Mesut Özil was caught on camera by a fan giving Reiss Nelson advice during a break in play on Tuesday night, before the teenager got his first goal and assist for the club.
After Arsenal’s 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest, an unfortunate amount of media coverage was devoted to the way Özil slowly trudged off the pitch after his substitution, as well as his complete lack of interaction with Unai Emery.
It’s a shame that this is still a major story, though neither Emery nor Özil have done themselves any favours with the way they’ve acted towards each other.
If we instead focus on the positives for a minute, there was a lot to like in the German’s performance against Forest. He created six chances for a start, a game-high tally, and completed 92% of his passes.
The 30-year-old also found his man with four of his five crosses, won four of his five ground duels and beat his man with three of his four attempted dribbles.
Özil wasn’t just performing well as an individual though, he was also acting as a team player. No incident emphasised that more than when a fan spotted him giving advice to young Nelson during a break in play:
Nelson went on to score and assist his first competitive goals for Arsenal, in an encouraging performance after facing criticism himself recently.
Whatever Özil said to him worked, and it’s clear the playmaker is still playing for his teammates, regardless of the current relationship with his coach.