Mesut Ozil would have had an easier ride had he signed for Chelsea

Ozil Throw

Arsenal star Mesut Ozil took a battering in the media this week, but is he being punished for his badge rather than his reputation?

Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has had another tough week. Ruled out for around a month with a hamstring injury, the tabloids showed no mercy for his performance against Bayern.

Perhaps not realising he was injured at the time, The Mail and Mirror tore into him labelling the German a 'flop' and said he was 'nicking a living' via columns from Neil Ashton and John Cross.

The columns were amended to take into account his injury, but whether he would have received quite the same treatment had it been visually clear he was injured in the first half, is debatable.

The problem was, it was hard to tell - and differ this lackadaisical display from Ozil with others he has contributed in 2014.

Even so, his treatment from the tabloids was outrageous - and the German must be wondering quite what he did to deserve such a slating.

Now of course he is attracting flak because of his huge transfer fee, and dip in performances - highlighted by his fast start, but is part of the problem the club?

Newspapers love a narrative, and the theme of Arsenal falling at the last hurdle when March hits has become a common theme over the past decade, and in Ozil they simply have a new whipping boy to blame.

The playmaker is in many ways paying the price for Arsenal's years of failure, and being held up as the saviour to their ills, his club record fee almost three times their previous highest expenditure on a single player.

Had he signed for another club, Chelsea for example, would it have been different? Well yes.

Chelsea have the envious record of winning silverware almost every single season over the last decade, including the Champions League trophy two years ago. This means there is less anxiety around the club, less pressure for players, and as a result individuals certainly don't get the Ozil treatment.

Due to the fact high priced players like Ozil are signed with regularity by Chelsea, any hits and misses are simply treated as such, rather than the scathing 'absolute waste of space' hyperbole directed at Ozil in midweek.

At Chelsea, Ozil would have been just another big money star - an accomplished one with an outstanding reputation to live up to - but any struggles would have been permitted to fade into the background a little less.

With Arsenal, he is the first signing at over £20 million, while Chelsea have signed Oscar, Mata, Hazard and Willian in recent seasons.

Willian for example can turn up some weeks, others not - yet even at £30 million, seemingly nobody bats an eyelid.

At the Emirates the difference in the figures means he stands out and the papers have just been waiting for him to fall flat on his face.

Of course there would have been criticism of him at Stamford Bridge, but just look at Manchester City for another example. 

When Sergio Aguero was substituted off at half-time against Barcelona, where were the damning columns slating his lack of impact?

Where are the pages slating the failed impact of Stevan Jovetic, or pondering why Alvaro Negredo has gone missing in recent weeks, the crucial phase of the season?

They don't exist, and it's because Arsenal's trophyless run has seen the pressure ramped up - and Ozil is the star while at City and Chelsea there is a sea of big money signings.

It's not right, but had Ozil signed for either club instead of Arsenal, he would not only have been afforded more rest due to rotation as per competition for places, but the papers likely would also not be castigating him in the same fashion.

It certainly would have been an easier life for him to sign for either club, but he had this at Real Madrid and did not like it when he was left out. By moving to Arsenal he wanted to be their leader, but it appears the tabloids are already staging a coup to tear down the Ozil-era before it has even taken root.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch