Mesut Ozil’s future at Arsenal seems to have been settled, with Mikel Arteta showing no intention of letting the German back into the team at the moment. However, former Gunners boss George Graham has hinted that Ozil’s future depends on the player’s willingness to change.
The former Real Madrid midfielder was brought to the Emirates by Arsene Wenger, but even the legendary Frenchman struggled to consistently get the best out of his midfield maestro. The German footballer also endured a tough time under the tutelage of Unai Emery, and the trend has continued since Arteta took charge at the club.
Ozil’s qualities with the ball are undeniable. The German midfielder belongs to the rare breed of No. 10s, who can create moments of magic in tight games. He can see a pass few others can imagine, which makes him an asset with the ball at his feet.
However, the German can be a liability to his team without the ball, which is why he has fallen out of favor with Mikel Arteta at Arsenal.
Ozil not up to the standards that Arteta wants at Arsenal: George Graham
The Spaniard desires a lot of intensity from his Arsenal team and wants his players to fight for every ball. Arteta even demands that his players be equally energetic while attacking and defending. Sadly, Ozil has done very little to prove that he can provide that intensity and desire on the pitch.
Former Arsenal boss Graham pointed out that Ozil has not been good enough without the ball during his time at the club.
"He's got to be in a team that's dominating games and he's got to be on the ball as much as possible. Without the ball… just no. He is definitely lacking, not even at the top level. Without the ball he's not good enough," observed Graham.
Graham believes that Ozil can be an asset with the ball, provided he has the backing of a good team around him. He believes that it’s Ozil’s efforts without the ball that has cost him his position in the Arsenal team.
"With the ball, he can be good enough, but he has to be in a good team. He was up and down like a yo-yo under Arsene Wenger. He obviously isn't playing into the new manager's style. You play when you've got the ball but you also play when you haven't got possession. He's just not up to the standard that Arteta wants," said Graham.
As Graham has pointed out, with a little willingness to adapt, Ozil could still find his way back into the Arsenal team. However, it remains to be seen if the German midfielder is willing to change his playing style.Published 11 Nov 2020, 22:15 IST