Ahead of Arsenal's match-up with Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium, Gunners boss gave Mesut Ozil some constructive criticism.
'Mesut Ozil is an exceptional player.' Those are the words of Arsene Wenger, as quoted by ITV and, when considering the trequartista's 88% passing accuracy, the 46 chances he has created and his eight assists, it is difficult to argue against him.
However, there remains improvements the Arsenal star can make to his individual game, chiefly, his shooting. The fact that he has an 84.2% shooting accuracy demonstrates that precision is not a weakness, but rather it is the frequency of his shots that is the subject of managerial scrutiny.
In Premier League competition, Ozil has attempted 19 shots, 16 which have been on target with four of those resulting in a goal. However, when factoring in his appearances - 20 - and the minutes he has participated in, that equates to an attempted shot every 90.5 minutes he is on the field. In contrast, he produces a pass every 1.3 minutes.
'You want the guy who plays behind the striker to score some goals and sometimes he is too obsessed with making the perfect pass when he could take a shot at goal,' noted Wenger, who believes the German requires time and patience to fully adjust to not only the league and culture, but also his price-tag.
'He feels the pressure of course, because he knows a lot is expected when you are a big transfer like that. There is a big expectation level, but he should not worry about that, just play in the team and enjoy it, give his best. That’s the best way to deal with it.
'You must say he doesn’t come from a small club. He comes from Real Madrid where the pressure is always huge as well. So he’s used to it. He needs understanding. Because he always wants to do well. He cares. He’s not a guy who doesn’t care. His style can sometimes look like that, but he’s really the opposite character.
'He cares about the game, he wants to do well, he needs more support.'
image: © Ronnie Macdonald