Having lost to Manchester United on Sunday in the Premier League, Arsenal now sit six points off top spot. The Gunners - who were considered title contenders - are all of a sudden being labelled as bystanders to a two-horse race, between Leicester City and local rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Mesut Özil has been Arsenal’s standout performer this season and if anyone had the capability to reignite a late surge for glory, it would be the German. Ozil has either scored or made an assist in 20 of the 27 games the north London side have played so far this season.
However, Manchester United's Ander Herrera told Sky Sports, that Özil is inconsistent and plays second fiddle to the creativity of Barcelona's Andres Iníesta.
Has Mesut overcome his inconsistency?
The 27-year-old upon his arrival to London initially went missing far too often in fixtures that required someone of his skillset. The German was unwilling to work hard for his teammates and there were few aspects of his game to justify a fee of £42.5million pounds. This season Ozil has turned a corner. The German is displaying the form which earned him a nomination for the Golden Ball in the 2010 World Cup.
Arsenal’s creative midfielder has so far claimed 18 assists in the league and is likely to surpass Thierry Henry’s record of 20 as 11 games remain. In these 11 games Arsenal are set to play current title favourites Spurs away from home. If they are to get a result at White Hart Lane, Mesut will need to play well.
Arséne Wenger's side are unlikely to qualify for the next round of the Champions League whereas those around them, excluding Leicester, will have their attention diverted towards European fixtures.
Arsenal have a game in hand over Leicester who it seems are starting to feel the pressure, as the Foxes dropped two points at home to West Brom in Tuesday's nervy encounter. Ozil can be the deciding factor in The Gunners bid to win their first title since 2003, yet the German will need the misfortunes of his rivals to help him.