Mesut Ozil is the next Andrei Arshavin.
Yes, Arsenal's record signing is a lazy, inconsistent flop who is failing to live up to his £42.5 million transfer fee.
That is what a large section of the media are telling us.
Having the second most chances created in the league (63), the third most assists (eight), the best passing accuracy of anyone (84.21%) and a nomination for the Ballon d'Or is not enough to impress such people as Michael Owen and Jeremy Wilson.
This criticism of the German is undeserved: whilst he has struggled to recuperate some of his early form since his return from injury in January, Ozil is still able to conduct games like the late Claudio Abbado in scintillating style, yet many ignore his achievements and carry on condemning him (I think Sid James was in that one).
A new player needs time to settle. A lot of time. Mesut Ozil has moved to a new country, climate, culture and language. Not only that, he has a new squad to blend into as well.
Originally, he had Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain as the three rotating attackers playing in front of him. Now, he has Olivier Giroud, Yaya Sanogo and Nicklas Bendtner. It is worth mentioning that he has had the likes of Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott more often than the two latter names of those three, but they are still very different players to any he would've played with at Madrid.
With injuries to Ramsey and Walcott has come Mesut Ozil's slight drop in form. Whilst those two were around Ozil would pick up the ball ready to start a counter attack and see one of the two bustling forward to pick up his pass: at the moment it is commonplace to see him in the same situation, but he looks up and there is no support. He needs players with pace in front of him to pick up on his discreet delivery.
At Madrid he wasn't under the spotlight like he is now. Those quality players he was supplying for were world superstars, meaning he was not the star player of that team.
Players like Cristiano Ronaldo were taking so many plaudits that Ozil was becoming something of an unsung hero. At Arsenal he is by far the best known player, and his every move is watched and scrutinised by all of the millions watching him.
However, a player with the confidence of Ozil should not be fazed by this pressure. One of the most important parts of his game is his self-belief.
Take his move to win Arsenal their penalty against Bayern Munich. Having been put through into the penalty area by Jack Wilshere, Ozil squeezed the ball with the inside of his foot to deftly flick the ball past Jerome Boateng, who duly chopped him down.
Unfortunately, Ozil undid all his brilliant work with a missed penalty. Whilst it was a bad idea to take a penalty against a goalkeeper who knows every nuance of his game, the fact that he still had the confidence to step up and take it despite his miss against Marseille, shows that there is still that outlined belief that many players do not have (Dennis Bergkamp never took another penalty after his miss in the 1999 FA Cup Semi-Final).
Whilst he may not take them anymore, he has shown that he is willing to persevere after supposed failure.
Then comes the issue of his work rate. Ozil is constantly criticised for not tracking back: his relaxed style of play does not seem to fit into English football.
Ozil is not the kind of player to run around the pitch constantly at 100mph. If Arsenal wanted that kind of player they could delve into the realms of the Championship to find him.
Ozil is a luxury player; he needs other players to carry that luxury for him. Whilst the statistics disproved these claims: he ran 11.9km against Bayern Munich, the third most of any player on the pitch.
Whilst he did seem to struggle with some of the defensive duties, one needs to remember that what he is designed to do. It is worrying that so many are criticising for not being a left-back. Do we need reminding that Lionel Messi does not track back for Barcelona?
I would suggest that one factor in Ozil's struggling to put in the effort people expect of him is that he is exhausted.
Since Ozil has joined Arsenal, only injury has caused him not to start. Whilst Wenger has opted for some squad rotation, Ozil has been almost constant in his first eleven. In a league as demanding as the Premier League, playing twice a week nearly every week would cause even Roy Race's rocket to wane.
Although Arsenal have a very demanding fixture list awaiting them in the coming weeks, it would do no harm to rest their superstar midfielder at some point in that time.
However, a player of Ozil's price should be scoring some goals as well as creating them. Pre-injury he was able to take his chances in front of goal, but he has lost confidence there, often preferring to play a perfect pass instead of shooting.
Perhaps it is more a part of his play, some sort of attacking OCD. Whilst Ozil has already shook the world, he is still young at twenty-four and malleable. Putting the hours in on the training ground could help him make more practical decisions when confronted with shooting or passing.
Even with Ozil playing so poorly compared to previous weeks, he has still been able to have an effect on matches. Ozil's style of play is such that he drifts in and out of matches with nigh on invisible passes that require the closest of watching to notice. He is never going to be a player who dominates games like Ramsey did earlier this season: instead his sudden moves and flair will change games entirely without defenders noticing.
Such changes to his game need time. Whilst Ozil has had a relatively large amount of time to adapt, it takes more than five months for a player to change a team. Once he has truly settled in and reaches top form, Cristiano Ronaldo's vote for him as third in the Ballon d'Or shortlist could well seem like the right choice to more than just his team mates.
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