Steve Nicol has leapt to the defence of Mesut Özil, after the German’s performance on Saturday led some to ask why he can’t do it every week.
After Ozil was named man-of-the-match against Tottenham, some pundits gave him the praise he deserved, but others chose to focus on the fact the 29-year-old didn’t do the same against Manchester City and other club.
Many accuse Ozil of being inconsistent or lazy, and claim he works a lot harder for Germany. However, Steve Nicol was having none of it, and defended the playmaker on ESPN, reports the Daily Star.
“There’s another bandwagon going by, you jump on that. You pick and choose little pieces of tape and say ‘oh, look at him walking’. Away you go and jump.
“All you Özil haters, I tell you what, honest to goodness. I’m telling you, you give me a tape of Özil playing for Germany, and I will find little bits of tape of Özil walking back.
“How embarrassing would that be as a professional footballer when all of a sudden people are saying ‘oh you played really well because you tried’? How embarrassing would that be?
“In my opinion Özil gives 100 per cent every the time and people just pick on him for fun.”
We’ve covered the myth that Özil is lazy before, as many publications have. As we pointed out, he spends even more time running and sprinting than Alexis Sanchez, and only two players in the Arsenal squad covered more distance per game last season.
So, the statistics disprove the argument, but nonetheless pundits find the few times Özil does walk and focus on those moments. This is despite the fact that every other player does the same at points in a match.
We need more pundits like Steve willing to apply a bit of common sense to the situation, rather than trying to bend reality to fit the statistics.