Mesut Özil has received a huge amount of criticism during his time at Arsenal, and was once again slated for his performance against AS Monaco this past Tuesday.
The media seem to target the German playmaker no matter how he performs however, and his display against the Ligue 1 side was one to be praised rather than criticised.
The pundits lambasted the World Cup winner at half time, hitting out at Arsene Wenger for starting him over Aaron Ramsey. And while the Welshman’s second half substitute appearance certainly made a case for that though, Özil put in a quality performance and was vitally important to the team.
He is often branded as lazy and uninterested, but while he can appear that way due to his playing style, you can’t fault his effort or involvement in the game.
- Mesut Ozil to ‘terminate contract’ with Arsenal and join boyhood club
- [Player ratings] Arsenal 0-0 Crystal Palace: Flying save earns Gunners a drab point
- [Team news] Arsenal line up vs Crystal Palace – ‘Special’ star returns
The former Real Madrid man was a hub for our creative play, and was constantly looking to receive it. He touched the ball 126 times throughout, making a total of 110 passes – second only to Santi Cazorla in both cases.
He understandably started to tire in the second half, but still played a key part in the build up to the second goal.
Özil’s performances since his return from injury have been largely superb, and it’s hard to see why pundits and the media are still being so harsh on him.
As our record signing at £42.5m, people may expect a little more from him. The German international is not the kind of player who will win you games on his own however, he is the kind of player whose subtle style will make those around him shine.
I am certainly not saying he is without fault, and there have been plenty of times during his short Arsenal career where he has deserved criticism. Now is not one of those times however, and as it looks like the media have no plans to get off his back anytime soon, we need to get behind him more than ever.