Mesut Ozil can be a frustrating talent. Though he has provided 18 assists in 27 games this season, he never seems to turn up against top sides. With Arsenal struggling to maintain a credible and consistent title challenge again, it is mainly due to the fact that no leaders within their side are taking the initiative to do well.
After his £42.5million move from Real Madrid to Arsenal, many fans were hoping that the German would have had a bigger impact. With Wenger wanting to utilise his new big money signing, more has been expected, and although there has been two FA Cup victories, the league and Champions League have still eluded the Gunners.
Too often against the big teams, Ozil goes missing. In their recent matches against Barcelona and Manchester United, the ex-Madrid star could not get any hold on the play. With no worthy contribution, he may of well have stayed on the team bus, emphasising just how poor he is.
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Whether or not this is because Arsene Wenger has put too much pressure on him is yet to be seen. However, a lot is always made of the fact Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez cost the club big bucks, and were the marquee signings in the club’s ‘new era’. Yet when both players don’t tick, neither do Arsenal.
It is hardly a surprise that they have struggled to get just a single point from their last three games, and it is purely down to their lack of leaders on the pitch and players like Ozil not stepping up in the big games.
Without Ozil and Sanchez, Arsenal do perform, highlighted through their 4-0 drubbing of Hull during the week. Even though you can argue that the quality of football is not the same between both teams, all players were able to express themselves more and play free flowing football. Too much reliance is often put upon the German and Chilean’s shoulders, and it is no wonder that they go missing.
At Werder Bremen and Real Madrid, Ozil was one of the best creative talents, with his time at Madrid possibly successful due to the fact he was not solely relied upon. At Madrid he regularly played alongside talented individuals such as Kaka, Angel Di Maria, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema to name but a few. He was not the biggest man on show, and it benefited him, being able to just get on with his game and perform.
Even at International level, the likes of Thomas Muller, Mario Gotze, Marco Reus all take the limelight away from Ozil, but with 18 goals in 70 games Ozil creates the play and helps make Germany tick.
But the same can’t be said of Ozil at Arsenal. To go from playing alongside Ronaldo to then playing with Theo Walcott is a big drop, and it certainly hinders Ozil’s play.
Ozil is human like everybody else and makes mistakes. But Arsenal don’t seem to be the club he should be at: he doesn’t fit the system well enough to be the legend he can be in north London.