If you ever wonder why a lot of people who don’t watch Mesut Ozil play regularly hold the views of him that they do, it is because of rubbish like this from the Daily Mail.
Speaking before Arsenal’s match against Manchester United, the Daily Mail used their Wednesday edition to scream from a headline:
As you probably know, most people only read the headline and then move on. This one clearly gives the impression that Ozil has not been buying into Arteta’s work ethic and, as such, is getting a bit of a warning to get his act together. Again.
Because isn’t that the trouble with Ozil? He’s lazy, especially in training. Everybody knows that because some of the papers never shut up about it, despite credible denials.
Except that’s not what Arteta says at all (and in places, actually says the opposite). Even the Daily Mail’s own article starts with Sami Mokbel acknowledging that the German has played very well in Arteta’s first two games.
So let’s take a look at what Arteta actually said, shall we?
First of all, he was asked specifically would he like to build his team around Mesut Ozil.
“No, I put him in the team if I see every day that his attitude, desire and understanding of what we’re trying to do is there,” Arteta replied, no doubt giving the same answer he would had he been asked about any senior player. “He has the will and if he is in a better moment than somebody else, I will pick him. The moment this changes, he won’t play.”
Basically, what Arteta said is if Ozil is playing well, he will get picked. If he isn’t, someone else will. You know, how football team selection has worked since the game was invented.
“I hope he can sustain this level every three or four days,” Arteta continued. “He’s putting in everything he has to try and do that, and I think his numbers physically have improved so much as well. He’s willing every day in training.
“I know him well, so I’m not surprised. I know about his ability and I know the player we have there. As well, the structure has to be there to be able to help him to produce everything that he has inside.
“On his own, he can’t do it. He needs the collective structure and organisation and his teammates. Nowadays, there are only one or two players in the world who can do something on their own. He needs help and he needs the team to play in a certain way to facilitate his strengths more and more in the game.”
The Daily Telegraph, attending the same press conference and listening to the same words, came up with this headline for their Wednesday edition:
The Daily Mirror also heard the same comments and came up with:
Even the Daily Star, called a ‘newspaper’ at a stretch, heard Arteta’s comments about Ozil as a positive:
The Guardian, meanwhile, didn’t even think his comments about Ozil were worth mentioning in their headline at all:
But sure, Daily Mail, Ozil has been ‘warned.’ Knowing him, he’s probably too lazy to listen, eh?