Zidane said Ozil lacked fight when he left - Do Arsenal fans now agree?

Is Mesut Ozil proving Zinedine Zidane right for what he said at the start of the season?

Mesut Ozil spoke earlier this campaign about his favourite player - the one he idolised growing up as a kid.

No surprise to see it was a player with similar characteristics to the German - Zinedine Zidane.

“I used to play with my brother and his friends. They were five years older and all taller than me. So it wasn't easy to assert myself. But I learnt how to prevail and that's when all they said: ‘you are going to make it’. I just wanted to have fun and be like my favourite player, Zinedine Zidane.”

This is interesting because he left Zidane at Real Madrid to move to Arsenal - and Zizou was quite critical of his decision at the time, insinuating he lacked fight:

“Ozil decided to leave. He is a good player who has given us so much so we wish him well. There are players who have responded with strength and will to fight for a place but not everyone reacted in the same way. Di Maria responded well and wanted to fight for us.”

At the time Arsenal fans were pretty confident that Real Madrid were simply guilty of sour grapes, a bitter pill to swallow losing one of our best players.

Now, are Arsenal fans starting to see Zidane’s point?

Ozil has struggled in recent games for the club. Many have made excuses for him - a lack of a winter break, absence of a top-class striker to play off, and the injury to Aaron Ramsey - his previous partner in crime.

However one word unfortunately being labelled with Ozil is lazy.

That isn’t necessarily true. Ozil covered plenty of ground in his much maligned Bayern Munich performance on Wednesday night.

The problem is where he does his running. When going forward he is happy to bust a gut - defensively, he is clearly not so keen.

The moment he simply glanced and watched Arjen Robben ghost behind him - which saw him lambasted by Mathieu Flamini - was a perfect example of this behaviour.

When it comes to digging deep and fighting - Ozil doesn’t seem to have that fire in him just yet.

Other Arsenal players however have soon adapted to include this fight into their game. Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires spring to mind.

If Ozil can begin to prove Zidane wrong - he could go down in history just like this pair of legends.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch