“If he hasn’t got the ball he’s one of the worst players in the world” damning assessment on Mesut Ozil from former Gunner


Paul Merson has labelled Mesut Ozil a terrible player when his team doesn’t have the ball.

The German has been a divisive figure at Arsenal in recent seasons after he signed a new deal worth £350,000-a-week.

He had been told that he was no longer wanted when Arsenal was managed by Unai Emery. However, when Mikel Arteta became the club’s manager, he seemed to have been given a second chance.

But what Arteta got in return for his show of faith in the German is the same old  Ozil.

Merson reckons that the German is too old to change his game and that he is in the wrong team at the wrong time.

He insisted that the German was a fine player when his team has the ball, however, he is always uninterested when they don’t have possession and have to chase the team with the possession.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Merson said: ‘I think Ozil is a prime example of a player who has to play in a proper team, that is going to be right up there, dominating football matches. He’s got to play in a majorly successful team.

‘He can’t play in this Arsenal team, here’s why: he’s not going to change his game now in his 30s, and Arsenal aren’t going to change their game for him.

‘He isn’t tracking back, chasing players, and you need him in a team where you’re getting 70 per cent of the ball each week, and he’ll play. You get players around him, let him play. We all know how Ozil plays, you give him the ball and he’ll find you. If you don’t have the ball, he won’t win it back for you for love nor money.

‘He’s not interested when they don’t have the ball. How can you give someone £350k-a-week when we all knew that was his style of play?

‘If he hasn’t got the ball he’s one of the worst players in the world! I would say that. Name me a worse player in the world when their team doesn’t have the ball. 

‘I’ve never seen somebody so disinterested when they don’t have the ball, but he hurts you at the other end!

‘Can Arsenal form a team around him? At the moment, it’s at the stage where you can’t do that. They’re not going to change the team for him. He’ll pick up his £350,000-a-week and everything is rosy for him.’

Ozil hasn’t appeared in any Arsenal game since the restart of the Premier League season.

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