The German international cost a whopping £42.5 million back in the summer of 2013 but was a huge hit with his instant impact at the Emirates Stadium. However he has come in for fierce criticism from critics and fans since the middle of last season, following a severe drop in form.
Wenger defended the midfielder after the 2-2 draw against City by insisting that he was a valued member of his team and slammed Ozil’s critics, by urging them to watch the game again.
According to Sky Sports, he said:
People always have this kind of attitude about him. He worked hard against City and he played quite well.
You see a good Ozil when you watch the game again. Then you realise his timing, his quality of the pass and something you can be frustrated during the game but you must not overreact.
When you watch the game in a cool manner, you see what a good player he is. I have so many offensive players. I give him freedom to play outside and inside and he likes that.
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It is not easy but Ozil is a team player and he takes it very well.
Ozil doesn’t have a goal or an assist through three Premier League appearances this season, but that’s probably due to his new role on the flank. He is playing out of position this season to accommodate the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey.
He most likely won’t track back and help the defense and is an easy target for the critics in that respect because he plays beside Sanchez, who’s a tireless worker, but that’s not a characteristic that the German possesses. Before criticising him, the critics have to take his new position and his fitness into consideration.
We are still in the initial stages of the season and it’s possible that Ozil could adapt to his new role on the left flank. It’s well known that he has low stamina and it is expected that he will fade during matches, but this is not a problem because his vision and play-making abilities are so valuable that it’s worth having him on the pitch every game.
The midfielder’s stint at Madrid showed that he’s a world-class player and all the top players receive occasional criticism. It’s up to Ozil now to use his considerable natural talent to seize the initiative in games and the time is now for Arsenal’s record signing to finally assume the mantle of assist king and deliver.
Do you agree with Wenger’s words? Share your thoughts in the comments below.