ozil is crucified because he did not create an assist. If Auba is busy defending how would Ozil create an assist for somebody who is busy defending?
            If Ozil is singled out as being dreadful then how come we finished 8th when he was not playing? How come we had a winning record when he was?
            As for winning the cup, Ozil deserves credit as any other player because he played in all the cup games except the final. Artera eluded to that also.
            Listen it is Ok not to like a player but at least let’s recognize all the facts. Ozil is not good at defending but our record shows that neither are Auba, Laca, Willian , Pepe and so forth.

        2. @icw
          You keep ranting about us winning when ozil was playing… please tell us was ozil the strikers, defenders and goal keeper? Tell us how many chances did your so called baller gave?? Ozil didn’t play yet we won the fa cup and community shield. No one is saying you shouldn’t hype your Demi god, but pls quit saying it asif he’s that good. Deep down in you, you know ozil is just a one season wonder!

          1. One season wonder?! He is the only player in the history of football to be the top goalscorer or assist provider in premier league, Bundesliga, LA Liga, europa league, champions league, uefa and world cup so get your facts in order. Mustafi is the worst defender yet he gets selected and offered a extention in his contract but ozil is not good enough and willock is not good off and on the ball but his our future in the midfield. It’s not the fact of ozil its the fact we playing bad and we have ozil who can bring something different in certain games to get results… And I would like to hear what you Wil say when pepe gets dropped for speaking out. I guess he also not good enough

  2. Absolute nonsense from Graham! I think we should leave this compulsive guess work alone. I asked a coach to examine Ozil’s style of play and his response was exactly what I have long observed. Most people who speak about Ozil does not understand him like a route taxi does not understand a limousine. He normally predicts the game and beats the play and the camera like a silent virus. This is why he is so feared. They forget that he has over 250 goals and assists combined. You cannot be that lucky. At least he is worth studying. He needs 3 sets of frames to make the opponent sad. He needs a defensive midfield or antagonist (like Santi) to protect him and allow him to do magic; an intelligent set of forwards; and a steady team that understands each other. If you tinker too much he becomes frustrated. I have watched him explaining to Giroud repeatedly where to run. He used to also do the same to CR7. He was always happy when he saw Giroud run and Sanchez was his favourite. Go and look at these old videos. Ozil uses the time off the ball to organize the next play like a ‘lazy’ genius. So what is his weakness? He cannot defend to save his own life.

    I keep begging people to stop the guess work. We should either look at the facts or leave the discussion alone. Now, if MA has put a team in place where Ozil would normally shine, why is Ozil not playing. Bamma is bright, Pepe is very bright and skillful but fragile. Saka is beyond words for his age. We now have a spine (most of it). Let me go back to the Jamaican saying. When puss belly full him say ratta batty stink. This saying is about complacency. People with money find excuse not to hunt food or work. But Arsenal is desperate for winning the PL. Their bellies are not full. Why put in all the pieces that Ozil loves but not play him? Conclusion: Ozil is out of the game because of something political – not football.

    1. you are full of wisdom m friend, Ozil is not playing just because of reasons best known to Arsenal and not for football reasons….. For those blaming

  3. So far Arteta’s “standard” is hot or cold, on or off. Sounds just perfect for Ozil IMHO. Not trying to be glib, merely comparing our W-L vs Ozil appearing and disappearing. Besides, Ozil has more assists in last training session than our entire team in 2 games.
    Honestly what do we have to lose at this point? Grealish and friends shredded our midfield last game; hot knife through butter. Try him as a 10 with Partey and Elneny playing in a pivot, why not? Arteta has no answer for the attack yet anyway

    1. Durand ,Do you not realise that he CANNOT legally play now? It is widely known is England and presumably the USA too. He is excluded from the squads for Europe and the Prem, so all comment is meaningless. Or at least academic!

      1. True Jon, until January if I’m not mistaken, but I could still be wrong. I think eliminating the option is the tragedy here IMO, the same I would say of Saliba and the Euro League.
        No one knows behind the scenes at the club, or even if the decision was Arteta’s alone. We’re paying Ozil anyway, having the option to use him or not would have been a wiser choice.
        It seems a bit of cutting off one’s nose to spit the face.

  4. “That is why he is so feared! Oh really! Feared by sensible fans PERHAPS, in case he ever wears our shirt again. But now he is not in the squad, he cannot, so fear has disappeared, just like that!

    Just as he will finally disappear from our club next June and will have to start earning a living again. Not that he needs to, being so filthy rich at our expense!

      1. Jon Fox, why do you hate Ozil so much that the sound of his name makes you sick even when he is better than your 80% of your shitty Arsenal players gosh! people can really hate for nothing.


