Is Mesut Ozil really playing so badly for Arsenal? Stats say NO

Arsenal v Man City Stat Attack by Russell Cane

Mesut Ozil has been a shadow of his former self for Arsenal this season. While at Manchester City, Leroy Sane has enjoyed an impressive debut campaign in the Premier League under Pep Guardiola. The pair go head-to-head this weekend and despite their contrasting seasons, our stats at in fact reveal that the in-form Sane still falls well short of the out-of-sorts Ozil.

Statistically, when compared against himself, Mesut Ozil is undoubtedly having his worst season in an Arsenal shirt.
The German is averaging fewer passes per game (62) than in any of his three previous Premier League campaigns (65, 64 & 63). His pass completion (87%) has been lower than in both 2013/14 and 2014/15 (both 88%). While he is also making fewer key passes per game (2.8) than ever before (4.2, 3.1 & 2.9). The stats go on to show that Ozil is down for dribbles per game (1) this season too compared to previous years (1.3, 2.4 & 1.7).

However, despite Ozil’s poor form, he has still comfortably beaten the impressive Leroy Sane in nine key areas this season. The 28-year-old is averaging more than double the amount of passes per game than the 21-year-old and with a far superior accuracy. Ozil is also outperforming Sane for key passes, crosses and shots, while he has won more set-pieces and has been dispossessed less.
Arsenal v Man City
Although Ozil has played over 800 more Premier League minutes this season than the Man City man, our analysis shows that he has directly been involved in a goal, on average, every 207 minutes, compared to Sane’s 254 minutes.

The stats suggest we’re either getting far too carried away with Leroy Sane or the criticism Mesut Ozil is receiving is actually undeserved. So which is it?

Russell Cane


  1. gotanidea says:

    Sane plays as winger and Ozil plays as central attacking midfielder, so we cannot compare them. And statistics can be deceiving. Ozil can have good statistics, but he only starts playing well when the opponents reduce their pressures off Arsenal, usually in the last twenty minutes of the games. If Ozil is really a key player for Arsenal, just like what Sane is for City, he should be able to create assists in the beginning of the matches, not when Arsenal comfortably leads or when the opponent’s pressures are subsiding.

    1. ThirdManJW says:

      You have basically said everything I was going to, spot on! I’ve never understood it when people compare players that play in different positions, you just cannot do that. Very good point also about Ozil, and Arsenal in general, only creating chances, and looking better as a whole, once the pressure is off. Arsenal always look better in the 2nd leg in Europe, because we’ve already been knocked out from a disastrous 1st leg, thus our opponent sits back, and takes their foot off the gas. Look how good we were against Bayern until the sending off. Same in the league. Usually losing at half-time, and the same story in the second half.

      Arsenal only ever seem to really perform once we’re on the verge of defeat. Now that we’re out of Europe, the title race, and the pressure of success is gone, I wouldn’t be surprised to see us go on a good run, like we always do.

  2. ger burke says:

    can anybody please tell me when stats won the premier league. i am going back through the records , and i am having difficulty in finding a year . anybody help , please , ?.

  3. Break-on-through says:

    At-least you didn’t use that misleading stat of Ozil covering ground, this is the stat I hate most about Ozil. He doesn’t use it in a pro-active way, he uses it deceivingly.

  4. khangunners says:

    Here is a stat for you in all the twenty teams we are number last when it comes to points taken away from top 10 this year.

  5. frank says:

    Stats, ha. What are the percentages of Ozil going missing in big games, tackles made, defensive pressure?

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