He is definitely one of the best playmakers around and his arrival at the Emirates was seen as a coup against all odds, a welcome signing and breath of fresh air. His arrival in 2013 showed that Arsenal have finally come of age in the transfer market and could lure ready made stars instead of nursing talented ones to sell to those that needed.
At the height of his powers with pendulum on his side and the Gunners’ backs firmly against the wall, Ozil yet again showed loyalty where many expected betrayal to extend his stay with the North Londoners while his friend and teammate, Alexis Sanchez refused the hand of friendship, moving on to bitter rivals.
The tides have turned, the pleasant surprise has turned into a painful disappointment and the once-upon-a-time beautiful bride has become a despised housewife.
The Gunners hierarchy cannot wait to see his back, he has been frozen out of the squad, hawked around like some cheap commodity but he has stayed resolute, refusing to leave until atleast the expiration of his contract. Arsenal are desperate to rid themselves of his huge wage bill while he is uninterested in leaving at the moment.
Ozil’s case is not the absence of talent nor the lack of attitude. The former World Cup winner definitely has abundance of talent with eyes for the pass, a whooping 91 goal contributions in 184 Premier League appearances lend credence to this fact. This is a skill that is obviously lacking in the current Arsenal team. Arteta has made attempt to address this by trying to bring in Lyon’s French playmaker, Houssem Aouar.
It is good that the Gunners are working on bringing creative reinforcements but the more the merrier and the arrival of Aouar should not necessarily mean the departure of Ozil especially when the latter is refusing to be moved on.
It has been argued in some quarters that Ozil lacks the work ethic, that he does not track back or offer much in defensive situations. Not all creative players like to defend, many of them prefer to stay away from the murky waters of tackles, stay alert to pick the forward pass that could the damage. Creative players could be the bridge between turning desperate defending into lethal attacking moments. To get the best out a creative player that offers little defensively, a sturdy defensive minded player should be in place.
It is not a surprise that Mike Arteta is desperate to add Athletico Madrid star, Thomas Partey to his ranks. His knack for winning tackles, breaking play and interceptiona could be the key in relieving Ozil of defensive burdens he is unwilling to bear.
Arsenal’s incumbent target, Aouar is not any better than the German when it comes to defensive duties. Statistics show that he wins just one thirds of the tackles he attempts and recovers just 6 balls every 90 minutes. This clearly shows that he tries to be more creative than destructive.
Arsenal have a lethal striker in Pierre Emeric Aubamenyang but yet they are not scoring enough. This is simply because they are not creating enough. One thing is glaring, Arsenal need a playmaker who can thread passes together, pick that odd pass and create plethora of chances for star strikers, Aubamenyang and Lacazette to nimble on.
Ozil has shown Arsenal loyalty when the odds were stacked in his favor, the least Arsenal can do now is to show him some respect at least for the remainder of his contract. It has been bad business for Arsenal on and off the pitch. On the pitch, they are not scoring much because they are not creating enough, Ozil’s presence can address this. Off the pitch, it is like Arsenal are losing 350k Pounds weekly because the player earning it legitimately is not allowed a fair chance to sweat for his wages.
It is high time the Arsenal hierarchy swallows their pride and sheath their sword towards Ozil. He has not failed to train, his attitude in training has not been poor, atleast judging from what Arteta has said couple of times, the least the manager can do is give him a fair chance to help the club on the field.
I agree formation and tactics might not always favor his inclusion but to be left out in the cold permanently does the club more harm than good.