“Better than Zidane?! Not even better than Eriksen.” Özil-haters gonna hate. In defence of Mesut.

Ozil slump

In a world of such disunity, with such things as Brexit, Trump or indeed Jose Mourinho, dividing so many, it’s good to know an Arsenal player can unite many to a common cause, that heroic player is Mesut Ozil.

A polarising figure among the old school crowd and the romantics, he once again is under fire from the media and thus some Arsenal fans have started up again. Obviously the criticism hasn’t been helped by Arsenal manager Unai Emery’s post match comments about his reasons for leaving Ozil out for the Bournemouth game, which I’m sure he’ll eventually explain were wrongly interpreted, but I’ll get into that later.

OK – lets get into all these comments from people that get paid to know about football and the odd fan who clearly disappeared who his own… ego at some point during an anti-Ozil twitter thread he created clearly for likes and shares.

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First we’ll start with TalkSport, particularly Adrian Durham and who seems to be on a campaign to wind Arsenal fans up, recently he came up with the sound bite of:

“I’m not particularly interested in stats, for me it’s just the way they play, what they give to the team, the impact they have. And as I’ve always said, Christian Eriksen is the player Mesut Ozil dreams of being. It’s a no brainer. The impact Eriksen has had at Tottenham is far great than the impact Ozil has had at Arsenal.”

Obviously here the most hilarious line is saying that Ozil dreams of being Eriksen, world cup winning, 5 time German player of the year, former Real Madrid superstar, Mesut Ozil. There are a number of many other ways I could compare Ozil and Eriksen, but maybe the 3 FA cups at Arsenal to a fat total of NO trophies for Eriksen at Spurs is enough? If not – then how about Ozil’s 55 assists in 152 games to the Danishman’s 56 assists in 181 games? I also guess on the day Ozil is by far the superior player.

Another criticism thrown at Ozil is this idea that he’s a wimp, or not a fighter. The papers had a field day after Arsenal head coach Unai Emery explained why Ozil wasn’t used for the Bournemouth game. The tactically obvious reason was because he decided to go for a 3 at the back to cope with the 2 strikers. The Sun especially used such tags as fragile and lacking stomach for a fight when the going gets tough.

Oh-zil flop

You see the problem you have here is firstly, The Sun has long had an agenda against Arsenal, which I have written about before; but secondly – when you have a tactically astute coach like Unai Emery, who is also new to the English language, you get a lot of misquotes and misinterpretation.

I guess if you look at Pep Guardiola at Man City who rotates his midfield, or even Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs who has a different system and players depending on the opponents, there is a deafening silence of people critiquing the players dropped, so why does that not apply here?

It’s just logical that you would not ask an artistic, attacking player to play as an energetic central midfielder or right winger. It genuinely is all about horses for courses. Lastly I’ll just point out the most energetic team last year was Liverpool and Ozil was man of the match at the Emirates, scoring one and bossing the game throughout.

Finally we have a twitter thread by James aka @Emirxtes which seems to get a quite a few shares, either out of irony or agreement (sadly). Lets go through every tweet and fact check it, because I mean, it’s about time someone did.

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I will counter this by offering David Silva who is probably viewed by many as the best number 10 in the time that Mesut Ozil has been at Arsenal. Silva was at the most expensively assembled team around while also the most successful yet has scored just 53 goals in 260 games for Manchester City. Mesut Ozil is currently on 30 in just 152 games , so he has 118 games to at least equal the best in that regard.

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You want stats? I’ll give you stats 211 assists in 554 games, by contrast the aforementioned Silva has 152 in 563 games. Other players to compare are Philippe Coutinho who has 62 assists in 322 games overall and 45 in 201 games for Liverpool. Ozil’s only possible equal is Kevin De Bruyne who’s has very similar stats indeed playing 147 games and scoring 35 goals and getting 57 assists , for a team many view as the best the English game has ever seen.

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This one is a pretty easy one to prove wrong as since Ozil joined Arsenal he has made 14 appearances with 5 assists and 2 goals compared to Ramsey who has played 12 goals and 5 goals & zero assists. Basically Ozil has played more games and had more goal contributions that Ramsey In the FA cup.

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This one has to be a joke surely? It’s at this point I question If the person making this thread is actually Adrian Durham, I mean surely every Arsenal fan knows the Ozil song is tongue in cheek and no one actually believe he is actually better than one of the greatest footballers of all time Zidane. The wages and armband bit I’ll just turn you to the amount of merch and followers Ozil has besides his stats to explain why one is on the way out and the other gets the big bucks.

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This is such a cliché statement you hear from sky pundits who don’t check their facts. Ozil bossed games versus Liverpool and Manchester United last season, being the Man of the match in both games. For Germany, Ozil scored 1 goal and 4 assists in the 6 games qualification games he played.

At the World Cup, he was his countries 4th highest ranked player for match rating ,at 6.93 with the top being Toni Kroos at 7.47. Ozil was also his team’s key passer, the 2nd placed crosser despite playing far fewer minutes than many of his team mates. In fairness it was a collective nightmare with every German player turning out sub-par performances that have continued since then , resulting in them getting relegated recently in the UEFA Nations League, without Ozil.

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Honestly I don’t know where to start with this one. Am I qualified to talk about racism? I do think if you read the Ozil statement he does give pretty black and white quotes from the German Football ministers, that speak for themselves. There have been other national team players that have backed him, but many others that don’t want to rock the boat who don’t speak up.

