Former Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has accused Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger of wasting the talents Mesut Ozil by playing him out of position.
The 25 year old came in for widespread criticism following his display in the 2-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League opener on Tuesday, a performance that has been singled out as his worst in an Arsenal shirt.
However, the former midfielder feels that the poor form of the German international stems from the play-maker being deployed out of position.
Speaking to Independent, he said:
I admired Mesut Ozil as a player at Real Madrid but it is no use playing him wide. He is not interested in defending and he needs to be in the centre, among good quality players who get the best out of him.
He has that languid style which makes it look like he isn’t trying. I am sure that isn’t the case but he is struggling to find his form and he is too good a player to waste.
Wenger’s decision to play him on the left is clearly having an adverse effect on the play-maker. The French boss has a plethora of central midfield options and the idea is for the German to have more freedom on the wing. Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere currently occupy the positions in central middle and using either of the duo on the left would be a waste of their talents.
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However, Ozil is a frustrated figure on the flank as he is unable to gain a foothold in the game. He operates better more centrally, despite there being less space, as his creative talents can be maximised. Being used on the left increases his defensive responsibilities as opposed to when he plays as a ‘number 10’, but so far the Germany international has shunned these and it’s little surprise that his one statistically calculated weakness is his defensive contribution.
Wenger has been stubborn about changing his tactics in the past, but altering his current system of choice is essential if he wishes to bring out the best in Arsenal’s most expensive player. However, if the French boss sticks with the 4-1-4-1 formation, it would be in his best interests to move Özil inside, where he could form an effective partnership with Ramsey.
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