Stop blaming Mesut Ozil when Arsenal play badly….

The Curious case of Mesut Ozil. by Eddie

I’m sure all Arsenal fans are keeping our fingers crossed, waiting for the EPL to get off. So I just took the time out to try and dig deep into our playmaker Mesut Ozil. If you’re expecting me to dig up stats for you, sorry to burst your bubble. I’m not gonna start typing figures here, this is my theoretical observation.

When Ozil moved to Arsenal during the 2013/2014 transfer window. His transfer was one talked about for a long while because of who he is or at least who he was. We just signed the most rreative player in Europe where the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Messi were dominating and he was our record signing. Everyone including myself was surprised and excited. We just snatched Mourinho’s favourite player at Madrid, Ronaldo’s favourite player at the time. Until today Ozil has been the only player to create the highest number of assists for Ronaldo at Madrid. So with so much to say about all that. A question I keep asking myself is “Where is that Mesut Ozil?”

Ozil adjusted seamlessly as soon as he came in to the fold. He started his Premier League career with two goals and four assists in his first five games. It was so easy for him that we were glad because his transition from Spain to England appeared seamless and quick. However, that quick start might have been the reason we all raised our expectations of him. And if you add to the fact that he was our record signing, the pressure was so high on him and i must admit it has been a series of ups and down for him.

He’s had his moments and his off moments, and most of the fans would prefer to lose him over Sanchez. But I ask – will that be the solution? No, I’ll rather lose none of them. Ozil has been questioned when it comes to the big games, that he’s invisible when we play against top sides. So we all wanted him dropped most of the times against big teams.

I found out Ozil hasn’t been just a big game under-performer, Ozil’s greatest ability is the way he links up with the players around him and helping their output. He’s done it at Werder Bremen, Madrid and for his country. This begs the question, how come Ozil kept winning ‘German player of the year’ consecutively easily? Come on – there are lots of players in the German squad who are good enough for the award.

His creativity and ability was what rejuvenated Ramsey’s and Giroud’s form at the time we got him, and still with that Giroud couldn’t convert most of the chances created for him.

So the critics about him under-performing in big matches has truth in it I’ll say. But the main perception and reason for that is, when the team struggles, Ozil struggles a lot more. It doesn’t mean he cant perform in big matches. Last season we saw how sharp he was against Chelsea with the whole team in high spirit. He linked up with Sanchez to score a beautiful goal, the seasons before that, his performances against Man Utd, Liverpool, Man City and our home win against Bayern.

Ozil has never been the player to take a game by the hand and drive it forward. At Madrid he had Ronaldo taking games and pushing the team while he was the main background Maestro. Ozil has and will always be at his best when supplemented and supported by his team mates. That’s why when the whole team seems down and performed poorly, Ozil performs worse.

When the team is in high spirits, Ozil is in higher spirits. Like it or not I believe Ozil misses Cazorla the most. Santi makes it easy and beautiful. They both flow together, they both know how to drive the team, something Ozil can’t do alone. Sanchez has been more of the creative player with eyes for goal, Ozil on the other hand needs his Santi since he’s not interested in scoring, rather he prefers creating the chances. I am also among the set of fans who thinks he should reduce this and be more selfish and develop an eye for goal. But now; does it mean Ozil is over-rated and a poor player? No!

Ozil disappears when the team is poor, and shines bright when the whole team is in high spirit. Can I remind you guys of another player like that?

Mahrez? Take a look at his performance the season he and the whole Leicester squad stormed to the EPL. Every player showed up at every match and Mahrez was the Maestro behind Leicester’s games. Fast forward to last season, they sold Kante and the whole team started performing poorly. Does it mean Mahrez of last two seasons is gone?

Now that we have a prolific striker, and Xhaka seem to be adapting well, I’m expecting both of them to form a good partnership. This partnership should’ve been Ramsey and Ozil but Ramsey is not as disciplined as Cazorla, and now Xhaka is growing to be more disciplined than Ramsey. I don’t want to lose Ozil, and I don’t want to lose Sanchez. If only, If only we’ll get Cazorla back for the full season and Sanchez stays and Ozil gets the support he needs. Guys – take it from me, we’ll fight for the EPL this season. So I think we all should stop writing Ozil off or talking about his flaws, we know it all and we know his strengths. Now we have Lacazette, all we need is Cazorla or a better CM to complete the jigsaw.

I’m hoping Wenger knows this and has a plan. But I’ve decided whatever it is we face this season, let’s not blame individual players throughout the season. Best of luck to us and the boys.

