Has Arsenal’s Ozil FINALLY shut his ‘LAZY’ critics up?

Once again last night in the FA cup quarter-final at Old Trafford, Mesut Ozil put in a real shift for Arsenal. It may have gone a little bit unnoticed in the fast and furious game, especially as a lot of the German’s work is done running off the ball, creating space and linking the play, but his display was yet another slap in the face for his critics.

The thing is, Ozil still looked languid and as if he was out for a kickabout in the park, but that is just what he looks like. Surely his critics will have to stop using that against him, because the stats prove beyond a doubt that Ozil is far from lazy.

In fact, a report in The Telegraph has revealed that Ozil has covered more distance than any of his team mates since he made his first Premier League start against Aston Villa on February 1st.

It has not just been aimless running around either because there have been three goals and seven assists from him this year as well, despite the fact that he has often been asked to play in his less favoured wide position. The amount of work done all over the pitch by Ozil is highlighted in this heat map of his game against Everton recently, a game in which he topped the list of hard working Gunners.


Our club record signing was also the only Arsenal player in the top five runners in that awful Champions League defeat by Monaco, so to say he is lazy and disinterested is just not true. It may have taken some for him to get up to speed in the EPL but we cannot keep slating him for that can we?

Tags assists Man United


  1. I wish he’d gain sum confidence and shoot when given the chance….its like defenders learn to kno that he’s gonna pass and not shoot…

    1. He has confidence. All he needs is some strength so that he will not be bullied from the ball too easy. He tracks back (in fact he had only couple of games in the last period when he was not in form) but he will never defend if he is not going to build up some muscles. Comes to think of, do we really want Ozil to defend more and give up from the ability he possessing today? Like the killer pas and the fine dribble? Compare Ozil from yesterday with Ozil playing against Monaco and you will see a world of difference. Personally I never seen Ozil walking on the pitch since he joined Arsenal. That’s an attitude right there. Not like it matters much tactically but attitude is right there.

      1. For me, Ozil looks noticeably stronger on the ball than he did before his injury. He’s in position to dominate the prem with no questions asked. Especially after one more summer of strength training.

        As far as looking languid, watching the game yesterday with other Arsenal fans, I realized that it’s those that don’t really know the game or what to look for, that call him lazy. They were saying they wished he would get more involved yesterday, but I thought he was doing a solid job. So, I think the eye test fails those that are unaware of what to look for and expect out of him. He’s been playing at a top level since his return this past February.

  2. Saw Ozil tracking the ball several times yesterday after he lost possession. He had a good game.

    And we know Ozil covers the most ground, but he’ll still get slated for being lazy especially with that awkward gait of his. But a win over United shuts every pundit up seeing that most of them are ex-United players anyway.

    1. covering ground doesn’t translate to working hard though. Ozil is always floating from flank to flank and is “tracking back” without actually pressing for the ball. Yesterday was a nice change though and I think he had a really good game along with Santi and as usual Coquelin. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going this weekend now.

      1. What I meant by tracking back was that he was actually winning the ball back which I think you were also referring to in your second to last sentence. And agreed Ozil could work harder on defense and hopefully he continues to do so.

      2. Good post. Seen Welbeck get blasted elsewhere on here for doing “nothing but score”. I say watch the game again my friends and concentrate on DB – and see exactly why Wenger put him in there, exactly why SAF put him on the team sheet first on big away games – hell even Mourinho would have approved. Thankfully the Arsenal staff will look at the complete performance for each individual – both with and without the ball and also when the match day cameras are panning elsewhere and we don’t see.

        1. Talking about Mourhino, I just hope we beat chelshit at emirates this season. Last all I want from wenger

    2. I saw Ozil tackle for the first time yesterday,at last he has listened to the critics and decided to wet the shirt as sanchez and Cazorla do.Go on my man.
      Now if we had been playing Coquelin,Belerin with Wiltshere out of the team,we would be right with Chelsea at the top of the league.
      Next year let us learn from this one,another DM needed and a striker are priorities.

      1. Yes, I saw an interception as well. I imagine Wenger looked away – the same way SAF hated watching Scholes try and tackle!

  3. People are still going to say “he needs to do more” and by that they mean “he needs to get 50 assists and 10+ goals a season” which is totally unrealistic. His price tag will always be an issue for people because it’s so high, so long as we support him and recognise he is actually playing well then what critics say won’t matter. He’s only going to get better, as he has proven from how he played last season.

