Mikel Arteta says he is looking for Mesut Ozil to be the difference-maker for Arsenal in every appearance, and suggests that his lack of tangible contribution this season is in some part down to bad luck.

In 17 appearances in all competitions, the German has managed just two assists – one in the Premier League and one in the Carabao Cup.

He hasn’t scored a goal for the club since the 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace in April of last year; he’s taken just six shots this season; and his end product over the last 18 months has been far below what you would expect from a player of his stature.

Of course his difficult relationship with Unai Emery played a part, and under Arteta the 31 year old has certainly played better and looked more comfortable. However, he is someone who could and should be producing more in terms of goals and assists.

Knowing is quality well from the time they were teammates, Arteta is keen to get more out of the mercurial playmaker.

“The demands that we have to put on him are to make the difference every single game,” he told the Evening Standard.

“To do that he needs the right structure and players around him to help him to do that.

“I think he could have had more assists and probably more goals in the games he has played under me which has been a little bit unlucky but overall I think that his performance has improved a lot.”

How we could do with a contribution tonight when we face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea preview, Arteta’s optimistic outlook + thoughts on January transfers

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Hantal

What are his chance creation stats like?

Hantal

I do think his direct assists and goals need to be a lot higher, I just wondered if we were seeing a repeat of his best season when all those potential assists were being missed during Girouds dry spell

Aaron

Yeah, point in case, the simple through ball to Martinelli in the start of the second half against Sheffield.

Peak Mesut would lay it on a plate in his sleep. So yes, his creativity has dipped but his work rate has certainly improved.
I, for one, prefer this version since I doubt his creativity would ever desert him – it just feels like a matter of time. Fingers crossed it begins tonight. COYG.

Futsboller

Aaron, I think that through-ball to Martinelli looked a bit heavy because Ozil is used to playing a quick pass in to Aubameyang, who takes/intercepts the pass while cutting across the box, as opposed to Martinelli who turns/runs onto the pass as it heads deeper into the box. If Ozil plays tonight, his passes will be more measured to fit Martinelli’s runs.

A Different George

I thought the same thing, and maybe the television director agreed: the feed I was watching switched to a shot of Aubameyang watching in the stands.

FatArse

It might be interesting to look at his pre-assist stats – not sure if anyone tracks these but I know Tim at 7amkickoff talks about them a bit. It feels like Ozil has been working pretty hard for the team again but more in the build-up phase, rather than assisting or scoring. I remember one point when Wenger had to tell him to be a bit less selfless to boost his personal stats (mind you, that was because he was getting lots of assists and almost no goals). My point is that he clearly has it in him to be… Read more »

Artetas assistant

FatArse, Ozils career is not coming to an end anytime soon. Time to bloom

loose_cannon

This would be more understandable if we weren’t playing the highly clinical Aubameyang for the most part.

Aaron

Aubameyang was/has never been clinical all his life if you look at his stats. I know, it’s quite staggering considering the number of goals he scores.

loose_cannon

Aubmeyang is shooting with about 25% accuracy this season, goals over total shots taken. That’s about the same as Aguero i.e. pretty damn good.

Cultured determination

He should be hitting 25 to 35 goals and assists. Auba 35-40. Laca 20-25. Pepe 25-30.

JB_

If we’re going to continue to play this system next year a new #10 type player surely has to be a priority – as set out in yesterdays blog, we don’t seem to have anyone coming through like that.

Alex

“I don’t have any data to look into how dangerous those chances were, where they took place on the field, open plan v set piece etc.” This is always funny for me to read this (and not only here) as we don’t ask ourselves if Auba’s goals are easy, just a tap in or a clever shot after dribbling x defenders… but well, it’s Özil…

Aaron

Lol it’s a post that you will need to brush under the carpet.
It’s from an Ozil-fanboy who sees the world in two shades of black and white. You either support Ozil or hate him.
But they fail to see that a vast majority are more rational who see the large proportion of GREY.

Da Boss

It’s got nothing to do with being a fanboy – he has 23 shot assists, but there is no further breakdown of whether the shot was from 10 yards or whether it was a pass to David Luiz who shot from 60 yards out.

