Ozil….a puzzle, an enigma, and a riddle, all in one….
Mesut Ozil has come in for a lot of stick, after Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Stoke City at the weekend.
Now, many often are baffled as to why Arsenal fans whine. And yes, Arsenal Fan TV made good viewing for the haters on the weekend, I am sure.
However, this is just my own view on Ozil. And the first of several pieces, as to why Arsenal fans complain a lot. Superficially, we have little wrong at our club. We have a big stadium, which after eleven years is amongst the best in the world. We have a world class training facility, widely acknowledged as world class. And we have top players, including World Cup winners, Copa America winners, and Premier League winners (though not with us, unfortunately…)
Ozil is one of these World champions, and in a way epitomises why Gooners moan.
Very few would say Ozil is rubbish. He is a player of immense technical quality, and is key in Germany’s current team. However, since joining Arsenal in 2013, he has seldom hit the heights as regularly as many may like.
In technique alone, he is up there in recent Arsenal history with the likes of Fabregas, Bergkamp, Henry, or van Persie. Though it’s his inconsistency that is the problem, and not his quality as a player.
It could be that Ozil is merely a bad fit for Arsenal. As a creative presence, Arsenal need a player who is all energy, and can continuously create, pass, and win back the ball. This may make some baulk, but Santi Cazorla in his initial season at Arsenal in 2012 was the ideal creative player in Arsenal’s system. He was high-energy, and all over the pitch, and the spark that we needed at that time. Ozil and Cazorla are of a similar high-technical nature, but Santi offered more in this context.
Ozil could just be a bad fit in our system, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Many top players have not fit, yet that has not undermined their overall quality. Bergkamp didn’t at Inter. In more modern times, di Maria didn’t at Man United. Torres didn’t at Chelsea, and Morata didn’t at Real Madrid. It happens, and there is no shame at all to it.
The crux of the matter is that Ozil, despite his evident quality, does not perform to the level that a player of his name and/or stature should.
And Arsenal hold too many of these types of players.
Alexis is a notable exception. Though the following are not:
And numerous others are blighted by having apparent skill, but not consistent application. They epitomise and embody the mental malaise and weakness that plagues Arsenal’s seasons.
If people wish to know how, or why, Arsenal fans moan, then Ozil is a manifestation of such.
He IS talented. But then he doesn’t do it enough, for my liking. And in the estimation of many other Gooners.
Ozil IS good, don’t get me wrong
I do rate Mesut Ozil. However, he does not perform to his optimum as much as we should expect.
He is a player who is too comfortable, and moments of skill vs. Ludogorets in 16/17 were balanced by shockers at Stamford Bridge, and again by brilliance in the FA Cup Final.
Ozil is definitely a puzzle, but for his and our sakes, the enigma needs to be cracked for us to see his full potential emerge.