Explaining Mesut Ozil
The best explanation regarding Ozil in my opinion was from the Special One, who regarding the player and his body language and effort once said following Ozil’s first season in north London:
"“I learned with him because we were together for quite a long time, that he’s a very sensitive boy….He needs confidence. He needs trust. He needs to feel that people is with him. When he’s on the pitch, every time he touches the ball, the ball goes beautiful…And he’ll always finds the right man on the right place. “So, sometimes, you don’t see him, sometimes he doesn’t go to screen many, many times. But when he goes he is a special player….If you are expecting Ozil to be super aggressive and running miles and miles side to side and to show great enthusiasm and aggressivity – this is not Mesut….If you are waiting for somebody who every time he touches the ball, the ball smiles and every time he makes the pass the ball goes in the right direction with the right speed and intensity – this is Mesut.”"
While some complain about the downturn in form over the years, I simply ask, “what do you expect?” He is getting older, and with a disorganized and lackluster squad, he has not shown his talents as he once was able to; has it been disappointing? Yes it has, but it is better for Arsenal as a club to escape the crushing wages and media speculation and it is better for the player to go somewhere where he can play and can be built around, even if only for a year or so if that.
No, Piers Morgan is wrong to bash Ozil because Ozil, while not always putting himself in the best position to succeed, was not given a team by which to truly succeed in. With the exception of the FA Cup victory against Chelsea, of which he took no part in, Arsenal did not shine against Chelsea in the Europa League final loss to Chelsea the year prior, and Ozil did not either.
Yet for the failures that lay blazing hot in our minds, even years after the fact, the magic against Ludogorets gets brought up less frequently; one doesn’t score 33 and assist with 58 more in just the Premier League alone unless they are talented, and Ozil has always been that talent, even if his perceived work ethic can be frustrating.
More success than Tottenham: Ozil deserves respect as he departs Arsenal
Three FA Cups might seem like nothing for a club with the ambitions Arsenal once had, and should still have, and yet there are clubs rich in history scattered throughout England that have gone decades or longer without even one victory in the most famous football tournament.
For Ozil to have helped us win those is worth praise and thanks, even if we believe that his greatness, in another reality, could’ve brought us to greater heights. Placing him in competition with an imaginary version of himself is not reasonable and while some criticism is warranted for him, the scorched earth take of Morgan is beneath him and simply warped by the love the club commands from us all.
I wish Ozil the best in Turkey and beyond. He has been one of my favorite players for years and despite the fact that he is gone, and that Arsenal won no greater silverware with him, I can look back on his time with the club with fond memories, knowing that he took part in hard times, and also witnessed the rebirth of the club, bumps and all, before his departure.
Nothing lasts forever, and so too this era at Arsenal is over officially; appreciate what we witnessed and keep it moving, for there is no room in a world as full of real hardships, to create artificial ones between or for us.