Ex-Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman insists that Mesut Ozil still deserves a place in Unai Emery’s team despite a perceived lack of effort and enthusiasm.
Ozil has faced a lot of criticism over the last few years for his displays in an Arsenal shirt, but after facing similarly negative comments at the World Cup in Russia with Germany this summer, it appears that the pressure is finally starting to get to the midfield playmaker.
The 29-year-old has featured in three of Arsenal’s opening four matches in the Premier League this season but has struggled to make an impact as the Gunners have slipped to two defeats already against Man City and Chelsea.
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Since moving to the Emirates from Real Madrid in 2013, Ozil has made 199 appearances in total for the club, scoring 37 goals and providing over 50 Premier League assists. However, he has often been singled out for his disinterested body language and lack of effort in the middle of the park, which has ultimately blighted his spell in north London.
The German’s talent has never been in doubt, but he can often be a frustrating player to watch and has thusly been unable to lead Arsenal towards a genuine title challenge over the last few years.
One man willing to jump to the defence of Ozil despite his recent troubles is club legend Seaman, who believes that the former Madrid man is too important to the team to be left out of the starting XI as the new league campaign continues, according to the Evening Standard.
He said to the media on Friday: “If you don’t play well then you will get singled out. That’s the way it is.
“He doesn’t play well every game. I think a lot of fans expect him to play well every game when it’s impossible.
“He’s a quality player, there’s no doubt about that. Sometimes people think he doesn’t care, but that’s just his style. He does care – a lot.”And he’s still got great qualities so, for me, he stays in the Arsenal team no problem.”
Ozil, who currently earns £350,000 a week at the Emirates – as per The Telegraph – retired from international duty after the World Cup, which has allowed him to enjoy a week off before Arsenal’s next clash against Newcastle United on Saturday.
Supporters will be expecting him to return fit and raring to go as Emery’s men look to secure their third successive win and climb back up the table towards the Champions League places.