Eddy Hoyte


  1. gotanidea says:

    “Ozil disappears when the team is poor, and shines bright when the whole team is in high spirit.”

    That sentence sums up Ozil perfectly, a luxury. When the whole team is in high spirit and perform well, they don’t need a player like Ozil, because they can win the game without him.

    The fact that no other clubs are interested in him at this transfer window shows how his form has gone down. If he is really a player that can carry the team, many clubs will chase his signature, like Sanchez and Chamberlain (of course many fans will say he is not the type that carries the team).

    Ozil is a very unselfish player and has great eyes for spotting good chances, but Arsenal needs more than that. A playmaker that can dictate the tempo, beat the opponents and has the skills to possess the ball longer to wait for better chances. Someone like Messi, Iniesta and Xavi.

    I think Ozil is just not suitable for Arsenal’s football style, he is still a good player. He needs to move on to revive his career.

    1. Viera Lyn says:

      It’s difficult to blame Ozil for the difficulties he’s faced at Arsenal without looking at the big picture…like the fans, he too was lied to by Wenger…there is no doubt in my mind that he was told by Wenger that he was trying desperately to recreate our earlier success by acquiring players that fit the system he ran when Henry was in his prime…as we know this hasn’t happened…in order for Ozl to flourish he needs some speed up front, forwards that can make intelligent runs, a boss in the midfield to compensate for his obvious defensive liabilities and defenders who can transition from defence to offence quickly and efficiently…much like he had in Real and with the German National squad…unfortunately he ended up on a squad that has a striker who plays with his back to goal, very few intelligent runs into the box, minus Sanchez, no one to take pressure off him in the midfield, once Cazorla was injured, average defensive midfielders around him, which simply highlighted his lacking defensive qualities and defenders who lack the necessary cutting edge when it comes to transitional passing…instead of blaming Ozil, which is simply too easy, especially considering his mopey disposition, we should be asking ownership and/or Wenger why they brought him in if they didn’t intend on doing what was necessary to get the best from him…can you imagine Ozil playing with the likes of Henry, Viera, Petit and Pires, it would be incredibly to watch and even more difficult to stop…so the only thing different between his experiences in Real and with the German team versus his time at Arsenal are the players around him and we all know who is in charge of making those decisions, the Grinch who stole soccer

    2. Verstellung says:

      Arsenal need players that can actually finish. Ozil creates so many chances that are wasted do to the lack of quality finishing.
      Some bitch about his lack of defensive output but come on, look at his distance covered per game. He runs his ass off for breaks that no one sees or are too late to recognize. He is mostly surrounded by inferior players that lack his intuition. He freaking does it with Germany.
      Some compare his defence with Sanchez, but for all Sanchez does, how often does he get the ball back from the opposition? I reckon much less than he loses it for holding on too long. The guy is class on a team that lacks players who share his vision. IMO, Sanchez would ride the bench on the German national team. His game is just too different. Not poor, just different.

  2. Pablo Picasso says:

    I love Ozil, very intelligent player and on a good day can unlock any defence with one pass.

    It wouldn’t hurt having a hard working and goal scoring number 10 though. Thought he would benefit learning from Carzola though its evident now they are totally different players.

    Football has changed, number 10’s now also need to do the dirty work, Debrune (sp), Isco, Iniesta, Countihno, Varratti, etc all have some fight in them and also score a good number of goals. I feel with Mesut its just an attitude problem rather than anything else.

    I like the energy Iwobi brings to our game, he just needs to work on his technic a little more and brush up his finishing. This will come with game time, we might have an all round number 10 in the making to take over Ozil because Wenger can never drop his big star from the stating 11 and at Arsenal Ozil knows that.

  3. Anko says:

    As far as am concern Ozil is a good player. He is better than the credit he gets from most pundits and that might be because most of the chances he creates do not end up being goals. And he gets extra marking from defenders as part of their defensive tactics. Imagine if he is English! Though I will like him to become more physical. The German team has lot of players that are very skilful which allows him to shine.

    1. ZA_Gunner says:

      I don’t think he gets extra marking, perhaps you’ve mistaken him for Sanchez? In any case I have mentioned in the comments before, Ozil is a good player but does not fit our playing style. Plus at the huge price and salary he is on, it is justified to expect him to be a game changer.

      1. Verstellung says:

        I disagree. He is often double marked when he receives the ball. That’s why he gets rid of it so quickly. If he doesn’t, they f’ing hack him down.

