Reverse-fixtures suggest Arsenal aren't missing much in £42m man's absence

With Arsenal player-maker Mesut Ozil missing for the next month, will his side really miss him considering what he did in the reverse-fixtures?

Arsenal play-maker Mesut Ozil will miss at least the next four weeks of competitive action due to a hamstring strain.  That means the club-record signing will sit out the games against Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Swansea City, Manchester City and Everton, while he is also a doubt for the FA Cup semi-final against Wigan Athletic.

But how much will the Gunners miss a player who started the season so well, but fell away during the winter, only to show a fleeting glimpse of what he can do in the quarter-final victory over Everton?

We have looked at the matches he is likely miss and then considered his contribution in the reverse-fixtures earlier this season.  Ozil was not at the club when Arsenal faced Tottenham Hotspur, but he did face the other four sides in the league.

Below you can see that in the earlier matches against Everton, Chelsea, City and Swansea, Ozil scored one goal, provided one assist and made six key passes.  While he obviously played his part, it was minimal when you consider the money spent on him and the talent he clearly has in abundance.

PlayerMatchMatchdayGoalsGoal AssistKey PassMins
Mesut Özil Arsenal vs Everton 15 1 0 1 90
Mesut Özil Arsenal vs Chelsea 17 0 0 1 90
Mesut Özil Man City vs Arsenal 16 0 1 2 90
Mesut Özil Swansea vs Arsenal 06 0 0 2 88

We also looked at Ozil's contribution in terms of touches, passes and in more defensive areas.  And yes, we know Ozil is an attack-minded player and was not brought to the club to put his foot in.  But that is still a vital part of the game and yet Ozil did not win a single tackle in the four games, and won just a single interception (against Everton).

While his accurate passes were impressive - as one would expect - against Swansea and the Toffees in particular he rarely played the ball forward, instead opting for sideways or backwards passes.

PlayerMatchMatchdayTouchesAccurate PassFwd PassWon TackleInterception WonMins
Mesut Özil Man City vs Arsenal 16 69 48 20 0 0 90
Mesut Özil Arsenal vs Everton 15 66 39 15 0 1 90
Mesut Özil Swansea vs Arsenal 06 62 43 8 0 0 88
Mesut Özil Arsenal vs Chelsea 17 60 42 22 0 0 90

While each match is different and it only takes a second for a player of Ozil's quality to change everything, the last time the German international played against those opponents he contributed little for much of his time on the pitch.  He earned his side a point against Everton, but Arsenal have other players who should be able to step up in his absence.

In short, the Gunners faithful should not bemoan the unavailability of one player, but instead focus on the 11 men who are more than capable of getting the results in his absence.

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