Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was forced to leap to Mesut Ozil’s defence after another disappointing show against Manchester United on Wednesday.
Before the match, Wenger warned his German star that he was “too obsessed with making the perfect pass”, but has now backed Ozil to rediscover his form.
In what was previewed as one of the games of the season, the misfiring Red Devils managed to hold onto an impressive draw against the Gunners, but one of the main talking points after the game was Ozil’s performance – or lack of it. The former Real Madrid man went unnoticed for large portions of the game, with his passes securing just half their usual conversion rate.
Just two months ago, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho branded the German playmaker “unstoppable” but more recently, the Special One has perhaps unwittingly answered Ozil’s critics by bemoaning this season’s fixture pile-up and its effect on players' fitness.
Wenger uncharacteristically splashed out in the summer, shelling out a phenomenal £42million to bring the former Madrid hero to North London, but despite thoroughly impressing in the early part of the season, he has since gone off the boil.
Now that his initial shock factor has worn off, it is clear Ozil is finding it difficult to adapt to English football, particularly while Arsenal lack a striker with the cutting edge to finish off his timely assists. It is up to the imagination to wonder where the Emirates outfit would be had Robin van Persie remained in north London to team up with the tricky playmaker.
His shortcomings against United followed his side’s 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool, in which he struggled to keep the ball, and a section of the Gunners faithful appear to be losing patience with a record signing who is fading unbelievable quickly.
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