by Lewis Ambrose
It’s plain for all to see that Mesut Özil had a superb second season for Arsenal, but is he being let down by his teammates?
Despite making just 22 Premier League appearances in the 2014/15, Özil created 70 chances. However, he was only credited with five assists.
Arsenal have been clinical at times this season, but barren spells for the likes of Danny Welbeck, Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sánchez have clearly damaged Özil’s stats.
At a time when so many people look at numbers to back up or contradict opinions it’s no surprise that, on the face of it, Özil’s assist tally of five seems somewhat meagre.
If only all our strikers would shoot straight just a little more often.
Peers at Arsenal
Fellow Arsenal midfielders Aaron Ramsey (six), Alexis Sánchez (eight) and Santi Cazorla (11) managed more Premier League assists than Özil, but were they any more creative than the German?
Over the course of the season Özil created 3.39 chances per 90 minutes – far more than second best Alexis Sánchez, who created 2.42 chances every 90 minutes.
Creator-in-chief Santi Cazorla managed 0.33 assists a game from 2.35 chances created.
It’s a stroke of luck rather than being about the quality of chances created, but Cazorla’s passes were certainly received and finished better than Özil’s this year.
Stats like ‘assists‘ don’t tell the whole story – Özil actually created a hell of a lot.
That’s compared to his Arsenal colleagues, but what about the top creators from the rest of the league?
Our German playmaker comes out on top again.
Cesc Fàbregas and Eden Hazard were at the heart of everything Chelsea did this season. Fàbregas had the most assists in the league – a staggering 0.56 for every 2.9 chances he created per 90 minutes. Meanwhile, Hazard made a goal at the same rate as Özil (0.24 assists per 90 minutes) while he was creating 2.67 chances a game.
In Manchester Angel Di María and David Silva create more than anyone else in their respective halves of the city. The Manchester United new boy enjoyed the same assist per 90 minutes as Fàbregas (some flop) but created fewer chances.
The Manchester City wizard David Silva is the most similar to Özil. He created more chances per 90 than anyone bar Mesut, and picked up an assist at the same rate.
In Manchester David Silva is rightly acclaimed as a superstar, but even he can’t match up to Mesut’s incredible passing.
Özil is not just the best creator in London, he’s the best in England.
It’s time for our German to get the love – and the finishing – he deserves. He should be regarded as one of the greatest players in the game everywhere, not just Emirates Stadium.