Arsenal FC and the Blame Game

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Mesut Ozil

Last season it was very popular to attack Ozil. He was lazy, he was distant, he didn’t care. He’s not lazy. He covered the most ground of any Arsenal player. But he might not care as much as he should.

One of the most difficult moments to root for him in his short Arsenal career came in this match. He gave the ball away in an advanced position; had it taken off him rather easily. The shoulders slumped, his hands went up in frustration, and his trademark snail’s pace walk back into position resurfaced.

But we’ve seen all that before. What made this one particularly sickening was Hector Bellerin busting a gut to get back and put pressure on Monaco, trying desperately to clean up after his teammate who seemed not to care enough himself.

Mesut Ozil didn’t lose the game for Arsenal. He didn’t even play that poorly. But if you want to play the blame game fairly, he deserves as much scrutiny as any other.