Ozil disappears in another big game
When your best players fail to show up, you haven’t got much chance, and once again that’s what happened in the case of Mesut Ozil in Germany last night, as Arsenal crashed to a 5-1 defeat.
Gooners love their German maestro and are hoping he signs a new contract, but for all his silky skills and touches, the unavoidable truth is that he goes missing in big games.
The German was non-existent last night, and his attempts at pressing and tracking back were genuinely laughable.
Interestingly, there seems to have been a sea change with Arsenal fans; time was, they didn’t dare criticize him, but there’s now a vocal anti-Ozil brigade in the Arsenal ranks.
Agent defends ‘scapegoat’
But, is it fair to criticize Ozil so severely when so many of Arsenal’s players under-performed on the night?
Ozil’s agent Dr Erkut Sogut doesn’t think so.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Ozil’s agent hit out at what he deems to be unfair scapegoating of his client, and to be fair to him, he cites some interesting evidence to back up his arguments.
He also thinks he knows why Ozil is an easy scapegoat: his body language.
“Criticism is normal if a player plays badly.
“Bayern had 74% possession. How can someone in the No.10 position create chances if you don’t have the ball?
“In these games people usually target a player who cost a lot of money and earns a lot of money – that is Mesut. But he can’t be always be the scapegoat. That’s not fair.
“Football is a team sport and Arsenal are not performing well as a team. Eleven players were on the pitch but Mesut was singled out for criticism. Was he the reason that Arsenal conceded five goals?
“It started before the match, throughout the week leading up to the game. People started discussing: ‘Should he play? Should he be dropped?’.
“It was as if everyone knew Arsenal would not make it through and we needed a scapegoat. This is not right. You win as a team and you lose as a team.”
“I don’t agree that Mesut has not had an impact on big matches,” Sogut said.
“What about the win at home to Chelsea this season and Manchester United the year before? What about the games for Germany against Italy and France at Euro 2016?
“People are always saying Mesut is not fighting or tackling, that he has poor body language, but that is how he is.
“Believe me, he is desperate to succeed. If it doesn’t work, he shows his anger and expressions. Was his body language an issue when Arsenal were playing well?
“He is not someone who runs around aimlessly and tackles just so everyone thinks he is fighting. If it doesn’t make sense to run somewhere he will keep that power for the next run.”