Arsenal grabbed a much needed 3 points against West Ham on Wednesday night. The Gunners managed to rediscover their form and at the heart of a great team performance was Mesut Ozil.
Ozil has been widely criticised during the Gunners terrible recent run of form, but he proved the difference against West Ham on Wednesday night, in a game where Arsenal needed the three points.
Often criticised for his work rate, Ozil was always on the move for Arsenal, coming deep to control the game when required and tracking men defensively to ensure that West Ham could not build any attacking momentum.
Ozil broke the deadlock, curling in an effort from distance and ten minutes later he managed a perfect pass to assist Theo Walcott who put the game out of sight. In these tight home games where away teams set up to get a point, Ozil needs to shine like he did tonight and make the difference. Hopefully, this performance will have boosted his confidence and he can continue to deliver performances of this calibre for the rest of the season.
Ozil was at his creative best, managing 5 key passes and an assist. He completed 3 dribbles and 2/3 crosses. Ozil was involved heavily throughout the game, completing a massive 93 passes with a 86% success rate. We saw Ozil do some dirty defensive work today too, he looked energised and made 2 interceptions and 1 tackle.
Here’s some reaction from the fans to Ozil’s performance against the Hammers…
No player has assisted more goals (39) or created more chances (360) than Mesut Özil since he arrived in the Premier League. Standard. pic.twitter.com/x4LXnOXX9D
— Özil Stuff (@OzilStuff) April 5, 2017
— w (@WengerGOAT) April 5, 2017
In my opinion, Ozil has been harshly criticised in recent weeks. He’s not been good enough, but he’s been the one player to often get the criticism when in reality the entire team have been poor.
Despite this, he has not been good enough personally and as a world class player, he really needed a game like this to stamp his authority on the team. Hopefully this will silence the critics, but Ozil needs to deliver this kind of performance more frequently, and also against the big teams, otherwise he will continue to be scapegoated.