Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann has said the criticism surrounding Mesut Ozil is fully justified.
Ozil struggled during the defeat against Borussia Dortmund last night, with the former German star showing no sympathy when discussing Ozil’s form on Sky Sports before the game.
“The criticism of Ozil is justified – It’s time he started to justify his price tag after a disappointing start to the season,” said Hamann on Sky’s TV coverage.
Hamann’s punditry colleague Graeme Souness also chipped in with a brief assessment of Ozil’s performance during the game, criticising him for looking lethargic at half-time.
“He offers Bellerin, a young and inexperienced player, no protection at all down the right hand side – He gets forward and just walks back into position,” added the Scot later.
The defence of Ozil is that he’s being used out of position and needs to move into a central role, behind the main striker.
If he plays as a number ten, then the pressure on him to defend is removed and he can focus on the attacking role, which he obviously prefers.
The problem Arsene Wenger has is that he already has players who are more effective in central positions and players who it’s pointless for Wenger to move when they are in form.
Hamann’s criticism that Ozil needs to step up and justify his price tag is a little bit empty because he’s carried that pressure ever since he first signed for the club for £42.5 million from Real Madrid. It’s an easy attack.
Souness’ criticism is more justified because of Ozil’s experience and the fact he knew that Bellerin was a player that Dortmund would focus on without Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy available.
Unfortunately for Bellerin, Ozil is never going to be that Jordan Henderson style of midfielder who will discipline himself when he is asked to play out of position in midfield.