        I wonder if we even watch the same games.

  4. Raoh says:

    Look nobody is blaming Mesut for everything! But he does miss quite the amount of game for a superstar at the fulcrum of the squad who is supposed to lead by esxample. He also has gone missing in some games, notable ones at that.
    But to his defence he does create the most chances and makes the most dangerous passes in the last third. Also Arsenal tick so smoothly and differently when he is healthy and playing at the level we know he can. For one thing he suffered more than once from not having a top top quality striker in front of him and teammates that let’s be frank are wasteful in front of goals (Walcott, Welbeck among others).
    Just look at Cristiano Ronaldo and he during his time in Madrid but not only him, Higuain & Benzema. Clearly the quality in front was on another level and as such he racked up the most assists and chances created during his time there. It made him famous as one of the very best #10 out there.
    We know he can do so much more, one thing I don’t fathom is how people could call him lazy but that is just me.

    1. Quantic Dream says:

      I agree with everything you have said except, Ozil is indeed lazy. Of all the Arsenal players I have watched he certainly is the easiest to beat and get past… which is a problem since our defensive tactics are normally very poor on most days..

      1. Verstellung says:

        Do some research…

        I’ll give you a head start…

        Search: meset ozil distance covered per game

        If you still think he is lazy, than the Pope is probably not Catholic

  5. joe lacazzette says:

    Ozil is good… As simple as that.. Tq

  6. Ian wrights bruva says:

    Ozil is a class act he can link up the play and pick the pass to unlock a defence, in this regard we have few plays in our ranks who can do the same.

    The main issue for most fans (as far as I can tell) is that when we are involved in a physical battle or we need to grind out a result Ozil appears to lack any fighting instinct or any will to chase a player down and put in a challange, I completely understand this point.

    That being said Ozil is a player you need when pushing forward, find the pass to put the team on the front foot.

    When we lose the ball the rest of the midfield and defence need to be the ones to drop off, close the man down and put in a challange, once done Ozil is then available to be your option for the “out ball” and to get us moving on a counter.

    We need Ozil to be at his best, the boss needs the guts to be able to take Ozil off it the game looks like it is going to turn into a battle or his form drops

    Ozil gives you a level of quality only matched within the team by santi, alexis so he can be a credit to the team if he applies himself

  7. Norwegian Gooner says:

    Oooohhh Santi Cazoooooorlaa – Oooohhh Santii Cazooorlaaa
    (how we miss you lad)

  8. Kayzee says:

    Ozil is a brain not a body, Wenger needs to get a creative body like cazolar to play with him, so we can have the best out of his brain, that’s why he was outstanding at real Madrid and Germany

  9. ruelando says:

    Ozil, Ozil, definitely not my favourite player, i have said it over and over and this article tries to play it down, being an assist master is just one dimensional and we need far more than that from our highest earner or big name player.

    I would like to disagree with the Author that everyone was glad that Ozil joined arsenal, when at that point i was really hoping for Benzema or Higuain, i know that Ozil will not be sold but what i would encourage the manager to do is to have the guts to sit him on the bench when he goes missing in games. Even Perez who we are selling would be a better option than Ozil.

    1. Paul says:

      You are spot on on Perez being better than ozil if he’s given the chance, but neither of them are at wilshere’s level when fit
      Wilshere is aggressive, you can’t get the ball off him unless you foul him which gives us enough set pieces, he’s a big game player, watch our games against Bayern, barca, Chelsea, man city, man utd e.t.c when he plays, he creates more chances
      You just need to watch his games even at Bournemouth against Chelsea, which brings me back to the point that, no coach will ever play ozil while Wilshere is fit except wenger…………
      Plus, ozil is a pu**y or a weakling rather

  10. HARRYSON says:

    Can we get behind our players and stop stabbing our players. Ozil can do better with our support COYG

  11. Adam Criniti says:

    Well let’s see….

    Surrounded by Ronaldo, Higuain, and Benzema @ RM


    Surrounded by Giroud, Ramsey, Welbeck and Walcott @ Arsenal

    It isn’t a footballing coincidence that MO targets Sanchez 99% of the time when Arsenal initiate there offensive attack and

    Laca is a good addition, but even with Sanchez,
    Ozil still needs more WC help to repeat his jaw dropping form of years past and rightly be considered one of the best players in the world.

  12. ozil10 says:

    And also stop playing ozil when we are playing better without him!

