Mesut Ozil - Arsenal's new Andrei Arshavin?

Ozil Arsenal 5

Mesut Ozil is toiling at Arsenal, will his career go the same way as another talented playmaker?

The story seems familiar. A talented and acclaimed playmaker, signs for Arsenal, shows flashes of brilliance before going into his shell and frustrating fans week after week.

It is the tale of Andrei Arshavin, but one which Mesut Ozil's Arsenal adventure is descending into.

While Ozil arrived at Arsenal for a record fee of £42 million, as a former Real Madrid superstar, Andrei Arshavin was almost a record deal at the time when he signed for £15 million.

He signed on the back of not only a terrific 2008, but UEFA Cup success with Zenit St Petersburg.

Ask Arsenal fans why the Russian did not succeed at Arsenal, and you will get two answers.

The first is that he lacked the application to be a success in the Premier League, lazy and unwilling to track back. These are accusations frequently levelled at Mesut Ozil over the past year.

The second response would be that it is Arsene Wenger's fault. Wenger was reluctant to play Arshavin in his preferred central attacking midfield position and build the side around him, choosing to play him out wide.

Putting Arshavin out on the wing only highlighted his weaknesses and reluctant to track back, and Wenger is now making the same mistakes with Ozil.

Ozil was played through the centre last season but Wenger this year has been insistent on playing the German out wide, in a position where he is less effective.

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright issued a plea after the game last night for Wenger to play Ozil through the centre.

Ozil is widely regarded as a superior player to Arshavin, and with a better attitude, and as such the chances of him being able to turn his fortunes around are likely higher.

He needs his manager to begin realising the same mistakes are beginning to play out, and begin to start working closely together to rectify them, before the downward spiral worsens to the point it is irreversible.

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