MESUT OZIL'S career at Arsenal has been left in tatters after an almighty implosion – but why?
So much has been speculated about the reasons for the German playmaker's decline – having been left out of both the Premier League and Europa League squads.
I, for one, have no agenda… other than from a footballing standpoint, of course.
While I applaud Ozil's charity work, defence of the oppressed and his laudable stance on human rights, I equally find his use of social media – to snipe at his employer – irritating.
He may well have good cause to feel aggrieved in his place of work – but the correct way to air such grievances is privately with his line manager, so to speak.
Ozil's use of Twitter has hardly served him well, based on his current situation.
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Had the club managed to sell or loan two more overseas registered players he may well have made the Gunners' squads this season.
But sadly that was not the case, so he and Sokratis Papastathopoulos were given the boot.
Every squad needs eight homegrown players in the squad – which means Calum Chambers, though not yet fully fit, was always going to be included.
But this, leaves us seriously crowded in the central defensive ranks.
Even without Sokratis, the squad has SIX centre-backs.
If playing a back-three, you can add Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac to that list, too.
With this being the case, the inclusion of Shkodran Mustafi, who the club were willing to get rid of in the summer, ahead of Ozil makes little footballing sense.
We all know the current bosses regret the huge £350,000-a-week contract given to the ex-Real Madrid star.
They would dearly love to see that sum taken off the wage bill.
But we also know that Ozil is happy to sit out his contract from the stands, counting his pennies.
I can't even do not begin to comprehend why such a talented player with one more big move left in him and more money than he could ever spend, would rather train and watch than play…
Given that Arsenal contractually must pay his salary, to not at least have him available seems to be a foolhardy stunt – merely cutting off their nose to spite their face.
Despite any possible rifts between player and management, Arsenal – like everyone else – are a club in business to win football matches.
I know who I would prefer to see come off the bench with 20 minutes to go and push for a goal – and that player is not called Joe or Mo…
I would much rather have seen Ozil in both squads, at the expense of Mustafi, or even Pablo Mari – whichever is furthest from regaining match fitness.
The German may never be a starter for Mikel Arteta, but his experience and talent might have proved valuable in the short-term.
However, from a purely footballing standpoint, it's clear Ozil will never fit into the boss' style moving forward.
I have long believed the traditional No10 style Ozil possesses holds less of a place in the modern game.
All teams need a creative midfielder – but these days it's more about who can beat a man one-on-one and having a bit of strength as well as sheer passing ability.
That is not to say modern coaches will not build a team around one creative genius – you think of Eden Hazard from the left at Chelsea – but that will rarely be a No10 these days.
Jack Grealish has been given a free role at Aston Villa, and even Everton are building a team designed to get the best from James Rodriguez this season – again, often from wide areas.
Sadly for Ozil, the player Arteta is building his team around is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – and that is unlikely to change any time soon.
I believe Ozil could have dropped deeper and played very effectively in a midfield three.
My favourite Ozil performance was alongside Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin, in a 4-1-4-1 when Arsenal thumped Manchester United in the 2015 FA Cup quarter-final.
But, for now, the club has made its decision regarding Ozil and the fans will have to accept it.
It is the correct decision for Arteta’s long-term strategy – but in my humble view an unnecessary short-term one.
*Follow Dave Seager on Twitter…
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