Wenger backs Ozil… by Ash
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has come out to save Mesut Ozil ahead of Arsenal’s trip to the Britannia stadium where the Gunners will face Stoke City. Ozil has come under a large amount of criticism in the past few months and last couple of weeks especially.
Although some of the criticism given can be justified, some of it has gone past footballing matters. Ozil has been blamed for everything, whether it is his fault or not and it’s simply because we all expect too much from him. I’m not going to sit back and defend him by saying he has been playing well because let’s face the facts, he has been very poor these last couple of months; however he shouldn’t be blamed for the downfall of the team because of course it’s a game where eleven must fight together for success rather than one.
There were a lot of claims after the Bayern Munich match that Mesut Ozil was lazy and before you know it people were hitting back with the stat that in the match, Ozil was one of the player’s that covered the most ground, however although it may prove he wasn’t lazy in his running, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s played well. In a terrible analogy, any professional could run up and down the pitch all game but if they don’t show enough edge then they haven’t played well. Just thought I would clear that one up.
Ozil’s poor run of form that has lasted for a fair few months now unfortunately seems to have gotten the better of him; so much so that the penalty miss was the knockout and Wenger knew he needed a rest. He missed the Sunderland game as a result, but now with the next Premier League match just around the corner; Ozil is set for feature after his extended break off.
Wenger spoke on the matter of Ozil’s form and he revealed to Sky Sports: “It is difficult for him mentally to be confronted with that pressure every three days and in every single competition. But he will adapt. Maybe he feels that (record signing tag) a bit in a different way than I do. I just want him to enjoy it and play well. He has gone a little bit through a difficult time. It can happen to anybody. So have others in the past, and so I don’t worry about Ozil.”
Instead of just blaming Ozil for everything, we should highlight what he’s doing wrong and address them separately from the praise he should be getting as well. Everyone seems to have forgotten the play Ozil was involved in before the penalty, because we were blinded by the negativity after that. His head wasn’t in the game and Wenger probably should have taken him off instead of Cazorla, but it’s a past that cannot be repeated. There is also probably an issue with fitness. This has been the German’s first winter without a break, and at 25 years old, he has spent the past 7 years or so experiencing two stages of the season rather than our single long haul journey.
Lastly, the Premier League takes some time to get used to, even with the best players, so I would ask you to recognise that although Ozil may not be on the best of form and therefore may not be worthy of a starting place, he is still a very talented and valuable asset to the club and one that we should support in his time on the pitch.