  13. Loki says:

    Ozil has won Germany’s player of the year for the 5th time (2011,12,13,15,16)

    Ozil plays amazingly for Germany,Ramsey plays amazing football for Wales, So does Giroud for France, Even Joel Campbell plays very well for Costa Rica. The performance of these players for Arsenal compared to their country is much inferior.

    This is where We/Arsene Wenger needs to do introspection.We need a more adaptable system that’ll enhance the cohesion and performance of our players performing at par of the potential they show for their country rather than leaving us wondering most of the time about the credibility of our players.

  14. Raj says:

    If you read any post here, a general sense is that we miss Santi the most but it’s strange that Wenger the man who should be the first person to realize this is not doing anything to resolve that problem. Are the fans wrong or are fans just delusional? This is what makes me wonder is Wenger really the manager who can win us the league?. In 2012 ,when we sold RvP to manu ,we didn’t buy anyone who would replace him for 4 seasons .Does it take 4 seasons for a manager to realize what the team really needs?.

    1. Loki says:

      Maybe Wenger in his twisted delusionalway of thinking thought that maybe Sanogo will turn out to be something that Mbbape turned out for Monaco this year…that didnt happen,

      Then the following year he signed Welbeck thinking he will do that for him…that didn’t happen,

      Then the following year he made Walcott the central striker thinking that maybe Walcott will pull out a Thierry Henry…that didn’t happen,

      Then the following year he decided to use Alexis Sanchez as central striker thinking that maybe Sanchez will pull a Luis Suarez…And that actually turned out to be quite useful but then Sanchez wont renew his contract and his future remained/remains uncertain….

      Therefore Sanchez issue being one amongst various reasons We finally signed a lethal striker in the form of LACAZETTE… 4 years late too many but still better late than never.

  15. Tommy says:

    The new formation and the addition of Laca will result in one of Ozil’s best years ever. The additional width and speed from the wingbacks making runs opens more space for Ozil to operate and make the incisive pass. Having a real finisher there with Laca, Sanchez (God willing) and Ramsey making his runs will give defenses fits. Ozil (and Xhaka) will be devastating. Playing Giroud in the middle really destroyed the possibility of counters last year. Not enough pace. That’s where Ozil shines.
    Plus, last year the team were stagnant after Santi left, and it took Wenger till near the end of season to change formation to capitalize on the personnel we had. When he did, it made a huge difference. And Kolasinac is going to help maintain/regain possession a lot more. He could be the biggest difference maker of all. Best chance in years to really contend for the title, IMO.

  16. patrico says:

    Simple and straight forward>>>The men rather the boys in his front of him are the reason for his disappearances. Indeed the lad is the brain rather than the body. Therefore need to partner with the football intellectuals of C7 calibre

  17. gunner 71 says:

    Agree with the article. An absolutely brilliant player and not fully appreciated by certain Arsenal fans who prefer the rough and tumble. Is involved immensely in link up play For Arsenal to keep position an abundance of chances. Has the greatest assist ratio to number of games played in the league. If he doesn’t play in a game Arsenal definitely look as if they are missing a cog in the wheel. One spark of magic from him can change a game.
    Since he has been at the club. we have won 3 FA cups. Hopefully the league is next

  18. john_gatal says:

    ozil have lowes character and attitude when he lost of confident..its bad for the all player must play all out to get SUPEROZIL..

  19. Nomad says:

    I think the problem is not the players but the manager. On many occasions, I’ve said that a different manager would have turned some of our player to a world class player but not Wenger.

    Tony Adams was right when he said that and I’ll say that again, Wenger is not a coach….
    Take a look at Ozil for example, you only buy a player like Ozil when you have the best of the best player around him…….I really don’t blame Ozil as I believe no Arsenal player is intelligent enough to play wit him…even Sanchez is not good enough to play with him…..

    How many times did we see Sanchez over-dribbling himself when a simple pass would have been the right choice?
    What has happened to Gibbs?Who remembers how good he was? Does anyone even remember how good Wilshere was when he came back from Bolton? Does any of the plastic fans that leave comments in this website know what is going on? Do you even realize why all our player are turning to average players rather than reaching their potential?
    Another good example is the difference between Walcott and Bale….Many professionals have confirmed that Walcott was the better player of the two when they were in Southampton. Why is Bale the better player now? Because he had better coaching and better development than Walcott. I honestly wouldn’t blame any of our players as I believe they have a manager that has no clue as to how to coach and how to develop a player….he should have been Arsenal’s financial manager rather than the coach. Period. Stop insulting our players and go after Wenger..he is the problem not the players…..

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