VZ1

according to premier leage website stats he registered zero “big chances” for the whole season. taking all together, we have a more less true picture on where he is now…

loose_cannon

Obviously a goal scored is a lot more valuable than a chance created and clearly all goals scored in terms of difficulty (from tap-ins to 30 yard rockets) are equally important. But seeing as a chance created is any pass or cross that leads to a shot, they’re clearly not equal. We should have a stat that links a chance created to the xG for that chance. That way a corner that’s flicked on at the near post will have a different rating from a slide through-ball that puts a striker 1-on-1 with the keeper, putting it on a plate… Read more »

Milton

In the Premier League only, Understat has him at 0.12 xA/90 minutes (tied 4th at the club for the season with a 5 app. minimum, behind Chambers(!), Lacazette and Pepe, tied with Auba and Saka), for a total of 1.39 expected assists (marginally better than the 1 he has).

In 2015/16 he had 0.52 xA/90 for a total of 17.62 (he got 19 assists).

Far too big a difference to just put down to the managers and the roles he’s been asked to play.

Matic Hribernik

The difference is also that he now start most of the actions and is not at the end of them. He can’t be at both ends. Few years ago you had Cazorla, Wilshere, Sanchez… around him and he was able to be more “selfish”. Sheffield, Palace, Chelsea (corner), Norwich (corner), Brighton (corner), West ham… If you look at those goals he played crucial roles to made it happen.

Richie

But how often is he assisting the assister? Not sure if those stats are recorded.

VZ1

i guess they are, called “second assist”, but it’s too deep, and frankly not sure it is relevant most of the time

VZ1

Chances created looks like a tricky stat to me, often quite misleading. take the recent game with sheffiled, for example, those were his “chances”, if i am not mistaken: 1. one lazy flick pass to pepe so that pepe used all his skill to try to shoot the ball bounicing above his wasteline on target. this “chance”, although statistically registered, would never have led to a goal 2. one short pass at the beginning of the final third (i guess to torrera), who decides to shoot from 50(?) yards. got technically on target, but really no problem for sheff keeper.… Read more »

VZ1

i guess i am wrong here — passes leading to shots on the goal (not only on traget) will qualify as “chances created” as well. but still i liked pepe’s “chances” better

Big Dave

Dennis Bergkamp had the odd quiet game but on the whole he consistently scored goals and provided assists. Ozil is not doing either of them which is totally inappropriate for a number 10. Yes he does the odd bit of impressive skill or the odd good pass. He’s skilful and got good vision but that’s not enough. He’s inconsistent and there’s plenty of people id replace him with at the drop of a hat.

Laca New Signing

The setup for DB was completely different from Özil’s. DB played off the main striker in a 4-4-2 formation which got him further up the field. Özil on the other hand plays in the middle of the park in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Again you can’t compare the support DB had with Pires and Ljungberg on the flanks compared with today’s Pepe and Martinelli (or Auba playing off his most effective position).

Again DB had Vieira and Gilberto behind him. Özil has Xhaka and Torreira or Guendouzi. It’s completely unfair to compare the two.

Big Dave

Point taken about the difference in formation and support around him. If we still had Rambo and he had played every minute Ozil has then he would have scored and assisted much more.

Snagger

Unfair to compare as it is man versus boy. I don’t think there will be an Ozil statue anytime soon unless.he pays for it himself.

Alex

Wilshere also wore the n°10 jersey… comparing with Bergkamp is forgetting that this is a totally diffrent football in a totally different squad… The squad, guys, the guys around him… this is also a HUGE factor to judge Özil. Sure that Laca unability to goal these weeks doesn’t help.

Rich

Big Dave.

Ozil could literally bring his sleeping bag out onto the pitch, set up tent, and go to sleep for 90 minutes.

And the Ozilites would be creaming their pants over Ozil’s technique and efficiency in putting up his tent, even if he had made a right pigs ear of it.

Richie

Ozil certainly does like to pitch his tent, which is why I’m surprised he got married last year.

Luther

Ozil could play a load of amazing through-balls that open up the opposition and lead us to score three goals in a 3-2 win, and you’d be complaining that he didn’t run around much in the process.

