Mesut Ozil is a lightning rod for criticism among Arsenal supporters, but is it truly warranted? His potential exit could have fans singing a different tune.

By 90Min
December 20, 2017

Ah, Mesut Ozil, the criticism magnet of the British media but the darling of the Arsenal faithful. The man that is capable of producing the unbelievable in the blink of an eye, but is criticized for a languid style that he has patented as his own.

Over the course of this season, we have seen the best and worst of the German spanning from ducking out of the way of challenges all the way up to the stunning volley against Newcastle this weekend. But the question on everyone’s lips is whether he will sign a new contract, news that the Gunners fans hopefully await.

Since the German made his blockbuster move from Real Madrid to Arsenal, he has been held on a pedestal by the Arsenal faithful. Widely regarded as the best playmaker in world football, Ozil was going to playing his football in England. 

However, the transition was anything but smooth as Ozil quickly came to realize that the rigors of the Premier League were far different than those in La Liga and he was quickly labeled as a frail player. A long-term injury allowed the German to hit the weight room and come back as a much bulkier player with the ability to carry the burden of playing three times in a week.

Fast forward to this present season and Ozil has been in magnificent form. In the 15 games he has played in this league campaign, he has contributed three goals and six assists which is the most goal contributions of anyone on the team. 

However, if some media outlets were to be believed, Ozil is an over-hyped player who is only a luxury when he is on the team and is incapable of putting in the hard yards that the team requires. 

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However, when the German is out of the team, the team doesn’t play to the capacity that it plays when he is in the team, with people hesitant to lavish praise on him for great performances, but want their criticism heard loud and proud when he is subpar.

In a season where his loyalty to the club has been continuously questioned due to his failure to sign a new contract, Ozil hasn’t let his performance dip compared to another superstar who’s contract situation is perilous also. His rapport with Ramsey and Lacazette has been evident throughout the season and when the German has been required to step up and put in a good performance. 

However, compare his level of criticism to Sanchez who quite frankly, has been a disappointment throughout the whole season, a stark contrast is visible. Prior to the game against Newcastle this weekend, Sanchez had surrendered possession 87 times in the three games prior, eighty-seven. Yet, he continues to escape criticism that should be thrown his way because he plays with ‘passion’ and ‘gets around’.

This isn’t to say that Ozil has been a picture of perfection throughout this season, not at all. However, when you look at his level of production with the level of scrutiny that has been sent his way, it’s quite astonishing. 

Reports suggest that the German has been offered a contract to the tune of 275k-per-week. If the German turns that down it would reveal what he feels about his future at the club. But, there is no doubt that this season that Ozil has stepped up to the plate, and has been key to what Arsenal have been doing on the field.

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