He is not everyone’s cup of tea, and many Arsenal fans will vouch for that, but the continued negativity around the ability of Mesut Özil is absolute nonsense.
Much has been made of the current situation at the Emirates right now, with both Özil and Alexis Sanchez all but set to leave the club for nothing, once their contracts expire come next summer.
Though Sanchez may be too late to rescue, the club really have to do everything in their power to make sure their star playmaker doesn’t follow the Chilean out of the exit door in the coming months.
The term ‘world class’ gets used an awful lot in today’s modern game, but the majority of pundits and media will refuse to put Özil anywhere near that category. Yes, his body language and work rate is particularly questionable, but his quality unquestionable.
FIFA World Cup winner, UEFA Team of the Year in 2012 & 2013, La Liga Champion, Spanish Cup Winner, FA Cup Winner and most assists than any other player in the Premier League (47). And the fact that yet, he still gets questioned about being good enough? It’s rather ludicrous in all honesty.
The main issue people have with Özil is his consistency to produce on a regular basis. Before the most recent International break, the German had struggled to get his campaign up and running, with the Everton performance being the only highlight which came to mind.
Though, November has been the month for the former Real Madrid man. A demolition display in the North London Derby, was then followed by a scintillating four minute, one man job against Huddersfield Town on Wednesday night, where he registered two assists and a beautifully taken goal in a 5-0 rout.
Whenever there seems to be a crisis at the Emirates, and trust me there’s a fair few of those, it seems that Özil always seems to be at the front of queue getting the large share of the stick.
There’s been times where he has got the blame for a goal which was solely down to shoddy defending, but because his body language and attitude was ‘poor’, the goal was solely his fault, no one else’s.
It is as if, he is still having to prove his worth and quality, after what is now his fifth season in North London. 47 Premier League assists, with just under half of those coming during one single season (2015/2016). The German national side idolise him, as he is portrayed as the ‘poster boy’ of German football, a country which is currently ranked number one in the FIFA World Rankings. But yet he still struggles to get respect over in England.
Casting back to that North London Derby a couple of weeks ago, where Özil had possibly his best game in an Arsenal shirt, whilst on the opposing side, Dele Alli and Harry Kane, England’s hottest prospects, were hooked off with twenty minutes to go for Tottenham. Now, if that was Özil and the boot was on the other foot, then the media would have had a field day.
Sanchez being let off lightly?
If you asked any Arsenal fan, and football fan in general, if they had to keep only one of Sanchez or Özil, then it would most probably be a landslide in favour of Sanchez. But, in all honesty, if anyone, Özil deserves that new contract way more than Sanchez in the general reflection of performances this season.
Sanchez has been poor, really poor. Yes, he has netted three goals in his last three Premier League games (two of those largely made by Özil), but he is a shadow of the player we saw last campaign, and we all know why.
Arsenal face Manchester United on Saturday evening, in what is set to be a massive game for both in a colossal ‘top six’ showdown. Though, lots of questions will be asked of Özil before a ball is even kicked, whether he will be ‘up for it’ in the so called big games.
The German can only keep on producing these stunning performances of late, keeping his critics quiet in the process, with the added spice being that Arsenal’s opponents this weekend are heavy favourites to land Özil’s signature, should he leave the Emirates.
Let’s hope Saturday is an audition for Özil to be rewarded with a new, mega-money contract, rather than one for a move to Old Trafford.