It could not have been expressed more precisely than Ian Wright.
The Gunner Legend was forced to publicly vociferate in anguish as he made the appeal to Wenger to “do something with Ozil” as the midfielder cut a forlorn figure in a largely ghosted appearance in Tuesday’s Champions League clash at the Westfalenstadion. Ozil was part of a crushed Arsenal who failed to produce as much as gun powder as they were outplayed and outclassed by Jurgen Klopp’s men, eventually returning to London with a rather flattering 2 – 0 defeat.
It was unarguably a bad team performance but as fire constantly needs fuel to burn, so does the media need stories to sell. But in the face of all the mostly unbalanced analysis of Ozil’s influences, not least the opinion of former Germany captain; Michael Ballack, the real culprit in the crime seems to be on a sunny vacation while the scapegoat takes all the blame.
To his credit, he is the first to defend his player, as he maintains that a second view of Ozil’s performance always gives the viewer a clearer picture of his contribution. However, seeing we only get one chance to win a game, Wenger must shoulder some of the guilt for perceptible in Ozil’s inability to convince us while we watch the game Live.
The continued tactical experiment which has seen the deployment of 2 lines of four split by a one-man line has seen Arsenal pair Wilshere and Ramsey in central midfield with Ozil and Alexis either side of the main striker. Both Brits are not entirely versatile as to pitch up on the wings and so are made to man the engine room. This combination makes it impossible for any other player to be deployed centrally (save the striker as we seem not to favour the diamond). While this switch has had no negative effect on Alexis (he could start at right back and still run round the whole pitch!), Ozil has had to make do with cutting in from the wide positions in order to join the attack, something which represents some sort of a mismatch as he gained his status as the great visionary being stationed in the space close to the penalty box.
The argument that he fulfilled “that” role for Germany during the World Cup does not make it binding that Arsene must adopt him likewise, as it is reasonable to say the German team is better composed than Arsenal. For Mikel Arteta Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, there is Bastin Schweinsteiger, Philip Lahm and Toni Kroos, and the ease with which any of Muller, Goetze and Ozil traded places did not disturb the balance due to the firmness of their midfield.
With Arsenal, as with Madrid, Ozil must be deployed in a position where he can make the 45o passes to which the pace of Alexis and other sprinters in our team is tailor-made.
There is also the concern that he does not receive much of the ball. He is easily the most creative player in the team and as such, the brush should always be in the hands of the painter. And how does the painter do a perfect job if he’s not to stand in front of the canvas?
As flowers differ in the conditions necessary for their bloom, so do different players need peculiar kinds of treatment. His head may bow when he has a bad day, but he must not be felt to carry the brunt of his failure alone, especially when it is not entirely his own doing.
Wenger must now make up his mind on why he passed up recalling former club captain to the team, or risk facing the ignominy of having to drop Ozil entirely for the good of the team.
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