Talent without hard work is like a top class Mercedes without an engine - pretty pointless.
That’s the view of some regarding Mesut Ozil, and his latest injury woes do nothing to alleviate the stigma attached to our star playmaker.
Repeated absences, being left out when the opponent favours the physical approach and simply being out of favour with Unai Emery have left a large proportion of Gooners thinking that the German needs to find the exit door rather than his boots.
Ozil, if reports are correct, is at odds with the demands placed upon him by Emery. Namely his defensive duties. Apparently the playmaker isn’t keen to put in a shift for the team, and the media have lapped up this negative story and ran with it.
Unfortunately, we have no idea if this is true, but on face value, Ozil’s repeated missing of games through injury is cause for concern in itself. We have seen the sublime from Ozil this season - his displays versus Leicester and Watford alone were match-winning - but more often than not, Ozil has been found wanting.
It isn’t due to work ethic. It has been shown on more than one occasion that the German covers more ground than most. It is down to the system and where Ozil fits - or doesn’t as the case may be.
As Emery becomes more familiar with his team, he seemingly approves more of two behind a sole striker, rather than the 4-2-3-1 that favours Ozil. While Emery is adaptable and always looks to change given any circumstances, the future of our team may require a more conventional wide player, or a wide forward who cuts in.
The regime doesn’t seem to accommodate the likes of Ozil’s style, who drifts and turns up on the pitch wherever the play dictates. It is this reason that Ozil has been hooked at half time, it is this reason that Ozil - one of our captains - is more often than not on the bench.
Ozil faces a crossroads in his Arsenal career. He wants to stay, and we could sorely do with a player of his ilk on our books. But the new boss has his methods, and if the German doesn’t align with this vision, this summer could herald more than finding an ideal holiday destination.