All Guns Blazing: Forget Fabregas comparisons, but Mesut Ozil must start performing for Arsenal
12:16 08 October 2014
In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Uche Amako says reasons to excuse the performances of Arsenal’s German superstar are running thin.
When Mesut Ozil arrived at Arsenal, I couldn’t believe it. Countless other Arsenal fans were similarly stunned, but ultimately drooling with excitement about the potential deal.
We had signed a player of genuine world-class stature and ability after years of financial sacrifice. His signature was meant to herald the moment where everything changed for the Arsenal.
But after losing to Chelsea, those initial feelings of delight and euphoria are rapidly turning as Ozil’s form flatters to deceive.
There is absolutely no doubt about his class. But with that much ability comes the need to deliver on a consistent basis and that is simply not happening.
To make matters worse, on Sunday, Ozil came face to face with Cesc Fabregas, the man who Arsene Wenger said he declined in favour of the German – the biggest vote of confidence anyone could have asked for.
Yet when Fabregas plays the way he did, rekindling the moments of genius he had in red, but this time in blue, it is easy to think what if.
The narrative shouldn’t be about Ozil vs Fabregas because they are two different players.
Ultimately it boils down to Ozil and his struggle to truly adapt to the Premier League. There have been flashes of his brilliance but simply not enough moments and the defences that can be made of his performances have reduced.
Despite his position on the left this season, he always has the licence to drift inside – provided he helps when the time comes to defend. Hardly an unreasonable demand for a top professional.
He has pace from our new signings; he has creative backing from our strong midfield. So why is he struggling to impose himself?
Is it tactical? Is Arsene restricting his freedom? Does he not trust his team-mates? Whatever the reason, Ozil has to stamp his authority and make it known what he needs to give him the best chance to thrive.
It’s upsetting to see him taking the brunt of the criticism from pundits, but it’s reached a point where I’m struggling to find strong enough reasons to silence his detractors.
With two wins in seven Premier League games, Arsenal are in danger of being cut adrift even at this early stage and they need their talisman to step up and deliver sooner rather than later; otherwise those fond memories of his arrival will soon become distant ones.
Follow me @UcheAmako