Martin Keown wants Arsenal to build the team around Ozil – is he right?

Martin Keown urges Unai Emery to build his team around Mesut Ozil.

Mesut Ozil has arguably not been pulling his weight under Unai Emery, however, the calls for his reintroduction into the Arsenal team on a regular basis are growing.

The German has been frozen out by the Spanish manager for much of this season and a portion of the fans, pundits and former players have been urging Emery to make use of the club’s top earner.

Ozil started only his third game for the Gunners this season in their game against Liverpool in midweek and he showed that he can still turn it on.

He was substituted on the 65th minute by Emery, who is considering naming him in his starting 11 against Wolves.

Martin Keown is, however, of the view that the German and the Spaniard should fix their relationship and Ozil should be a permanent fixture in the Arsenal team.

Keown believes that Ozil is a class above his mates in the Arsenal team and could help the Gunners reach the new heights that they are hoping to reach.

Build the team around Ozil.

Keown said: “We know Ozil has the ability and the quality.

“He has more ability in his little finger than most. People couldn’t even dream of some of the things that he’s capable of.

“And I believe that Emery actually has managed him probably correctly in this situation.

“Even to the detriment of Ramsey, because let’s take it all the way back to the beginning, Ozil got the first chance ahead of Ramsey.

“It’s about looking at the tactics and what can Arsenal deploy around him to get that creativity into the team.
“Because we do have some great front players, there’s no doubt…

“You can’t kid former players, you watch and you know who’s committed and who isn’t. That’s been the issue with Ozil.

“But if he was to bring his A-game along as he did the other night [against Liverpool], I’ll take some of that, and some more.

“Let’s build a team around him, but the tactics from the manager have to be better.”

There is no doubt that Keown’s opinion will be widely shared, however, not everyone is in agreement.

Some, like myself, feel that he has had multiple chances previously and was found wanting. Ozil does have some good games occasionally and against a bunch of kids, he will always look good. But too often he simply did not deliver.

Ozil will soon revert back to his old ways and then we will all be back to square one. This is just treading water and the sooner Arsenal move on from the distraction that is Ozil the better.

So, who is right, Keown or those of us that want to move on?


  1. AY75 says:

    He deserves a run of games in the EPL, at least he’s earned that with his performances so far this season. I believe our attack would be a lot more fluid if he manages to keep operating in top gear, which is where I have my reservations about him. I know on his day he could be unplayable, I remember that game against Man u (3-0), where him, Sanchez and Walcott knocked them dead right from the start….. and I also know he has that tendency to play like he’s lost all interest in football, our Europa final against Chelsea comes to mind.
    What I’m saying in essence is that, after a run of games alongside our best players, we’ll get to understand if or when Özil gets dropped again. But so far, giving the dearth of creativity in our play recently, we can only keep blaming Emery for not playing him. Not like I want him to keep the job anyways…. also, who else thinks we’ll probably draw against Wolves, if my memory serves me right, we only managed a draw against them last season. I hope we win though, and Emery gets the boot regardless……. COYG!

  2. ThirdManJW says:

    Ozil has already proven we can’t, so Keown’s comments are very surprising. He underperforms too often, and is always “injured”.

    I knew this would happen though. Ozil FINALLY puts in a world class display, and everyone wets themselves! How many world class performances in the last 3 years? A handful? Also, people seem to be forgetting the level of opponent. It was Liverpool reserves.

    If Ozil starts performing like this consistently, then maybe we can say he’s turned a corner, but not after one fixture! Let’s look at his next 20/25 games before making any kind of assessment.

    Remember fans were going nuts over Ceballos after Burnley game, and what has he done since? He’s actually been quite poor overall. Fans need to stop being so shortsighted.

  3. Build the team around a 31 year old player? Okay!

    1. Khalid says:

      How old is Messi or Ronaldo? Great players are like wine, they get better with age! Instead of running around like headless chickens, they let the ball do their running. With his “lazy” style Ozil can play upto his late 30’s without doubt!

      1. Ozil is not in the same category as Ronaldo and Messi. We already saw Rooney and RVP who were great players but once they hit their 30s their performances went to the dogs. We should be phasing out 30 year old players. Building the team around Pepè would be a better move in my opinion. He will peak in 2 or 3 seasons and be a real talisman. He will give us a further 3 or 4 very good seasons before he starts regressing.

  4. Fully G says:

    I agree, build the team around him.

  5. Kahsay Tesfay says:

    During 2002/2003 Watching Foot in Arsenal is really foot ball. All players were Enthusiastic, hard work, attractive, competitive, profitable and fighting spirit.Therefore, we should give credit to Mr.Wenger. However, now it is the reverse of the above mentioned. please sack Emery as soon as possible.

  6. clemento says:

    I fully agree with Keown. If we want to build the team around Ozil, then we should know in which system he capable of delivering. Ozil shows up while playing 4-2-3-1 stop using him in 4-3-3 or 3-4-1-2 like Emery used him most of last season. Again remember Ozil performed well when Sanchez was around, I.e he needs a talented winger to whom he can give that killer pass. This time around we have Pepe who is capable of receiving the deadly ball and make good use of it. Let us not judge Ozil when we all know he is not being used in his favorite system.

  7. Goonster says:


  8. Glorious says:

    Ozil lovers at it again. But you should all remember that laziness is not a virtue

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