  5. Ozil did not negotiate his salary. This is not how football works; and you need to stop that line of discussion. A player has an agent. That agent sits with the Club. If he wins the player gets more money than he may deserve. The argument put forward was Ozil’s value at the time and the cost of a replacement. It was cheaper to keep him than lose him. Then Arsene left and we got “Good Ebing” who would not be able to make a golden car glitter. If we had constant structure Arsenal would get more out of him. So in the end Arsenal could not read the future and overpaid. We have to get past this discussion. Now for the fear issue – Ozil at his peak was feared tremendously – not now on the bench or since the instability. Check him out at ripping apart Brazil. Check the stats and the interviews after the match. Listen to the respect and worship in the voices of the Brazilians. Go and look at the interview with David Luiz. Ozil actually went and told him sorry. I could go on but the point is made. I do not need to defend Ozil. Just type in Ozil destroys team or try top 20 best dribble in football and see if this wimp turns up in your face with all the greats. I do not care if you hate him or think he is overpaid (which he is) – but try being honest.

    1. I have tried to avoid Ozil’s articles as much as possible but some English ex footballers and coaches need to know football is not only the game for brute and athletic players . Now coming back to what GG said about Ozil not being a not good for a top club with the bal… my first question to him is how many players in this arsenal team presently is.. I will say one not adding Gabriel and Partey who just arrived. All I see our players do ran 40 odd yards to get behind the ball and nothing. They don’t put in a tackle, mark or try to get the ball from the opponent. They back and back until the opponent get into our box and expect the keeper to do miracle. Example of this is Villa fist goal and disallowed goal and Bellerin running the whole length of the pitch, caught up with Grealish only to escort him to make a pass for their third goal. “You play when you’ve got the ball but you also play when you haven’t got possession. He’s just not up to the standard that Arteta wants.” If Arteta truly omitted Ozil base on GG’s thought then Arteta is a bloody hypocrite because Auba doesn’t do this, Bellerin doesn’t do this, Willian that just walked through the door does not do this. I have seen us concede several goals and defending that Bellerin doesn’t appear in the picture and he is a fullback. The same with Auba. The only attacking player I see on regular basis in a match doing is Laca and Nketiah with Pepe occasionally. We have been playing this way before Arteta got the job with little or no success and I’m surprised he adopted the same approach that got Emery fired.

  6. There are many reasons to hate Ozil. He is like ginger in Jamaica. It burns the throat but it mixes well with most drinks. Some people simply cannot manage it. I like ginger and respects Ozil. Simple. So here are the primary reasons some people do not like ozil despite his achievement:
    1. He is frail looking.
    2. He makes the game look too easy as he is not dramatic – that is rude to the simple-minded
    3. He is preoccupied with being an activist and this is new and distracting. Most of us just want him to play football
    4. He is ethnic-fluid. Right wing people cannot stand him. People of oppressed groups love him. Check for yourself.
    5. He has a high IQ , which is not associated with football and can manipulate his way through any situation. Check this out. He will be OK when he leaves Arsenal.

    In summary, he is complicated. I do not care for who he is – just the damage he can do to a team.

    1. My dislike for Ozil is long standing but has absolutely nothing whatever to do with ANY of your rather oddly chosen list of reasons. It is entirely because he does not try and does not give 100% and has not done so for many years past!

      I find it odd that this clear reason, THAT SO MANY SHARE, did not appear on your list.

      1. You dislike Ozil because he is not a thug. How much did you like Wenger?


        We are now below 10th trying to play silly chicken-without-the-head ball make worse by trying to play from the back. Even teams with much less spending are beating Arteta and this team as they can pressure team playing from the back even with less talented players.

        Ozil in the team would make the entire attack better forcing the opponent to be careful. Wenger was able to beat Leicester with fine attacking play. Only Wenger did not have the world class players to go to the next level, with a defender of that caliber going for 80M in the transfer market, the stingy Kroenke unwilling to spend.

  7. People seem to have a short memory. I recall on numerous occasions “Ozil goes missing in big games”. I for one were a big fan when hearrived, but sadly his style has gone bye, bye. You can’t have passengers in defence or without the ball. The game has become all pressing, all pressure and Ozil does not have those qualities, particularly in a midfield role.

    1. “The game has become all pressing, all pressure “.
      First of all the game is far from all pressing, all pressure. The game in the EPL is opening up. The reintroduction of Shakiri at Liverpool, James Madison at Leicester, the space and freedom given to Harry Kane at the spurs and Bruno Fernandes (during last game} at United are all proof that No 10 is coming back. Klopp who introduced the press and defend style appears to be getting away from it. Bottom line, no one style of play is good for ever. As for Ozil going missing in big games, a more appropriate explanation is that the whole team goes missing in big games. One player alone cannot be held responsible for a win or a loss.
      If that analogy is correct, name one player who went missing against Villa and one against Leicester?

      1. Ozil is going to Spurs with Mureen being very quiet, but we know he loves Ozil. His defense first approach of having specialists needs a #10 to make the front three come alive.
        Spurs will win EPL, maybe even Champions League, as Bale and Kane will love having Ozil behind them.

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