When having a conversation about the best chance creators in the world, it will be unfair not to include the name of Mesut Ozil, the German and Arsenal star who had 19 assists, 2,276 passes averaging 65.03 passes per match, 28 big chances created, 228 crosses, 41% cross accuracy, 42 through balls and 53 accurate long balls in his 2015/2016 season with Arsenal (Premier League stat).
He is an assist machine and makes a big impact in Arsenal’s midfield as far as I am concerned.
The 31-year-old German has built his career so well that he is missed when he is not on the pitch, but his reputation with the club is also the type that has built a toxic relationship between him and the club. When he is not on the pitch, we chant for him to come on, but when he is on, we find all ways to blame him for whatever goes wrong.
Whenever Arsenal doesn’t play well, it is because of Ozil’s bad game time – not because other players didn’t put in their best.
With Unai Emery as the club’s manager, it is hard to miss the tension between the German international and the coach. He has been making our best chance-creator whose weekly wage is £350,000 per week sit it out as a part of his strategy at restructuring, and that has had many fans asking questions on what was going on with the club.
After several chants for Ozil to be brought back to our squad, however, he has started playing again and had a bit of a tough time playing at his best in our last Premier League match against Leicester City. The match ended 2-0 in a loss for Arsenal, a result that saw them drop in the Premier League table to the sixth position.
And again, fans have started putting all the blame on Mesut Ozil.
Should the fans really be ignoring the fact that Arsenal are now a club scrapping for a top-four finish and focusing all their energy on Ozil who just had a bad game instead? Should we ignore the fact that Arsene Wenger’s last years in the club and Unai Emery’s animosity towards him has contributed a lot in making things difficult for the German?
What if the treatment continues?
People get tired of being treated badly by those they stay faithful to, and Mesut Ozil is no different. He has been a major part of the Arsenal squad in the last couple of years and his impact on the team is not one we can simply dismiss.
With him not getting enough game time as he should be, and getting all the club’s misdeeds placed on his shoulder when he gets the chance to play, things can’t get any more difficult for him in the club. Nobody wants a difficult time as much as I can tell and this might see the German international seek a way out sooner than we expect.
If the irreconcilable difference between Ozil and Emery continues, it is only fair for the German to leave and find newer and more appreciative support from outside of the London club.
How his exit will affect Arsenal
To drive the point home that we would be losing a gem should Ozil leave soon, let’s take Arsenal’s match against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup as an example.
With the German on the field, Arsenal looked to have something different about them. Movement in midfield, chances created – there was an unusual energy around the Gunners.
But Emery took Ozil off for Mattéo Guendouzi, most likely to conserve him for the weekend match against Wolves. Once he was off, Arsenal had lost energy and creativity in midfield. Granted, Guendouzi provided Willock with the assist, but it was hardly a demanding assist – unlike Özil’s for Maitland-Niles 15 minutes prior.
It might not look like it but Ozil is one of the best players Arsenal have, and losing him will leave a big hole in the club. The manager has to find a place for him in his team because you don’t just let one of your best chance-creators sit on the bench when your club is struggling to maintain a strong attacking force.
The differences aside, they both need to understand that they are not bigger than the club and reach a compromise that will help move the club forward.