Mesut Ozil put in another deceptively important performance against Fulham, out of the limelight yet instrumental in pulling the strings.
The German was key in keeping Arsenal's game ticking, completing the highest number of passes in the attacking third of the pitch, and the second highest in total.
|Name||Total Pass||Total Final Third Passes|
Wenger addressed his performance as the weekend came to a close, indicating he felt too much was being asked of his record signing.
Yet the Frenchman explained to Arsenal.com he did agree there was one area Ozil could improve in his game.
"Sometimes people expect him to make the difference alone. Sometimes when it doesn’t work you expect him to take the ball and put it in the net. He is more a passer than a finisher.
“[Goalscoring] is one of the things he can add to his game for sure. It doesn't need to be criticised, it needs to be encouraged."
And perhaps that is the problem a little, Ozil just needs a little encouragement to shoot. The table below shows the German average just over one shot per game compared to midfield teammates Cazorla, Ramsey and Walcott.
|Player||Total Scoring Att||Apps||Mins|
Ozil is still Arsenal's fourth top Premier League scorer however, with the standout feature of the table below that no Arsenal player has yet broken 10 Premier League goals yet - amazing when you consider they currently top the league, a real testament to their strength in depth.
Yet this is where Ozil really comes into his own - and where nobody can argue with his input. Wenger went onto discuss that his constant passing wears teams down, but it is those killer assists which are his greatest weapon.
If Ozil does what his manager asks of him and goes onto become a 10 goal a season man, which he still may do this campaign - any criticism of his performances will soon disappear.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald