Rather than just being judged for his performances on the pitch, Mesut Özil is now being targeted by some of Arsenal’s own supporters for pretty much anything he does.
For any given player, you can probably find someone on Twitter making ridiculous claims about their personal life or off-field behaviour. The strange thing about Mesut Özil is that this more outlandish criticism has started to become mainstream.
Matt Scott (26.7k followers) and The Gooner (41.5k followers) are the latest to weigh in on what Özil is apparently doing wrong. First, Scott argues that the German playmaker is ‘developing RSI’ and suggests the 30-year-old has a ‘gaming disorder’, based on his analysis of Özil’s Fortnite stats:
Mesut Ozil is seen by many as the saviour. Only if it’s Fortnite you’re playing, I’m afraid. At an average of 15mins a game, he’s spent almost two whole months on a PlayStation shooting 12-year-olds. Without sleep. This tells us a lot. #AFC #Arsenal #TheArsenal pic.twitter.com/VSd7BzMS94
— Matt Scott (@Matt5cott) January 25, 2019
Scott’s argument is based around the fact Özil’s Fortnite tracker page says he’s played over 5,000 matches. After that, he makes up some figures about the average length of a game and draws his conclusions. Apparently, having a hobby means you can’t be a good footballer.
The problem is he stops his research the moment he’s found the evidence he wanted to prove Özil is prioritising gaming over football.
If he’d looked closer into the stats, Scott would’ve seen that the Arsenal man played most of his Fortnite games in the summer (when he was on holiday after Germany’s early World Cup exit) and in October (when he was injured and there was an international break):
If Özil is playing between 10 and 50 matches a month when the season is in full swing (like in November, December and January), that shouldn’t affect his performances.
In fact, Özil’s best Arsenal match of the season came right after the international break in October, against Leicester City, suggesting that playing some more games when he has extra spare time has almost no impact whatsoever.
Next, let’s look at The Gooner’s tweet:
It has to be said that Mesut Ozil does himself few favours converting a snood (which is bad enough in itself if you are training) into a head wrap as if he were a double for Hilda Ogden in Coronation Street circa 1975. Man up! (or maybe he's afraid of getting ill… again?) pic.twitter.com/rHYcq4iRS0
— The Gooner (@GoonerFanzine) January 25, 2019
There isn’t really much to say on this one. Wearing clothes to keep you warm when it’s cold is perfectly normal, and Özil is far from the only one to put on a snood.
What about Rambo chief ? pic.twitter.com/GRxfOrA0fl
— victor (@victorshrp) January 25, 2019
If the club are supplying snoods to the players, they clearly don’t think wearing them has any negative impact either.
My guess is that people have just caught onto the fact that saying ridiculous things about Özil gets them attention. Either that or they’re just upset about how things are going for Arsenal and, instead of processing their emotions in a healthy fashion, they’re searching for someone to lash out at.
How about we just focus on football when discussing footballers from now on?