Arsenal’s all-time top goalscorer Thierry Henry has criticised Mesut Özil for failing to show his brilliance in possession on a consistent enough basis for the Londoners.
Özil scored 12 goals and created 14 assists in all competitions this season for the Gunners and Henry believes that there’s no-one like him when he’s at the top of his game.
However, the legendary Frenchman also said those occasions are too infrequent and he can understand where the criticism stems from.
“When Mesut Ozil is on tune and at the top of his game, there is no one like him in terms of vision and how he pauses the game,” Henry said when talking to Sky Sports’ Premier League Daily.
“He plays the right ball at the right time, but you would argue that he doesn’t do that every weekend. I don’t know why but that is what he is going to have to do [to reduce criticism].
“He had a similar period last year where he was assisting everybody, he was having an amazing run, and then he didn’t finish the season well. This year, people were having a go at him in terms of consistency and I think that’s what we talk about when discussing him.”
Many critics have suggested that Özil in particular has been overindulged by Arsenal this season and allowed too many opportunities to remain in the starting eleven after poor performances.
The 2014 World Cup winner has never gone more than three matches without a goal or assist this term, but a perceived lack of effort during significant fixtures where Arsenal have collectively struggled to perform has meant he has been made a scapegoat for the team’s shortcomings.
“We all know he has the quality of one of the best ever in that position but sometimes the consistency doesn’t match the quality of the man,” Henry continued.
The 28-year-old has a year left on his current deal and is yet to decide whether he’ll stay or opt for a move away from the Emirates, after a turbulent campaign in north London.