Thibaut Courtois and Ben Foster combined have more shots on target than Mesut Ozil in 2019/20

  • Kat Lucas

It was another abject afternoon for Mesut Ozil in an Arsenal shirt. 

Substituted on the hour mark, boos began to sound around the Emirates as he ambled off at a snail’s pace, before throwing off his gloves and booting them into the air.

The playmaker’s reaction was unwarranted given how he’d played. 

Ozil can’t have been that shocked at being taken off having produced no shots at goal and no tackles. 

One of the major criticisms of Unai Emery was his willingness to freeze out the 31-year-old, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that for all his natural talent, he alone is not able to dig Arsenal out of this pit. 

Ozil’s display was made all the more embarrassing by a statistic that emerged after Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw with Valencia, a game which produced some incredible scenes right at the end. 

With Los Blancos trailing, Thibaut Courtois ran up for a corner in the 95th minute. 

The goalkeeper’s header was saved, but the ball was parried down to Karim Benzema who levelled and spared Zinedine Zidane’s side another defeat. 

What has all this got to do with Ozil, we hear you ask? 

Courtois’ attempt means that he now has the same number of shots on target as the Arsenal midfielder has managed in the league this season. 

The Spaniard isn’t the only goalkeeper to manage that feat, either. 

Watford’s Ben Foster also won a header in the dying seconds against Chelsea which was saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Blues’ 2-1 victory over the Hornets.

So, combined, Foster and Courtois have more than Ozil. 

Arsenal fans may even struggle to recall when he last tested a ‘keeper.

His solitary shot on target in the Premier League in 2019/20 so far came in the 2-2 draw with Norwich City, Freddie Ljungberg’s first game as caretaker boss. 

However, aside from that, he managed no successful take-ons, no big chances, no chances from open play, no assists and no goals at Carrow Road. 

If this was merely a symptom of one poor season, it’d be one thing. Yet on current evidence, Arsenal must be wondering whether Ozil will ever be the same player he once was. 

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