Why Mesut Ozil could revive himself under Unai Emery
Much like last season at Arsenal, Mesut Ozil is in the spotlight again, and not in a good way. The playmaker was heavily criticised for his performances in the World Cup as Germany failed to get past the group stages in Russia.
And, as so often with Arsenal in club football, it is Ozil who appeared to be the scapegoat even when so many other players underperformed for Germany. However, now that the World Cup is at its concluding chapter, Ozil should focus on consistently delivering the goods for Arsenal in the Premier League.
New signing Lucas Torreira took the No.11 shirt after Ozil switched to his preferred No.10 following Jack Wilshere’s summer exit. It is the number Ozil has coveted for some time now and after getting it, the German must justify it.
Throughout his time in north London, there has been a tension surrounding the £300,000-a-week German international.
The 29-year-old isn’t exactly an outspoken character, one who tends to grab eyeballs with controversial statements but he is the sort of player who does the talking with the ball at his feet. And that is exactly what all the Arsenal fans will be expecting out of him when the new season gets underway under new manager Unai Emery.
Emery is a very different character than Arsene Wenger, under whom Ozil looked to be in the comfort zone. Barring his one season of 19 assists, Ozil has largely struggled for consistency.
He has started every season well but has lacked the tenacity to continue with the same gusto and temperament. And his dip in form has often directly affected Arsenal’s campaign, with Wenger’s boys fading badly in the past few seasons.
Such languid attitude and inconsistency could come to haunt him under Emery. As mentioned earlier, Emery is a pragmatic manager with an eye for minute details.
He isn’t ultra-pragmatic like Jose Mourinho but has the basic understanding of when his team needs to attack or sit back, and play on the counter, something which Wenger lacked.
Ozil has nothing to prove to Emery but he has to show determination and energy until the final game of the season. In short, bring consistency to his game and not fizzle out after starting the season brightly. That’s what every Arsenal fan expects out of the playmaker; create chances, score goals and run for the ball.
The German is the team’s chief creator, the key cog of the attack, a proven match-winner and a player on whom the sword will always dance. Now that he has got the No.10 jersey which he has craved for years, Ozil needs to take responsibility and deliver regularly.
Under Emery, Ozil will need to show his true colours, not weekly, or on a monthly basis but consistently for an entire campaign. Out of Wenger’s shadows and in with the support of new head coach Emery, the German can finally revive his career at Arsenal.