Ozil recently spoke to David Ornstein regarding his recent form and gave some answers to questions that have been frustrating Arsenal fans for a very long time. Here is my opinion on the whole saga of the Mesut Ozil vs Unai Emery battle.
Personally, I think that Ozil is a top class player and he has proved this on many occasions both at Real Madrid and Arsenal. What he lacks is consistency and us fans get frustrated by this. We see a genius performance followed by an invisible performance which is why the fans have such split views on the No.10. As we've seen in this years Premier League campaign, Emery has been leaving our star man out of the squad completely which has been baffling to many.
Initially, when Ozil was left out of the squad completely I was pissed. I was annoyed because I thought he played really well against Watford and he didn't deserve this disrespect. That pass to Maitland-Niles was genius and the stats don't lie. Last season, despite the limited playing time, he was still our top man for chances created. Yes, I will admit that he sometimes doesn't play up to his reputation but you can't deny that he's a phenomenal and gifted player.
I see three potential reasons why Emery has been resting Ozil. It is probable but unlikely that Ozil is actually ill and unfit. He's getting quite old and it's not impossible that his fitness levels are genuinely low. He mentioned in his Ornstein interview that he is working really hard in the gym and with the fitness coaches to try and take his fitness levels to places that he hasn't reached in the past. He said that he hopes that Emery will pick him for the side if his fitness levels are sufficient. Emery loves players that work hard to win the ball back and Ozil doesn't do that as well as other players on the pitch. A second reason could be that Emery is worried about our defence. He might want to play our defensive midfielders to protect our defence. The problem I see with this is that then we have no link to our beautiful front three. They just sit at the top with no service which I don't understand personally. I'm no professional footballer so my opinion is not something to go off by but I watch enough Arsenal to see that the front three could do with some service from an attacking midfielder. My third reason is the one that I believe to be the most likely. I think he's trying to teach Mesut that everyone in the team is equal. Everyone will receive the same treatment and those that work the hardest will reap the rewards. Emery is trying to get into Ozil's head and get him to work really hard in an effort to bring out the absolute best of Ozil. He might be sacrificing the first couple of games of the season to see him work hard and flourish in the second half of the season. Just a thought but it could be true. It's really hard to tell with Ozil but this is what I believe. I honestly see Ozil having a spell of greatness yet to come and the fans often catch small glimpses that he is still very capable of the mesut magic.
I think as fans, we are sometimes unfair on players. I could go on for a while about Mustafi as well but that's for another time. Criticising players when they don't perform well is fine but I think it must be done within reason. The German is a human too. He has feelings and he's had a pretty shit 12 months if you ask me. He was abused by his own country in the World Cup and that's going to affect his playing. If you try to put yourself in his shoes I think it's pretty to understand. People say that "ohh just look at his salary" but he's just like one of us. If you went to work and the whole company was abusing you and you even had a mob attack in the carpark, you're going to feel really insecure and your performance at work will stoop. It's the same for Mesut Ozil. We're all part of the Arsenal family so we need to respect and encourage our brother even during the rough times.
At the end of the day, it may seem from his body language that Ozil doesn't care about the club but he really does. He loves it here and wants to stay "until at least my contract ends". This man needs to be on the field and he has the ability to tear teams apart. He's a genuinely nice guy and I think the rest of the squad see him as someone to look up to. I am hoping that his unfair treatment from Emery is a piece of tactical genius to bring the absolute best out of Ozil. Managers have done it in the past for star players and they've absolutely flourished. Ozil is a mature guy and let's just back the guy and hope for the best.
Cheers for reading and we shall see what the outcome is at the end of the season.