Keown sets impossible bar for Ozil: He must emulate Lionel Messi

Ozil Free Kick

Martin Keown says Mesut Ozil must be more like Lionel Messi.

Mesut Ozil probably feels he can't win, criticised and analysed with his every move at Arsenal.

Now former Gunners star Martin Keown has told The Mail that Ozil has to be more like Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi. 

It's a near impossible bar for any player in the world to match the Argentine, as can be seen by the frustration in Cristiano Ronaldo's recent performances for Real Madrid.

Keown said: "If you look at the distances Ozil is covering and the amount he’s getting on the ball, he’s moving into new territory. Sometimes I just want to see more determination from him.

"I watched Lionel Messi last night, he got an assist and set up numerous chances for others. There seems a ruthlessness in his game that isn’t in Ozil.

"He plays for fun but he’s not as ruthless but he is getting closer to what you want to see from him. Someone like Messi is the benchmark if you’re Ozil. You should be trying to emulate him, to have that role in Arsenal’s team to create goals."

While his performances against Monaco in the Champions League drew a few unflattering reviews, even in his native Germany, Ozil has found good form since returning from an knee injury which cost him more than two months of his season.

The 26-year-old has four goals and seven assists in all competitions, decent numbers, but if Keown wants Messi-like figures, he will land up disappointed.

Ozil has never been the ruthless type of goalscorer he was at Arsenal, nor is he playing alongside Luis Suarez and Neymar to add polish to his number of assists.

In 40 games this season, Lionel Messi has scored 43 goals, and has a total of 24 assists. The figures are stupendous, and if Ozil could get even to half that number in future years, it would be a dramatic transformation, but he should't be criticised in comparison to the truly incomparable Argentine.

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