Arsenal: Dropping Mesut Ozil perfect for Gunners

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on August 27, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on August 27, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) /
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Mesut Ozil has not been included in Germany’s squad for the upcoming international break. That is perfect for the Gunners who can now give him a period of vital rest.

There may not be a more divisive and splitting figure in the Arsenal squad than Mesut Ozil. The German, who was, lest we forget, a club record transfer when signed in the summer of 2013, has shown glimpses of his creative genius, only to mar his own glistening displays with apathy and laziness of the rudest and more obnoxious order.

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Some choose to see his big-game blues as a stick to beat him with. His ability to ‘go quiet’ when it really matters is, as people say, crippling to the progress and the competitiveness of the side. And they would be right. Especially away from home.

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But to paint him with a broad brush because of a few, quiet performances would belie his true quality. For while Ozil is busy making himself as small as possible against Liverpool, he is cutting his way through Bournemouth.

The issue for Ozil has often been inconsistencies throughout the season. One game he plays with great verve and energy, creatively opening up defences with great cuteness and incisiveness. The next, he’s doing his best to be noticed as little as possible.

One potential reason for this is a lack of freshness as the season progresses. He certainly plays his better football in the early months, struggling to maintain such a high level through the dark and dreary months of December, January and February.

And that is why Joachim Low’s decision to drop Ozil from the German national squad for the upcoming international break is so significant and so promising. After the selection was made, this is what Low had to say:

"“With Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira, I assume that they will be better rested during the international break. This is more important to them at the moment. What is crucial to us is that our players are in peak condition next year.”"

Low himself refers to why this is such a perfect time to drop Ozil: to ensure that ‘our players are in peak condition next year.’ Now, Low is referring to next summer’s World Cup, being Germany manager and all. But the point still presides for Arsenal. Extending the freshness of Ozil to run throughout a full season, and not just for spots of rich form here and there, will only be a good thing.

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To offer Ozil two weeks of rest where he can continue to develop his fitness, complete the rehabilitation from an inflamed knee that kept him out of the trip to Stamford Bridge last week, and recharge his batteries, at this stage in the season, is vital. And Arsenal can do so without him missing a game. Perfect.