Arsenal’s creative German Mesut Ozil, 29, is a terrific footballer. You know it, I know it, the world knows it!
It’s very easy to blame poor performances on the best player. Arsenal’s best player without question is indeed Mesut Ozil and he finds himself on the receiving end of criticisms from many a football fan on what is a regular basis.
He plays for Arsenal and they lose a lot! You do the maths.
Criticism is unfair
So, I watched Arsenal’s Europa League tie with Atletico and over the two legs I felt Ozil was by far and away the best player, he put his club before himself and tried to play to his strengths, constantly delivering balls into the direction of his teammates, who seemed to be in another world.
You’d be forgiven for thinking it was 2014 and Mesut was at Bayern Munich, managed by Pep Guardiola and under strict instructions not to shoot. He must have been told to avoid shooting throughout this tie, I don’t understand it.
Anyway, when Ozil found a teammate, they’d make a mess of it. That was the story of the tie, in both legs Arsenal missed far too many chances and whilst it’s acceptable to struggle to get the ball past a goalkeeper of Jan Oblak’s ability, there isn’t an excuse for failing to challenge him a great deal.
BT Sport pundit and former Arsenal defender Martin Keown could be heard immediately after the game swinging the blame on the midfield maestro, not for the first time. Saying he didn’t track back and didn’t look interested.
I find it completely and utterly baffling how someone so close to that football club constantly targets the best player when given the opportunity to bore us to death one more time.
I have no sympathy for Ozil if he finds himself stuck at the Emirates. He signed a new deal at the end of January, under the knowledge that he could leave the club on a free in the summer had he not signed the contract.
But I hope for his sake that the contract was just a way of getting a transfer fee for Arsenal when he leaves because he deserves to play at a club where he will find himself and his capabilities valued.
Yes, he may not always look like the most interested and battle-hardened player on the pitch, but he is a player capable of making a huge impact on any football team and there’s something about him, he does it so effortlessly it feels even more special.
Written by Jordan Hackett
Follow Jordan on Twitter @Devildart180
Like O-Posts on Facebook
You can also follow O-Posts on Twitter @OPosts