Mesut Ozil has been slammed by former Arsenal star Paul Merson. According to the former midfielder, Ozil has a huge disinterest when he is on the pitch and he evens says the German midfielder is the ‘worst player in the world without the ball’.
Ozil is yet to make a single appearance for Arsenal since the return of the Premier League and the midfielder has been left out of Mikel Arteta’s squad in three of the club’s last four matches. Despite being absent from the first team, Ozil still earns a stunning €375.000-a-week as the club’s highest earner.
Merson told Sky Sports: “I think Ozil is a prime example of a player who has to play in a proper team, that is going to be right up there, dominating football matches. He’s got to play in a majorly successful team. He can’t play in this Arsenal team, here’s why: he’s not going to change his game now in his 30s, and Arsenal aren’t going to change their game for him.”
“He isn’t tracking back, chasing players, and you need him in a team where you’re getting 70 per cent of the ball each week, and he’ll play. You get players around him, let him play”, Merson continued. “We all know how Ozil plays, you give him the ball and he’ll find you. If you don’t have the ball, he won’t win it back for you for love nor money.
“He’s not interested when they don’t have the ball. How can you give someone £350k-a-week when we all knew that was his style of play? If he hasn’t got the ball he’s one of the worst players in the world! I would say that. Name me a worse player in the world when their team doesn’t have the ball? I’ve never seen somebody so disinterested when they don’t have the ball, but he hurts you at the other end!”
“Can Arsenal form a team around him? At the moment, it’s at the stage where you can’t do that. They’re not going to change the team for him. He’ll pick up his £350,000-a-week and everything is rosy for him. They have to come to a deal with him; maybe he’ll take £200k a week somewhere else. I don’t know how this gets resolved though. Does he want to play football? Nobody wants to lose £150k a week, no matter how much you earn! Who is mad enough to throw that money away, no matter who you are?”