Rich

He’s been consistently “unlucky” for a long period of time….. 6 shots this season, tells us everything we need to know about why we’re struggling. We have the least dynamic midfield in the league. Xhaka, Torreira, Ozil, are slow, one paced, none of them pick up the ball and drive with it, none of them get in the box, or look to get beyond Lacazette or Aubameyang. Ozil is a No10 who doesn’t shoot, or get into shooting positions, and continually slows the game down. Ozil keeps the ball well, and he’s brilliant in possession, but he’s only got 1… Read more »

DaDude

While Özil’s management went public with a statement that he will definitely fulfill his contract and would even be interested in extending it, I certainly hope that no single executive at the club is even thinking of an extension, unless they cut down his salary to approximately 10 to 15 % of the current one. However, one would think that to attract a somehow reputable next club, his performances should rise, otherwise I see no one of relevance interested. The question is just, if Özil is even interested in that, or if he ends his career anyway. For me the… Read more »

Aaron

Yeah two more Mustafi(s) and Kolasinac(s) come to mind and I don’t think we would be far better.
You do realize that 80-90k only gets you so much these days, right?
Mkhi is on 180K FFS. Current salary standards would fetch one world class player to replace Mesut but that’s ignoring the transfer fee and the biggest hurdle of all – willingness of the player to join a club in mediocrity. So there you go.

Rich

Our problem been instead of trying to convince our top players to stay through building an attractive place to play, where you can compete for the top prizes. We’ve had to panic and throw above award wages around, to try and convince players to stay, or join us. This situation’s been many years in the making, Arsene continued to tread water, and if your sole aim is to just tread water? Eventually you’ll go under. We need to be in a position that we can offer competitive salaries, but we also need to be in a position that if the… Read more »

Oregoon

The downfall of Arsenal is all about KSE owning the club outright.

loose_cannon

“he’s taken just six shots this season”

We talk a lot about Ozil’s workrate and his creativity but I think that this might be the most damning statistic of them all. It’s wholly inappropriate for a 10 anyway, and especially when we’re struggling so much in front of goal. Six shots this whole season, not even shots on target. Inexplicable.

ChrisGooner

He isn’t getting into shooting positions with conviction. But I think a large part of that is due to the system around him, PLUS it seems that he has had little faith in those around him either to be delivered with a goal scoring chance. The creativity and execution of a final ball of quality is at an all-time low for me. Arteta has improved the energy, the structure, and the standard of attacking play, but he can’t fix the quality on show overnight. How many times do we see Ozil in and around the box, but he doesn’t receive… Read more »

loose_cannon

I’d disagree with that for a couple of reasons. I think the system is actually very much set up in a way where he can run off Lacazette, who likes to drop deep, and end up in goal scoring situations. And as we saw from Lacazette’s assist against Palace, his passing and link up play is fine. But Ozil rarely makes those runs and when he is in a position to shoot, how often do we see him try and pass to an on-rushing fullback instead? He gets plenty of the ball in and around the box, he just doesn’t… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

I can’t say I’ve noticed Lacazette getting into the same spaces Giroud used to. He isn’t in tune with the way Ozil used to play with Giroud.

A Different George

If we go back and look carefully, the player Ozil misses most of all is Alexis Sanchez–and when Walcott made those runs, and Giroud those flicks (I agree both were underrated), the Ozil-Alexis combination was at its most effective.

Glen Helders left foot

Never Ozil’s fault, always the system or other players or direction of the wind. Ozil is an amazingly talented player but let’s face it is producing fuck all for that talent

adrian

If I remember correctly, people criticized Giroud for wasting too many chances which Ozil created. And called Theo “Headless chicken” when he did not score. We have to understand, it is not always someone else fault.

A Different George

I am a big admirer of Ozil. I think his one genuine weakness is his reluctance to shoot. If a teammate is even marginally better-placed, he will attempt the pass. It’s true he’s not an 8, part of whose role is to drive into the box with the ball and run into it late without the ball (de Bruyne, Ramsey), but there is no such thing in modern football as a “pure” 10 or 8, and Ozil needs to sometimes take on that role.

Oregoon

Agree. My biggest gripe with Ozil is that he has not improved his dribbling and shooting skills since he has been at the Arsenal. We can talk about chances created and who he has played with, but if the had these two other skills in his bag he would not only be more dangerous, but also make other players around him better no matter their skill level.

