The curious case of Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil joined the Arsenal on the final day of the transfer window in 2013 with Arsene Wenger making a major statement of intent and raising the hopes of the fans after a fluttering start to the season. We all knew he was world class having shown that during his stint at Real Madrid and it was surreal that they would let him go. Anyway, he was ours now.
In his first game he ran the show, pulling the strings and setting up a goal to show what he was made of. A few goals and assists in subsequent games and we knew we had a gem in our hands. Then things started to dip when he got an injury somewhere around Oct/November.
A lot of articles have been written trying to understand what could be going through the mind of this footballing genius. Some say it was a question of confidence while others say it’s because he is played out of position. He was placed under a microscope during the world cup despite leading his team to the title. And now the new season is upon us and it seems his lack of form still continues.
Wenger seems to be trying out a new formation this season meaning Mesut is made to play on the wings with the more industrious duo of Ramsey and Wilshere playing through the middle. This becomes a problem as we don’t see Mesut pulling the strings anymore and he gets lost in games. Add to the fact that he doesn’t track back meaning that whichever wing he is on gets exposed to the counter. Case and point the Everton game.
So what is going wrong and how can it be fixed? The million dollar question.
I for one think that his confidence is down. Ozil is not the outspoken kind of player and sometimes seems to be withdrawn into a shell. Dropping him might be what the fans want but that won’t do him any good and I don’t see Wenger doing it. Only his team mates can help him with this. He needs to be involved in the play more even if it means switching positions during the game. Once his confidence is up the goals and the assists will come. As they say, class is permanent – form is temporary.
Secondly, if Wenger is going to play him on the wing then he should as the full back to be less adventorous. If only we had a proper DM then this formation would be amazing for us. We should have atleast three defenders left behind when we attack and a DM in the centre field covering them.
Arsene knows best and I’m sure he is working to bring out the best out of Ozil.