As usual the issue of how much Mesut Ozil earns at Arsenal has been brought back into the headlines. Okay we all know that at 31 years old the German is nearing the end of his career, and the stats are very clear that his ability to score and assist for the Gunners has been greatly reduced in the last few years.
The former Arsenal striker Adrian Clarke believes that Ozil has been much more effective since the arrival of Mikel Arteta at the Emirates. “He’s a much more effective player in an Arteta team than he was in either team Emery let behind and certainly the one that Freddie Ljungberg picked. He never included Ozil, or hardly ever,” Clarke told The Chronicles Of A Gooner Podcast.
“To get the best out of Ozil you need the team to be brave in possession to make those forward passes through the lines. Under Ljungberg that confidence was just gone, it had evaporated, and under Emery as well.
“Under Arteta there’s more confidence. The fluency is not quite there but once it does come, I think we’ll see more of Mesut. I’m a huge fan of his.
“Technically he’s outstanding and I like his movement. He is hard working, even though people don’t think that, he moves around a great deal.”
So Clarke obviously admires the German midfielder, and he thinks that Ozil wouldn’t get so much criticism if he earned the same as our other top players. “If he was earning a third of what he’s earning, I don’t think there’d be many quibbles from fans, it’s only the fact the contract is what it is, and people are thinking, ‘does he provide value for money?’ It is what it is,”
“We want to see him score more goals and creating more assists like he used to, but we’re looking at a player who, and we have to be honest with ourselves here, peak Ozil is gone.
“He’s not in his prime anymore, we’re looking at a player approaching almost veteran stage.
“We have to understand that as well I think. For the short term we really on him but one of the big goals behind the scenes will be, ‘right, who can we get in the long term to play that role for us?’.”
In some ways he is right, Ozil is overly critized now that his powers are waning, and we certainly need a top class replacement, but would us Arsenal fans be more lenient with him if he was only earning say, 150,000 GBP a week?