Rob67

Here’s a quote from the article for the benefit of the Ostrich like folk who simply deny reality :- “The statistics are genuinely extraordinary. In 43 Premier League appearances since January 31, 2018 – when a lucrative contract extension until 2021 was agreed – Ozil has contributed five goals and four assists. That tally of nine direct goal contributions puts him 103rd in the Premier League list, 54 behind Mohamed Salah and more than 30 short of Harry Kane, Sadio Mane, Raheem Sterling, Jamie Vardy or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. As the highest paid player in Arsenal’s history, on a reported £350,000… Read more »

Didrik Plehn

Özil hasn’t delivered much since he extended his contract in January 2018, his problems started long time before Emery arrived. Our team have also been struggling, but Emery’s lack of methodology and structure didn’t make it better. Language barrier and conflict making seems to have taking Emery’s focus more than team building and proper training sessions. I was positive when we hired Emery, he had a lot of knowledge about our players and defensive woes. But, he wasn’t able to do something about it, and made it worse. We have also replaced many players during the last two or three… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

We needed to keep one of our top players at the time. Losing Ozil would have had consequences at that stage.

Rob67

Losing Sanchez for Mikataryan and nothing else, had far more consequences, when six months earlier we could have sold him to City for £60 million.

Matt

Hindsight Rob, at the time I don’t remember much talk on the boards wanting to sell either of them and certainly not both.

ArsenesLongSufferingZipper

Big game today. Which means Ozil goes missing. Yeah, let the down votes start, and I’ll happily eat tons of humble pie if he proves me wrong.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

No you won’t. You’ll do what people always do in this situation. You’ll ignore anything he did right and blame him for everybody else’s shortcomings. Nobody on the web EVER eats humble pie because they never ever admit that they’ve been proved wrong. Not just you. Everybody lies to themselves to keep alive their view of how things work.

Atom

Ozil has been playing better in terms of work rate and defensive responsibilities (the effort part of the game) but has been contributing virtually nothing in terms of shots or big chances. We desperately need him to start pulling his weight or should think about whether we need to restructure the midfield

Luther

Maybe he needs to worry a little less about defensive responsibilities, leaving them to his defensive teammates, and focus on his own job, which is attacking? I hope the people who bitched about him not tracking back are happy now that his attacking stats are declining.

Atom

His job also includes defensive responsibilities though – name another non goal scoring number 10 in top European football who doesn’t have defensive responsibilities – hint he doesn’t exist

Luther

He only became “non goalscoring” when he upped the defensive work. I’m not saying he should do zero defending; just not too much – that’s what defenders are there for. He should focus more on his attacking duties. I don’t want Ozil defending like I don’t want Mustafi taking corners, Leno making late runs into the box, or my dentist giving me legal advice, and my lawyer doing my root canals.

Atom

Ozil has never been proficient in front of goal – his stats didn’t suddenly drop 5 games ago. He’s been decidedly average for several years now particularly when you consider the Erickson’s or DeBruynes of the world have always had the defensive responsibility Ozil has only recently taken on.

Luther

I was going to say the same thing. Great example of people these days who just don’t want to be wrong. He/She is probably desperate for Chelsea to beat us in order to be “proven right”.

Wilsheres Middle Finger

It’s crazy how devisive a player Ozil is.
He’s like the black and blue dress or Marmite of football players.
Zero in-between.

SLC Gooner

He does look better generally than he did under Emery. But…as with Lacazette, what matters ultimately is the end product. My recollection is that there were two badly overhit passes into the penalty area that I would ordinarily have expected him to nail. And one case where he was pretty open centrally just outside the 18 and chose another pass instead of a shot. This has always been a thing with him, but wasn’t previously as much of a problem, as others were scoring. Based on those two passes, I’d say it was an off-day. But we are at the… Read more »

Steve Vallins

In the 6 games Arteta has been in charge he has made us much a more compact side and through this we are not giving chances to the opposition every time they attack . We don’t tend to move the ball from the back to the front quick enough also since Aaron Ramsey has left we don’t have a midfield player making runs beyond the forwards . Our forwards seem to make straight line runs ( easy for a defender ) no diagonal runs dragging the the defender across the pitch or he passes him on , so with these… Read more »

Boywonder

Can we stop using assists as a way to diminish he’s effectiveness, chances created or key passes made are a much more accurate tool to gauge, inesta for years never had amazing stats in terms of goals or assists but he was one of the best players in the world and he’s key passes and chances made were always at a premium

VZ1

chances created = assists + key passes. in that context it is better check the conversion rate. looks his conversion rate tis season is less than 5%. not that impressive for the best no 10 in the squad?

