Pundit says Arsenal's Ozil not in same league as Bergkamp

Mesut Özil has had his most productive season for Arsenal, yet he still manages to draw criticism.

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has responded to comparisons between Mesut Özil and Dennis Bergkamp, saying they are streets apart.

Carragher is baffled by the Gunners star's inclusion of the PFA awards shortlist, and claims Özil has failed to take Arsenal to the next level. Writing for his column in The Daily Mail regarding the player of the year awards, he said:

"The odd man out in all that, of course, is Mesut Ozil. On Boxing Day, I wrote a column about Ozil — the season's leading assist-maker — and said he had to take Arsenal to the title to be recognised in the same league as Dennis Bergkamp, to whom he was being compared. That won't happen now."

Carragher's criticism of the German World Cup winner seems a little harsh.

Özil has registered 18 assists and scored six goals in 30 league games for the Gunners this term. He is just two shy of Thierry Henry's Premier league assists record. Some would argue others in the Arsenal team are more culpable for their failings than the German.

The comparison with Bergkamp is an unfair one on two accounts.

Firstly, they are entirely different players. Özil is an out-and-out creative playmaker, whereas the Dutchman was more of a striker, and secondly, Bergkamp was part of one of the greatest teams in Premier league history and played just behind arguably the best striker the league has ever seen.

Özil could argue that if he played in Arsenal's invincible era, and Bergkamp played amongst the current crop of stars, comparisons between the two would lean more in his favour.

Arsenal host Crystal Palace on Sunday and could find themselves a massive 16 points behind Leicester City before they even kick-off.



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