Ozil Misses Playing for Arsenal – Is the Feeling Mutual?
When the Gunners announced the signing of Mesut Ozil on transfer deadline day last season, many Arsenal fans took to various social networking platforms to express their sheer elation in seeing the club sign a truly world-class talent. It took the German maestro just 11 minutes to make his mark with a trademark assist to Olivier Giroud in the win against Sunderland in the Stadium of Light.
From then on, it was the Ozil show as he kept on raking in the assists with the match against Stoke being a particular highlight as he was involved in all three Arsenal goals. He also opened his goalscoring account for the club against Marseille and it could only get better. The team was doing great with Ozil at the forefront of it all. Injuries and loss of form took its toll on the German as the season progressed but his return of seven goals and 12 assists in his first season was good by his standards.
This season, Wenger changed his tactical approach with a new look 4-1-4-1 formation that was optimized to bring the best out of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey. Rather unfortunately, Ozil was impacted somewhat negatively by this change because he was deployed to the left wing, a position where he’s not comfortable. With the German restricted to the flank, he has failed to influence games as much as he would have liked and his lack of defensive discipline also leaves his fullback exposed.
In the game he played in his favored No. 10 role, Ozil scored a goal and created an assist for Danny Welbeck. Many Gunners were happy to the German back to his best but in the following week, he returned to his left wing berth against Tottenham and as expected, his performance waned. After providing an assist for Alexis Sanchez in the 4-1 thrashing of Galatasaray, Ozil played in the loss to Chelsea and injured his knee and he was scheduled to be ruled out for 10 to 12 weeks.
In a recent interview with Arsenal Player, he has spoken about how he has missed playing for the team,
“After a time, you really miss playing football. “You miss the ball and just want to play. When you watch the games and think that you could have been playing, and playing well, it makes you miss it. But that’s the way things are. “I’m working every day to get myself fit and I’m on the right path now. It won’t be much too much longer before I’m back on the pitch. I hope to be back training with the whole team again as soon as possible”
In Ozil’s absence the Gunners have had their hot and cold moments but it’s worth noting that some players have stepped up their game. Alexis Sanchez has been on a phenomenal level this season and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has shown glimpses of his quality. Santi Cazorla is another player that has had his struggles but he’s in a rich vein of form.
So has Arsenal missed Ozil? The answer is yes!
Ozil is and remains one of the best passers in the business and his assist records speaks for themselves. According to his personal website, Ozil has amassed 157 assists in 398 games for Schalke, Bremen, Madrid, Arsenal and Germany.
In Alexis and Welbeck, Ozil has two players that are more than capable of running into space and their play will be hugely benefitted from his return. It’s also worth noting that Ozil will return to his No. 10 role when he returns with Welbeck, Cazorla and even Alexis very technically adept in playing that position.
I can’t wait Ozil to return to first team action.