EPL 2016/17: Stan Collymore blasts Mesut Ozil; says he does not step up in big games
The former Liverpool player has lambasted the German international stating that, “He [Ozil] doesn’t step it up in big games. For me, Ozil epitomizes what Arsenal have become - flat-track bullies.”
It was difficult to comprehend such a strong reaction from the former Red given that the Gunners ran out 6-0 winners in their Champions League group tie against Bulgarian side, Ludogorets.
Ozil starred on the night as he scored a hat-trick. Sanchez opened the scoring with a brilliant dink which left the goalkeeper clasping thin air, the ball settling in slow motion as the defense and spectators looked on.
English wingers Chamberlain and Walcott were also on the scoresheet as Arsenal took control of Group A halfway through the group stages with 7 points. The London side are currently tied at the top with Paris Saint-Germain who ran out 3-0 winners against Swiss side, Basel.
Crumbling during crunch time
In recent years, the Gunners side have somewhat cultivated the title of “chokers.” The Gunners who have time and again been praised for their fluent football have in the same breath also displayed some alarming defensive displays.
Their mental toughness, though, has improved since the arrival of players such as Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Petr Cech who have exuded calmness on the pitch.
Coming back to Ozil, however, we can see that over the course of the season, the German playmaker has developed into a complete player for the Gunners.
Collymore though holds a different view and writing in his column for Daily Mirror, stated, “They are capable of dispatching the likes of Ludogorets with ease. And Ozil will star in such matches. But when it comes to the crunch – really big games that decide titles or make sure the Gunners progress in the Champions League against the likes of Bayern Munich – he is found wanting.”
Arsenal’s upcoming challenges
After a convincing display in the Champions League, the Gunners will hope to carry on their form at the Emirates on Saturday as they take on newly promoted side Middlesbrough. The Gunners will hope to keep their winning run going after a 3-2 win against Swansea City last weekend.
Arsenal take on Reading in the fourth round of the EFL Cup in mid-week. With games against Sunderland and Ludogorets in the off, before the London derby, the Gunners will look to pick up maximum points over this “less challenging” period.
The German star has been at the center of some unwanted criticism and will hope to make the most of his purple patch as games come thick and fast.