Football

Mesut Ozil has been less effective for Arsenal in recent weeks.

Arsenal fall short in Premier League title bid as Mesut Ozil loses form

Published 6 Comments

Football News
24/7

A swivel here and a turn there, Mesut Özil was simply a class apart during the first half of the season. With eyes at the back of his head, the German international often saw angles even before they developed, laying the ball off to a teammate in space with the sweet caress of his left boot.

Three goals and 16 assists in just 19 games meant that Mesut Özil has been involved in over half of Arsenal’s 33 goals between August and December. After his impressive start to the campaign, breaking Thierry Henry’s Premier League record of 20 assists in a season only seemed like a matter of time. 

Yet the second half of the season has not been nearly as productive for the German.

SIGN UP NOW

Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4

Article continues below

Since 2016 has rolled around, Ozil’s performances have dipped significantly as he struggles to exert the sort of control on games he had earlier on. Indeed, the number of assists he is providing has fallen off a cliff. In the 12 games in 2016, Ozil has added just a meagre two more assists to his tally. 

Ozil could well be talking about himself when he recently admitted that Arsenal had lacked focus at times this season. 

Article continues below

Wenger Changing Tactics

On top of understandably being a heavily marked man that opposing managers specifically prepare for, another significant factor behind Ozil’s ineffectiveness of late has been down to a change of personnel.

Aaron Ramsey’s injury has robbed both Arsenal and Ozil of a box-to-box midfielder who often made intelligent runs into the box where he could finish moves having been left unmarked by the opposition. As well as Ramsey's absence, Arsene Wenger’s demotion of Theo Walcott to the bench has also removed another regular outlet for Ozil with the Englishman’s blistering pace a key factor in setting up swift counter attacks.

Wenger’s selection of Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny in recent games is far more solid defensively but this setup somewhat lacks the penetrating runs that Ozil found regularly at the start of the season.

Arsenal v Watford - Premier League

Tired Ozil struggles

The other key reason for this decline is fatigue. Having started all but two games this season, it is no surprise that Ozil has somewhat slowed down as the season has progressed.

With Santi Cazorla out since November, as well as Alexis Sanchez sitting out the hectic festive period of December and January, Ozil has had to be Arsenal’s solitary creative outlet, taking on that sizeable burden alone on his slim shoulders when games were coming thick and fast.

In fact, the pattern where a player's free flowing assists suddenly dry up is nothing new. A former Arsenal favourite, who currently plays for the blue half of London, suffered a similar fate last season. The 14/15 season saw Cesc Fabregas begin the season on fire, laying on assist after assist for Diego Costa as Chelsea flew off the blocks. 15 assists by January meant Henry’s assist record well within reach. Yet Fabregas’ form eventually nosedived and he ended the season with just two shy of the record with 18 assists.

With the Arsenal title challenge all but over with six games to go, the onus is on Ozil to make the assist record his own.

Has Mesut Ozil dipped in form during the second half of the season? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms

Topics:
Thierry Henry
Alexis Sanchez
Football
Premier League
Arsenal

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author

DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again