Despite being unable to get on the pitch for Arsenal, Mesut Ozil is still the man who creates the most chances for his side.
For the first time since a game against Manchester United in 2015 Arsenal failed to have a single effort on goal in the second half against City at the Etihad on Sunday. While they struggled at the back with a makeshift geriatric defence, at the top they were crying out for some sort of creative spark.
Despite that, it was a surprise to absolutely nobody that Unai Emery left Mesut Ozil on the bench when the time came to make his subs. In truth, most of us were surprised that he was even in the squad.
Speaking before the game, Graeme Souness, who seems to take Mesut Ozil’s body language as some sort of personal attack, said, “I have been impressed by how Emery handled Mesut Ozil.
“He has not been afraid to drop the German, who goes through the motions at times.
“He has sent out a message of ‘it’s my way or no way’.
“If you tolerate that from a ‘star’ player, then it’s an excuse for the rest to go down the same road, and that will get you nowhere.
“Emery has confronted that, but when you take on big players you have to be winning games.”
And therein lies part of the rub – Arsenal aren’t winning big games. And they’re even struggling to win some small ones.
The other part of the rub lies in the fact that:
Despite hardly playing, Mesut Ozil has created more chances for team-mates than any other Arsenal player this season bar Granit Xhaka.
— Orbinho (@Orbinho) February 3, 2019
Despite playing almost 400 minutes fewer than Alex Iwobi, for instance, Ozil has created 22 chances to the Nigerian’s 14. Granit Xhaka has played almost 900 minutes more and has created one more chance than the German.
It’s impossible to know what is going on at the club between the management and Mesut Ozil but one thing is clear – fans are royally p*ssed at their most talented creative player being stuck on the bench week in, week out while the team creates as much beauty on the pitch as a donkey on acid.