Jamie Carragher has been unimpressed with the performances of Mesut Ozil…
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has rubbished suggestions that Mesut Ozil’s poor performances for Arsenal have been down to the fact that he is still adjusting to life in the Premier League.
The theory is that it takes a year for foreign stars to adapt to life in England’s top division, but Carragher explains that the impact Angel di Maria has had at Manchester United shows that’s not the case.
Gianfranco Zola, Eric Cantona, Didier Drogba and Jurgen Klinsmann all got used to the Premier League quickly, winning trophies and player awards, while Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp took weeks, not months, to get going.
In his column with the Daily Mail, Carragher reasons that foreign players tend to have a terrific start, like Diego Costa has, or struggle to gain any form after teething problems, like Andriy Shevchenko.
He said: “Two individuals got me thinking about this, namely Angel di Maria and Mesut Ozil. Let’s make the comparison with both men, first and foremost. Both arrived here from Real Madrid, both cost astronomical fees and both men tend to operate in the same areas of the pitch. They are both left-footed but prefer playing centrally.
“Di Maria has scored three goals in five appearances since his £59.7million switch in August and will be the headline act at The Hawthorns on Monday night. He has looked every inch a superstar and no apologies have been needed with regard to his form.
“Ozil, by contrast, finds himself enduring more frustrations this weekend. A ‘crack in his knee’ may rule him out for up to 12 weeks but, even when he returns to full fitness, I find it hard to see the German leaving his unconvincing efforts of last season behind.
“Arsene Wenger made me think in April when the Arsenal manager made the bold claim that Ozil, his biggest ever signing at £42m, was ‘fantastic’ and he ‘would put him on the list to be player of the season next season’. Wenger does not usually tend to be so assertive.
“Even before he had a knee- ligament problem diagnosed while he was away with Germany, Ozil had not looked like delivering the same stylish displays of his time in Madrid.
“Look back at all the great imports to the Barclays Premier League and you will realise they were operating at near-enough full throttle from a very early stage. Arsenal supporters should appreciate that more than most.”
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