Former Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur defender William Gallas thinks Mesut Özil only turns up when he feels like it, and Unai Emery may well end up selling him as a result.
Özil hasn’t had the best start to 2019 so far. He missed the first couple of games with an injury, then only started one of the following four after his recovery. Unfortunately, that’s been the story of his season so far, as he’s started 14 of Arsenal’s 35 games in all competitions.
Former Arsenal captain William Gallas has blamed this on the player himself, insisting Unai Emery is only excluding the German because of inconsistent performances.
“Emery has tried everything he can to try and get a reaction out of Özil but the player isn’t responding,” Gallas said (via talkSPORT). “Everybody knows Özil’s quality but he isn’t consistent. He only plays when he wants to play.
“Özil should be doing more with the quality he has, he has to be the best player for Arsenal every game that he plays in. The fans are upset with Özil and Emery knows this.
“He made the choice to start Özil on the bench to try and see if he would get a reaction from the player and it is now down to Özil to make this happen. If he doesn’t perform, Arsenal may consider selling him so they can use the money from the transfer and his big wages to buy a more effective player.”
Despite Gallas’ claims, the reality is that Arsenal fans have been much more in favour of including Özil recently. The team is lacking creativity, and there aren’t many players better at creating chances than the former Real Madrid man.
Additionally, it’s always going to be difficult for a player to perform consistently when they get such inconsistent game time. In the last two and a half months, Özil has made just six appearances, as follows:
- Qarabag: 83 minutes as a starter
- Southampton: 20 minutes as a late substitute
- Burnley: 90 minutes
- Brighton: 45 minutes, taken off at half-time
- Manchester United: 26 minutes as a late substitute
- Cardiff: 76 minutes as a starter
Funnily enough, the only matches Arsenal won were the three where the German played in both halves. More to the point, it’s clear the playmaker has no idea whether he’ll be playing, or how long he’ll be on the pitch for, from game to game.
If Özil gets a run of games from now on and still fails to perform, then it would be time to ask questions about his future at the club. Until then, I wouldn’t be writing him off.