It’s almost like they have an agenda.
When they could be talking about Falcao or Angel Di Maria, the ex-United men are focussing their efforts on bandwagon jumping and digging out Mesut Ozil.
First it was Paul Scholes and now it’s Gary Neville.
Writing in the Telegraph, the former defender said
“Ozil was pushed out of Madrid and he has since struggled to be the game-changer that I believe a £42m player should be for Arsenal.
“Although Arsenal fans often complaint [sic] when I highlight Ozil’s shortcomings, my response is that I generally see him in the bigger games against the top opponents and he has not delivered.
“In 22 games against Chelsea, United, City, Liverpool and Tottenham, plus Champions League appearances, he has scored just two goals.
“It is not enough for a player of Ozil’s ability, he does not influence games as he should, but maybe Arsenal and United fans need to accept that it will take longer for the German and Di Maria to come good.”
In those 22 games that Neville mentions in addition to the two goals, he has two assists while in just the league against those sides he’s registered eight key passes in four games this season (unable to find chances created stats on a per-game basis).
In just three Champions League appearances this season he created seven chances while in his eight last year he created 19.
Key passes for the past two seasons in the same competition? 23.
Total chances created across all Premier League games for the past two seasons? 109.
He has a total of nine goals in the Champions League and Premier League over the past two seasons, 17 assists, 135 chances created and 118 key passes in 50 games.
Theo Walcott alone must owe the German around 30 assists.
He runs more than any other Arsenal player, has one of the highest pass completion stat consistently, with the overwhelming majority of his passes going forward, and often has more touches than his teammates, demonstrating his willingness to be on the ball and his ability to find space to allow his teammates to find him.
He’s not paid to score goals, he’s paid to create, and that’s exactly what he does – create chances and space, both for himself and for others to flourish.
Ozil is a player who makes others look great, the personal glory never his but less for others without him.
Leaving aside the fact that last season was his first in a new country or that he has lost chunks of both seasons to injury, neither of which gets mentioned, are they all really so blind?
Out of all the pundits, I respect Gary Neville the most so find myself disappointed that he has fallen into the same trap as all the others in the game – stripping Ozil down to one simple stat – the ball in the net.
As Arsene Wenger said
“You can be cheated a little bit by his style of play, because he is fluent, easy, subtle and he does not look like he puts the effort in, but he does.”
You’ve been cheated, Gary.
Plain and simple.