by Nia Griffiths
Jens Lehmann has been chatting to the Sun and had some choice words for fellow German Mesut Ozil.
The former goalkeeper believes Ozil has been nothing more than mediocre in important games since he joined Arsenal and it’s this consistency he needs to work on to truly reach his full potential.
He said, “Everyone knows he can be a fantastic player. But you need to be a fantastic player in the big games. You don’t need to be a fantastic player in the small games and mediocre player in the big games.”
A tad harsh, I’d say, considering I believe Ozil has been far from average during our bigger games. An off day for Ozil isn’t the same as a regular off day for most footballers.
Lehmann continued, “He can definitely do that but now he must prove it. You need to know how to think and how to programme yourself. Of course he can improve. You can’t get better on the day that you retire from football – but you can every day before that.”
The comments seem a little odd and don’t quite sit right with me. Ozil has been instrumental for us this season. Since joining us in 2013, the playmaker has assisted 23 goals and scored 12 in 72 appearances. However, what these stats don’t show is Ozil’s urgency to create, his skill on the ball, which is unreal to watch, and his movement off it. His vision is astonishing.
Lehmann’s comments definitely feel a little unfair to me and this isn’t the first time I’ve disagreed with the former Gunner. Objectively I respect the man tremendously, but when it comes to his comments about Arsenal now he’s left, there’s always something a little off. A little bitter.
The man has always been outspoken, this much is clear, and perhaps he still needs to learn when to hold his tongue.