Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil

Is Mesut Ozil being made a scapegoat for Arsenal's failure?

According to Mesut Ozil’s agent, the German playmaker feels that he is being made a scapegoat for Arsenals problems.

Dr Erkut Sogut told BBC Sport:

Criticism is normal if a player plays badly, but Mesut feels people are not focusing on his performance, they are using him as a scapegoat for the team after bad results.

While this may be true, Ozil doesn’t help himself. His demeanour when Arsenal don’t have the ball is never encouraging. Like his team, Ozil is better with the ball and when he doesn’t have it he just jogs around the pitch aimlessly.

Lack of Leadership

Another problem is that Ozil is not a leader on the pitch. When the chips are down, you know he won’t be the one to galvanise the team. Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are very different players but Ozil could learn from Sanchez’s attitude. Sanchez wants to win every game and is visibly frustrated when that doesn’t happen. The same cannot always be said for Ozil.

When Arsenal were beaten 5-1 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League, David Ospina, Laurent Koscielny and Alexis Sanchez were Arsenal’s best players. Ozil and the other seven Arsenal players were poor more or less from start to finish. That game was Ozil’s chance to shine but he didn’t take it.

Mesut Ozil is clearly suffering from a lack of confidence this season, something manager Arsene Wenger is aware of. He has scored five goals and provided just four assists in 22 appearances. Last season he scored six goals (his best tally) and provided 19 assists in 35 appearances.

Ozil has not scored for Arsenal since the 10th of December against Stoke. Wenger has said: Maybe he will find confidence back as well, because he misses chances. He has chances and he misses the chances that don’t look not feasible for him.

Out of Form, Out of Confidence

Ozil’s performances have been below par for a few months now but for some reason he is undroppable. If Wenger took him out of the firing line, he wouldn’t be made a scapegoat and could get some confidence back.

There is no doubt that Mesut Ozil is an incredibly talented and vastly experienced individual. He has won the World Cup, La Liga and so much more.

I wouldn’t say that Mesut Ozil is being made a scapegoat at Arsenal but it can’t be a coincidence that when Arsenal play badly, he does as well. Once Ozil gets his confidence back, everything will be fine. But, with his contract expiring next year, he has to prove that he deserves a new deal at Arsenal or move on. In football, you’re only as good as your last game.

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