Ballon d'Or list causes awkward questions for Arsenal and Manchester United stars Ozil and Van Persie

Arsenal and Manchester United stars must reflect on their poor calendar years.

The 23-man Ballon d'Or shortlist has been revealed, and there are two big absences from a Premier League perspective to failed to repeat their nominations.

While Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Manchester City's Yaya Toure make the list for the second year in succession, Robin van Persie of Manchester United and Mesut Ozil of Arsenal did not.

Neither Van Persie or Ozil have had good calendar years on a personal performance level, even though the latter has ended it with a World Cup winner's medal and an FA Cup medal.

Robin van Persie Man Utd 8 1 18
Mesut Özil Arsenal 2 3 17

Ozil came into the Premier League a year ago billed as the 'king of assists', but three only in 17 games, is an underwhelming record even taking into account his injury issues.

His reputation has fallen in England from one of the best players in the world, to one who has not proven anything during his time at Arsenal.

Poor displays in the Champions League against the likes of Bayern and Dortmund, have garnered international attention, and individually at the World Cup, he took a step back from the breakthrough player he was in 2010.

Van Persie on the other hand, has looked a shadow of his former self, playing on autopilot. In the early part of 2014 it seemed like he did not want to play for David Moyes, saving himself for the World Cup, where after a superb header against Spain in the opening game, he failed to kick on.

Under Van Gaal at United he has done enough, without being spectacular, which for a player who was voted the Premier League PFA Player of the Year during his last season at Arsenal, just two full seasons ago, is a step backwards.

Both players will look at the list, and realise that they have really failed to shine over the past 12 months. The challenge now is bouncing back, but right now neither would be solid bets to make the 23 next year.

Full Ballon d'O list: Gareth Bale (Wales), Karim Benzema (France), Diego Costa (Spain), Thibaut Courtois (Belgium), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Angel Di Maria (Argentina), Mario Goetze (Germany), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Toni Kroos (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Javier Mascherano (Argentina), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Mueller (Germany), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Neymar (Brazil), Paul Pogba (France), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), James Rodriguez (Colombia), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Yaya Toure (Côte d’Ivoire).

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