Mesut Ozil deserves to be appreciated

Ed Angeli

Mesut Ozil is world-class. You can’t argue against it, with the attacking-midfielder winning German Player of the Year, five times in the last six years. Not enough? How about the most amount of assists in a Bundesliga, La Liga, Premier League and Champions League season. Still not enough? Joint-most assists at the 2010 World Cup, followed by winning the tournament four years later; that should be enough to convince the doubters?

Except it isn’t, it’s still not enough. People will continually call out the German, like he hasn’t proved himself in every country, in every tournament. What does the Gunner need to do? Win the Premier League for Arsenal? No one has done that since 2004. Not Cesc Fabregas, not Robin van Persie and not Alexis Sanchez. Yet people all place these players in a different footballing category to Mesut.

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Mesut’s biggest critics try and play their ace when knocking the German off his pedestal, by constantly bashing the former Real Madrid midfielder for not turning up in the ‘big games’. How about the 4-1 demolition of Liverpool in 2015, or the 3-0 turning over of Manchester United in the same year? Or even recently, the 3-0 drubbing the Gunners gave Chelsea at the Emirates. For those that forget, Ozil scored in every game.

The 28-year-old is capable. There’s just been games where the whole XI played poorly in the ‘big games’, and Ozil is immediately the whipping boy. He’s the easy target as he’s only one of two world-class players at the Emirates. And people forget how you have the moments where you’re 2-0 down away in the Champions League, and need three points. Step up, Ozil.

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For all the contract talk around the German: ‘should he be rewarded, should he not?’. Of course he should. The ball should be in his court. Rather than the fans constantly digging him out on Arsenal TV, fans should be begging the bloke to stay, begging him to sign a new deal.

Imagine Ozil in a top, top side. Just look at him for the German national team, countless semi-finals, and one World Cup for good measure. And, with half the German national side hanging out in the Bayern Munich team, it would make for a brilliant move should Ozil follow Michael Ballack’s advice and head to the German giants.

“Mesut is an amazing player. He knows that he is one of the undisputed stars at Arsenal. A lot of clubs would love to have him. If you are a top player in England, the cult around you is bigger than in Germany. You are treated more respectfully, especially. These are all reasons for an extension.

“But if he wants to win a major title, he has a bigger chance to achieve that at Bayern. Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery have grown older, but also Philipp Lahm. Bayern will not buy as oversized as the two Manchester clubs or Real Madrid. But if you want to bring in world-class player, you will have to invest.”

Michael Ballack

With the likes of Robben and Ribery tiring, and Thomas Müller struggling to regularly get into the starting XI, it seems the perfect option for Ozil. The German’s only 28, and with his game not relying on speed and strength, he’s likely to be able to play at the top for at least another five years. If Carlo Ancelotti plays his cards right, the Italian should be dropping him a line after Arsenal and Bayern’s Champions League fixture.

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Of course – when looking at the stats – Mesut’s season has been underwhelming in the Premier League. With just the four assists this season, that’s a very poor return for the guy’s quality. But, the problem should not be just put on Ozil’s lap. When comparing the Gunner to the likes of Adam Lallana, Dele Alli and Juan Mata – who have all been praised for their brilliance this season – Mesut is way, way ahead in the chances he’s created for his teammates.

Had Ozil’s fellow players been more clinical up top, rather than the likes of Alex Iwobi not being able to finish his dinner, then the amount of assists the German would have registered would be far higher.

Source: Squawka – Chances created in the Premier League 2016/17

So, before those muppets with the Wenger out banners start calling for the German to walk out the front door as well; they need to put more blame at the feet of the other players.

If they do end up coming to their senses, Ozil should have the last laugh and pack his own bags to Munich; we’re sure Ancelotti and co. would welcome the German legend with open arms.

 

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