    1. Agreed. I tend to ignore or move on if anyone kicks off an Ozil rant/critique with the standard and tedious “42M price tag”. His price was a business transaction between AFC and RM it has nothing whatsoever to do with Ozil. He should be judged, and especially by us Gooners, by the same criteria as we judge all our other players. Seems some people want to play the “price tag” card whenever it suits but tend to ignore it when it doesn’t back up their prejudices. If we are going to judge on a bangs per buck basis then we arguably have one of the best centre forwards in world football in OG at £10M? And is Matic worth 85 Coquelins? You pay £42M and the reality is that you get a player may be the odd few % better than most £20M men – you don’t get someone who can walk on water or score/assist when they want. If the media want to flog the “flop” thing to death there are many, many better candidates in the PL. As soon as you get over the £25M mark then the extra millions tend to blur – Lamela, Jovetic, Mangala, Lallana, Di Maria, Shaw, Torres, Mata, Carroll, Fernandinho, Robinho, Schevchenko, Fellaini, Adebayor, Balotelli, Bent over the past decade or so etc etc have all contributed less than Mesut imo.

      1. And they have all been called flops which they all deserved…. Ozil is learning and should continue to improve, that’s all we have been asking of him.. You lot might keep saying he is a no10 and should not defend but this is modern football, everyone has to put in a shift. Barcelona started the trend, Bayern followed and Madrid too..

        All players have to attack and defend now days. No more business of I am striker, attacking midfielder, no10 etc not helping out the team defensively.. The whole team has got to do attack and defend as a unit.

        So Ozil is learning, and as long as he works hard and does not create any chances I will be happy with that. I would rather he is more involved in games than just waiting for him to create 1 chance all game..

  4. @gunner i agree with you he should have had a go last night im pretty sure he would have scored by the way journos are starting to find excuses to slate us hard to come by,now that we won a trophy(last year),beat top four teams like man city ,man utd the only thing they can do now is attack the players now they can,t slam the team oops i forgot we haven,t won the CL!!

  5. I will say this over and over again…
    In big game gibbs should not play..against mancity it was monreal and we won. Again man u it was monreal we won…my point is gibbs isn’t a proper defender. Always out of position thinking he is a winger…then again carsola what more can I say about him awesome we never lost a game where he played so well..his defending skill I am still very suprised. Is no rocket science that wenger prefers chamberlain or welbeck to walcot because of their workrate walcot has zero to none workrate. Well bellerin his speed makes up for his some times gunhoo play but u can argue abt him being inexperience. To think luke shaw cost so much I would say bellerin is twice the player he is..and to our keeper well my sister keep screming anytime he touches the ball acident waiting to happen. His clearing is zero to none. Ospina all the way. I think he will be out in the summer. All in all Ozil was too intelligent yestrday for united. And buzzing been teasing my bro since yestrday. You should have seen his celebration when the ref blew whistel when janudive decided to swim in the game. He thaught it was a pk and I was like yeaaaaaaaa yellow card for the scumbag…am still high though on vodka…

  6. He had a good game yesterday. Worked hard throughout and the only time he switched off was for their goal (though Alexis did some headless chicken running that confused everyone in defence). Cannot knock the guy for his performance yesterday at all.

    To be fair – anyone who knows football isn’t really knocking his quality on the ball or his effort off it. I think the issue is he isn’t defensive and you can run all day but if you can’t defend, you can’t defend. He is sometimes a defensive frailty and when Cazorla is behind him not playing well, it really opens us up. Not a knock on him – tis a knock against our formation.

    Critics just want to hate on Arsenal though. They spend years telling us to spend, we spend, they want to slag who we spent on. They’ve already been getting into Alexis too. It’s just the anti-arsenal sentiment sneaking through.

  7. Well think of bebatov

    Looks like hes walkin around doin nothin. But we know he know wht hes doin. Same thin with ozil. He playsin midfield so we expect more running. He does run and may need to hassal the oposition a tad nore but we got other players like ramsay coqulan sanchez ox rosiky tht make up for it. So its kl.

  8. I love Ozil, and he has always played like that….since his days at Schalke. It can be irritating at times but he does care. And he will only get better. I dont think we would have won the FA cup last season without him. So those 42 million were well spend. We bought a troph

    1. He is doing alright.. But we would not have won the FA CUP without Ozil????… How did you work that out??

      1. Last season he didnt do well in prem but in FA cup he did a great job. Didnt you see his game vs liverpool? Or vs everton, even we are in trouble “without him” in semis FA cup last year. So i’ll say if we didnt sign mesut, last year there no FA cup. We sign him and finally we won a cup. So wake up haters.