Cmdn

The problem is you can’t buy Ziyech with Ozil still here. Obvious target that does twice the defensive work of Ozil or six times the shooting of Ozil and thats Zieychs CL stats. Ozil is just blocking that upgrade. Ozil on bench is useless and we cant have 350K sit on the bench. Too bad Arteta is playing favorites. His project Ozil will fail and so our next season if there is not modern player that can shoot, defender and last 90 minutes. Can you imagine having midfield player that still puts defensive shift 80+ minutes in and is still… Read more »

VZ1

what can arteta basically do? the midfield is somewhat mixed bag and needs rebuild. but he can’t buy anyone in january. he desperately needs to have less goasl conceded and protect the back four, which has been quite shaky, thus torreira+xhaka taking care of mostly defence and letting the saka/kola go on left. then he has to pick between ozil, matteo, willock, dani. arteta’s position as a coach is not stable so he is doing what a lot of coaches would do — rely on experience and class, rather than bet on new guys. i like arteta but he is… Read more »

Berlingoon

There could be stats that he hasn’t managed to complete a single pass over a whole season and there would still be people saying that it has to do with the coach, the lack of quality of the strikers, the fact that he has not enough workers behind him in midfield or a system that doesn’t suit him. Only one thing is sure. It will NEVER has anything to do with him.

Luther

I think this video will show you exactly how some others are to blame rather than Ozil:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fMCY-At2KU

Luther

You have to be very observant to understand and appreciate what Ozil actually does. If you’re finding yourself constantly criticising him, then chances are that you don’t know as much about football as you think you do.

Berlingoon

Sure, if you’re not amazed by a number 10 who hast managed 0 goals and 1 assist (from a corner) after more than half a season, you don’t understand football. It’s not like these stats are an embarrassment considering his wages. It’s the people who don’t appreciate his greatness.

Luther

Your comment just proves my point. You are just looking at the stats, and not being very observant. For example, last season at home to Burnley, Ozil played that amazing ball to Kolasinac, who pulled it back for Lacazette to score. Ozil didn’t get an assist for it, but the goal was all down to him. So mate, please start being more observant rather than just believing what the pundits, commentators, and Adrian Durham tell you.

berlingoon

lol, so last season in a home game against a newly promoted side he played a good pass. Well, then I think it’s ok that he’s been rubbish this season. A good pass per season against Burnley and eveything else is forgotten. A true champion. So glad to have him!

Luther

I’m sorry, but you’re way too ignorant and uneducated to be allowed to even have a conversation with me, let alone have the temerity to disagree with anything I say, given how you’ve totally missed my point. Firstly, Burnley were not a newly promoted team at the time. Secondly, I was using that pass from Ozil to prove, not how great he is, but how misleading assist stats can be.
Now I want you to read this comment ten times and make sure you understand my point, before you even think about replying.

Berlingoon

You’re allowed to kiss my uneducated ignorant hairy ass.
And to your “point”. His fan base ran around for years with the stats that he has the most assists in Europe over the last 5 years and told anyone that that’s proof of his greatness. Now when he’s unable to create shit stats are just misleading and don’t tell the whole picture.
When you’re done with my ass, I think Mesut is already waiting for you to kiss his.

Luther

Well I never solely used his previously great stats to argue how great he is. Those do not tell the full story either.
You haven’t responded to that video I sent in reply to your other comment.

Santori

He’s improved under Arteta but largely also because the deep midfield pair of Granit and Torreira have improved. The conundrum though which afflicted Wenger and Emery before is we still don’t have all the pieces in midfield IMO. Where we are more secure with better discipline metted out by Arteta for Granit-Torreira, we are also sometimes less bold (Compounded of course by lack of fullbacks like Kolasinac and Bellerin at the moment) Therefore it had always been a question of taking risk with the forward disposed Guendouzi or staying relatively secure at expense of potential goals/ opportunities. This balance is… Read more »

Teryima Adi

Arrested Development: The Take of Mesut

Teryima Adi

Tale***

CJay

are these stats normalized to number of minutes played?

Anthony

Stats for Ozil v Chelski

Forward passes – 0
Shots – 0
Players beaten – 0
Tackles – 0
Goals – 0

Value for money if you ask me LMFAO