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This allegation of someone not actually being a nationality even though they have been born and raised in that country, is bordering on parodying Nigel Farage or Donald Trump, it would also result in many of England’s players not playing for them in the recent world cup.

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This is an interesting allegation considering he was in the top 8 for every category for the German team stats. Of course he was the top key passer as well. Importantly he was in the top 5 for every attacking category for that famous 7-1 semi final victory against Brazil.

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Since Mesut Ozil left, Real Madrid have only won the La Liga title once and the Copa del Rey once too. So to say its an easy league to perform in, Ronaldo, Bale , Kroos seem to have found it pretty hard.

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Real Madrid are no doubt one of the best teams in the world, in the top 5 of biggest teams in the world although I’m sure spending £411,750,000 on players since Mesut Ozil left, that might also have helped win them the world most prestigious crap-shoot cup.

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I’m going refrain from say anything bad about Olivier Giroud, as my mum would kill me if I did to be honest. But In the 14/15 season Mesut Ozil had the 3rd highest per match rating of 7.57, he also had the top key passes & crosses also second only to Santi Cazorla for average passes also. These stats show Mesut Ozil did not have a bad season.

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Again Giroud is one of my favourite players at Arsenal of recent times, so I couldn’t bring myself to criticise him, I will say though that Aubameyang and Lacazette are both far more prolific than the tall Frenchman was.

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If you are looking for a mercenary , you might want to look in the direction of a little Chilean who’s currently sulking in Manchester right now while getting paid reportedly £500k a week to do so. Ozil is still playing for Arsenal, there was interest in him from Manchester United and Barcelona as well as China, at least that’s what the papers and insiders claim, the fact he stayed is good, but his wage is down to his agent to get him the best deal.

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This guy really is a fan of Ramsey and that armband, I will say that Aaron Ramsey does carry himself well in interviews although there are many reasons why a player is given the captain’s arm band. The reason Ozil has the armband in games is similar to why Roy Keane was given the same honour at Man United by Sir Alex Ferguson, it’s said that Ferguson saw talent in the Irish dynamo but realised the best way to get the most out of him would be to give him responsibility so he would try to carry the team on his back. This season Ozil has slowly shown that giving him this responsibility has helped him be more of the player he can be, just look at how he performed against Leicester City.

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Another cliche here is hit as we go for the classic , bad attitude line, this argument is struck by all the classic pundits who prefer to judge players on how they carry themselves as opposed to what they produce on the pitch. Ozil didn’t ever miss games for Germany or his other clubs randomly so I can only imagine there have been injuries sustained or poor management of him while at Arsenal.

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I spoke of this earlier but Eriksen has played 30 more games than Ozil and it’s only 1 assist, not ‘assists’ as stated.

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Again I have spoken of Emery earlier in this article, I think Unai Emery is enjoying his new found freedom to pick and choose players for each game he likes, which he didn’t have at PSG. Unai Emery knows that rotation is key to winning the Premier league, he knows that each game demands a different player, so Ozil will play in some games and not in others.

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Although a fan favourite Jacky Wilshere, was rarely fit for Arsenal, as I write this, he’s currently injured for West Ham. The argument about him playing his heart out etc well there are plenty of Arsenal fans in the local boozer but I don’t think they’d do that well against Man United, although they’d try their heart out also.

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Honestly Mesut Ozil is my favourite player, he frustrates me possibly more than his critics because I know what he is capable of and for what ever reason he rarely has “that” performance that shuts the critics up. But I know looking at his stats, his performances this year that Emery is slowly on the way to helping him become a player people will have to admit his class when he is done.

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I do wonder If this persons thread is tongue in cheek or if the person has such antiquated thinking that they would rather cling to a bias than to look into why Mesut Ozil claimed racism. If feel for anyone who suffers racism and I hope if they report it to the police or other authorities it’s not met the same way Mesut Ozil suffered. As teams like Barca, Man United etc. eye Ozil – maybe we should rethink his value, as they seem to like a good player.

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Ozil has scored some of the most beautiful goals in the past five years for Arsenal , like his chip one versus Liverpool or a similar one against Huddersfield.

I think in closing I will say lets get behind every player wearing the famous red and white colours of Arsenal, forgetting bias, singing la la la when you hear footballing dinosaurs spouting nonsense about our players.

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3 Responses to “Better than Zidane?! Not even better than Eriksen.” Özil-haters gonna hate. In defence of Mesut.

  1. jod December 1, 2018 at 9:53 am #

    I doubt there’s a neutral football fan in the country who would pick Ozil over Eriksen. Ozil is the same player now he was when he arrived at Arsenal, year by year Eriksen has got better. He’d gone past Ozil by about the end of his second season in England. When Arsenal are on top Ozil looks great, when its a battle he vanishes. I doubt Emery has been misquoted, much more likely he’s sending Ozil a message. Not that there’s much the manager can really do, the player will pick up his 350k a week whether he plays or not. Selling him isn’t really an option, who outside China would pay him the kind of money he’s getting at Arsenal ?

  2. DEW December 1, 2018 at 10:19 am #

    It is a well written thorough analysis of issues and controversies surrounding Ozil. I myself has some issues with him like lack of attaking balance between the left and right wings when he plays as NO-10, but nothing compared to the critisim labeled at him since Bourth. game. He has exceptional unique set of skills which make us previlaged to have him here. But what most don’t realise is how his performance depends on the performances of players around him as you analysed it above.

  3. Steve December 1, 2018 at 11:11 am #

    Eriksen better than Ozil? Thanks for the comedy jod

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