‘Who needs Ozil?’ is the headline on the Marca website this morning, commenting on former Tottenham man Gareth Bale’s start to life at the Bernabeu stadium.
Despite the fact there is nothing between Bale and former Real Madrid man Mesut Ozil, other than a single goal, this seems like another damning of the German midfielder who joined the Gunners for £42.5 million at the end of the last transfer window.
There’s hard feeling within the pro-Real Madrid newspapers in Spain over the way Ozil left the club, with boss Carlo Ancelotti revealing that it was because the midfielder didn’t want to stay and fight for his place in the team.
“After a total of ten games, Bale has scored four goals and produced four assists - one goal more and the same number of assists as the German attacking midfielder who now plays for Arsenal. Bale has taken part in ten matches - while Özil has played eleven,” reads the Marca report.
Fair enough to lay down a numbers comparison between the pair but that does not take into context the situation surrounding each player, starting with the simple fact that they play in completely different positions.
Arsenal fans will point to the fact that Bale is a more forward thinking and direct attacking player than Ozil, playing on either wing with Cristiano Ronaldo, so it’s no surprise that he’s scored more goals then the Arsenal man this season.
Ozil is a midfield man and someone who has played in different positions for the Gunners this season.
Ozil can play effectively at the top of the attack for Arsenal or he can play a deeper, more textbook central midfield role, where he’s well suited to pulling the strings in the middle of the team.
Marca also points out that ‘Ozil’s impact in London was immediate’ suggesting that he’s gone off the boil a little bit after a good start, while Bale has found his form after he was initially kept out of the side due to a couple of niggling little injuries.
It’s also fair to suggest that Bale is performing with one prolific season under his belt which was the reason for his move to Real Madrid, whereas Ozil has been performing in an impressive manner (in terms of goals and assists) for several seasons.
It sounds a little bit like sour grapes and a little bit of a cheap shot on the part of the Spanish paper. Ozil could well play a man of the match role against Manchester United this afternoon and it will be interesting to see if he appears on Marca tomorrow morning.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald