Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has singled out Mesut Ozil for criticism after watching him disappoint against Chelsea last weekend.
The German international is undoubtedly a top player, and as his accolades for club and country suggest, he can be a highly influential figure for both.
However, he has had a tendency to go missing in big games, and it was history repeating itself last Saturday in the 3-1 loss at Chelsea.
Having failed to impact the game in any shape or form, it’s questionable as to how the 28-year-old didn’t receive more criticism. Arguably because most of the ire was being directed at Arsene Wenger.
Nevertheless, Keown hasn’t pulled his punches and has hit out at Ozil for not having the ability to step up in the important games against direct rivals while his form in general has dipped badly in recent months.
He told MailOnline: “After Saturday’s defeat by Chelsea, it was interesting that Wenger said that senior players did not perform.
“That is really unusual for Sanchez but Ozil becomes an expensive luxury when you are out of possession. Ozil does not know his role when Arsenal do not have the ball and it is the responsibility of the manager to tell him.
“Ozil would not get in Arsenal’s Invincibles team. It would be a choice between Ozil and Dennis Bergkamp.”
With his contract set to expire at the end of next season, there is real uncertainty hanging over his future at the Emirates as he has insisted that he’s waiting to discover what Wenger’s decision is regarding his own future.
However, as he continually falls short in the big games, there will be growing calls for Arsenal not to offer him a new deal as he simply hasn’t done enough to earn the sizeable wage increase that he’s reportedly seeking.
Keown is spot on here, and while Wenger is partly to blame for this from a tactical point of view, it comes down to the player to produce and fight once he steps on the pitch.