Mesut Ozil has been criticised left, right and centre for his (truly) underwhelming performances for Arsenal this season.
The latest scrutiny of the 25-year-old attacking midfielder came on Tuesday night when he was largely anonymous against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League in Germany.
Ozil was a passenger in Arsenal’s midfield as Dortmund eased to a 2-0 victory in the Group D clash at the Signal Iduna Park.
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Many former footballers and pundits have had their say on why the Germany international has been so severely out of form since his return from a successful 2014 World Cup campaign.
Former Germany star Dietmar Hamann, who won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, has also given his view on Ozil’s poor run of form - and has probably hit the nail on the head.
‘I don’t know how Arsenal are going to sort him out’, he told talkSPORT. ‘He has been there for a little while now. He doesn’t look happy, I don’t know what’s wrong with the kid. He did very well for Germany at the World Cup.
‘The only position he can play in England is behind the centre-forward. It’s a different game in England, it’s more intense, faster and more physical. He doesn’t seem to be able to handle that on a weekly basis, or every three or four days’.
Hamann is harsh in his criticism of his compatriot, but he is right in his assessment of Ozil not being happy. The German’s body language on Tuesday showed no sign of someone who was enjoying his football.
Perhaps Ozil wasn’t enjoying his football on Tuesday night. But can you blame him entirely? Not for the first time this season did Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger play him out wide on the left, and not for the first time this season did he look lost.
True, the former Real Madrid star has featured on the wings in his career and maybe trained in that position at the Gunners this season, but Ozil is at his best playing behind the forward(s) where he can create chances and be a menace to the oppsotion defenders.
It has been made clear in recent weeks that Ozil is wasted on the wings. If Wenger persists on playing him there, then Arsenal fans should not expect the World Cup winner to play much better than he did against Dortmund on Tuesday.