Nobody is really surprised that Arsenal have left Mesut Ozil out of their Premier League squad, but there are clearly a lot of different feelings about the decision.
There’s an argument to be made that he’s getting paid a lot of money so they might as well find a way to use him, but it’s become pretty clear that Mikel Arteta just doesn’t trust him on the pitch at all.
He’s also getting older and there will be worries about his form, but he’s not had a consistent run of games for so long so it’s impossible to tell what kind of difference he could make in this team.
There are faint comparisons with Jack Wilshere in the sense that they are both supremely talented playmakers who can clearly control a game at the highest level, but a mixture of injuries, lack of trust from the coach and a possible lack of work rate led to their downfall.
Gary Lineker took to Twitter to express his sadness for Ozil, but Wilshere took it one further with a very generous claim about Ozil’s abilities:
Spot on Gary, especially when you are the best player! https://t.co/3ZBTcEcHLa
— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) October 21, 2020
Deciding who is the “best” player is always going to be subjective and you can argue that Ozil may be the most technically gifted player in the team in terms of his ball skills, but there’s so much more to the game than that.
There have always been concerns that he offers little in the defensive phase both in terms of pressing and marking a player. so if Arteta’s system is built on trusting every player to defend then there’s no place for Ozil.
It is a shame to see a player who’s not getting the chance to play but he could’ve moved on this summer if that was his only motivation, so hopefully something can be sorted in January to either get him in the squad or let him go.