  9. You’ll never shut them up but no player is perfect. Ozil is class. The I emperamental thoroubred or a donkey. Former everytime.

  10. The only system that can help us qualify to the next stage of the UCL is this; 3-1-3-3

    Monreal Cazorla Sanchez/Ox

    Koscielny Coquelin Ramsey/Sanchez Welbeck

    Paulista Ozil Walcout

    Please Mr. Wenger, for the love of God and arsenal, put Olivier Giroud and Mertesacker somewhere far from the bench. If Ox is available then, Ramsey on the bench, Sanchez in middle and Ox on the left flank. With this selection Monaco will go down by four goals to one.

  11. Ozil is doing good and will improve

    Not every player adjusts as quickly as Alexis and Costa
    They had high form from the beginning

    Look at Falcao, Di Maria. They are world class but haven’t found form yet.

    Give Ozil more time. Remember he was injured for half the season

  12. Just covering ground doesn’t mean you’re working hard enough. If that was the case, marathon runners would make excellent footballers.

  13. Ozil has been improving his game week in week out though. Surprisingly, it seems Sanchez own game is getting worse and worse each week. Still misplaces passes and dwells too much on the ball. What do they teach them in training???

    1. Agree on Alexis. Our high-octane players that excite the fans operate differently when it comes to risk-taking – not sure how safe we want Alexis and our other “mini-Alexis” (AOC) to be? All about balance I suppose – all teams need a risk-taker and the safer options imo. Ozil appears to have so much time on the ball it seems like slow motion – wouldn’t be surprised if he is conducting a quick mental calculation to work out what he should do next to maximise the probability of a goal – shoot with his weaker foot or pass to someone in a better position – last two games he chose the latter with goals resulting from both decisions.

  14. I think we should just sell Ozil,yes he’s improved quite alot but I personally feel he’s nowhere near he’s 42mil price tag.

    For a number 10 who cost that much purely for he’s passing he should be making like 5 killer passes a game.

    Yesterday he had two chances to try score but he decided to play a wack pass on both occasions.

    He lacks the pace,directness and scoring ability we need. I feel Rosicky does a better job than him most of the time.

    This shit of us defending him when we all know he’s below par is shit. Cazorla creates and takes more chances than him yet he’s playing as a B2B nowadays.

    I feel a player like Coutinho would suit us better,someone with pace,directness, one on one skill and a good pass…plus someone with the confidence to score.

    Creating chances in that role is not enough, chances will fall for you because you in an advanced position so you need to be able to take them.

    I think Paulo Dybala would be best suited for this role at AFC.

    1. Coutinho? A few good games and suddenly he’s a world beater. Stop being fooled by hype, he’s very inconsistent. Soon you’ll join the bandwagon and say he’s better than Ozil, Silva, Di Maria, Fabregas and Mata. Oh wait, you already have. He only has about 3 goals and assists(not sure but not more than 5). I know what you’ll say next, Liverpool weren’t playing well and needed to adjust, since when is that an excuse? What ever excuse you’ll give for his pitiful stats, you can give to any arsenal player. Idiot!

      1. @ conman

        i know coutinho is seriously so overrated id might even go so far as to call him bad. he has 4 goals and 4 assists in like 26 STARTS and if you watch him he reminds me of gervinho and he is so 1 footed. and this is not me hating him cause he’s on liverpool i rate sterling sturridge and lallana but i just think coutinho is not good

      2. I didn’t say Coutinho has been brilliant, I said he’s playing style will suit us better at the no.10 role…Paulo Dybala as well.

    2. Good analysis? No, I think not. Your heart tells you that you hate Ozil and don’t rate him. Your head should know that Ozil outperformed both PC and SC in 2013-14 on goals scored, chances created, assists, key passes, total passes and pass completion. I repeat beat them both in all 6 key stat categories. This season Ozil has outperformed PC in all 6 categories again and Santi in terms of assists, chances created, key passes and is down by a few percentile on the other 3, mainly down to Santi’s penalty count. You might hate stats but it makes your analysis a little awkward. Coutinho like Erikssen have produced a few wonder goals that have the effect of skewing opinion – but in the final third Ozil absolutely murders them both as a creative No.10 imo.

  15. The stats prove he is running, but what do they say when he reaches the end of these runs.

    Ozil has been better playmaker and scorer than fabregas in duration since his return, and to be accredited for ten goals in thirteen games is top quality maybe those stats speak more.

  16. Ozil sets the table, he just does not eat what he kills, I think he would rather shed the player, thread the impossible pass, and let the other guy get tap in, he is selfless,

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