View from Germany: Mesut Özil at the crossroads of his career

Did Arsenal really know beforehand what kind of player they were going to purchase?

One should think that especially in England football fans show more understanding for missed penalties, but after having missed a spot kick in the Champions League match against Bayern Munich, Mesut Özil received a lot of criticism from the British press.

But then is it really fair to focus the criticism on just one player after a rather poor match from the whole team against the supposedly best team in the world right now?

Not surprisingly Özil seems to have more obligations than other players because of the record transfer amount of 42 million pounds that Arsenal had paid for him.

In fact, he has never been a real leader who would step in in for the team in difficult situations, but instead of that somebody who could contribute with his great technical skills and in combination with similar gifted team members to a bright offensive playing style.

In Germany the question “where was Özil?” has become a popular guessing game after each decisive defeat in a big international tournament in the last couple of years. However, if you asked Ronaldo or Benzema after the former number 10 of Real Madrid, they would probably start to praise him because of the amazing amount of assists he gave them during his time there.

The little German playmaker has always been at his best, when he received the confidence of his coach and the affection of the fans, like formerly with Werder Bremen or recently with Real Madrid. On the other hand, he seems to be someone who tries to avoid bigger problems when possible.

Schalke accused him once of asking for too much money as a young player when they were in negotiations for a new contract, which led to his transfer to Bremen before the contract with Schalke had ended.

When he decided to leave Real Madrid, the already fixed purchase of the Spanish talent Isco might also have had an influence on his decision of accepting Arsenal’s offer.

We will see if Mesut Özil actually will become a real leader one day. Getting past this difficult time of his career right now might even help him with that. Being only 25-years-old, he definitely still has enough time to develop.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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