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7 players who are accused of being lazy but aren't

Liam Flin
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 13:52 IST

From a Sunday league kickabout to the dizzy heights of Premier League football, every team has players that would burst a gut trying to latch onto a 30-yard pass. Comparatively, all clubs have their fair share of individuals that expect the ball to gravitate towards them and these select few are often dubbed as being lazy.Some genuinely do fail to pull their weight, but there’s no doubt football fans are sometimes way too quick to point the finger at a player for not tracking back enough or refusing to close down a player because they feel too fatigued. It’s difficult to maintain high offensive work rates in tandem with electric defensive work rates, especially in the most prestigious leagues across the continent.Let us then take a look at ten individuals who I’m certain you’ve yelled at via your TV screen for not making that potentially decisive run, but who are actually pretty athletic on the field.

#1 Mesut zil

mesut ozil


Heralded as Arsenal’s star man so far this season, Mesut Özil pulls the strings in midfield for the Gunners. Snapped up for a fee of £42.5 million back in the summer of 2013, the German maestro has been heavily lambasted for his poor defensive work rate in the past and the general consensus initially dictated that his contribution in the final third failed to live up to the hefty fee paid by the North-London club.

I am in agreement with the majority and believe that he was defensively inept in the earlier stages of his Arsenal career, but lately this has not been the case. Combined with his remarkable tally of 17 league assists this term, the highest this Premier League season, Mesut’s also been influential in Arsenal’s tightening up at the back.

He now tracks back more frequently, providing cover for the likes of Nacho Monreal when deployed on the left flank, while he had covered just shy of 70km after only 7 appearances back at the start of the season. 

All in all though, the former-Real man deserves greater credit for the way he has adapted to the intensity of the Premier League over time and he now shows greater ambition to take games by the scruff of their neck like a true world-beater should.

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Published 28 Feb 2016, 09:35 IST
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