Jermaine Jenas: Why Arsenal star Mesut Ozil isn’t lazy
Former Spurs star Jermaine Jenas says Mesut Ozil works harder than any other Arsenal midfielder bar Aaron Ramsey
Jermaine Jenas has rejected the suggestion that Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil is lazy.
The Germany international produced a subdued performance in the north London’s side 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotpsur in Sunday’s north London derby at Emirates Stadium.
It is easy to get the wrong idea because of his style on the ball. Someone like Alexis Sanchez looks busier because he does a lot of one-twos and plays with more urgency
However, the 26-year-old midfielder still managed to rack up a sixth assist in six successive games as the £42.5m signing teed up Kieran Gibbs for the equaliser against Spurs.
Former Tottenham midfielder Jenas highlighted Ozil’s unsung work for Arsene Wenger’s side, adding that the Germany international works harder than any other Gunners midfielder bar Aaron Ramsey.
“Some people still seem to have the perception that Ozil is lazy, or a luxury player, so it is worth highlighting again how hard he actually works,” Jenas told BBC Sport.
“He does more work for the Arsenal team than any other midfielder or forward bar Aaron Ramsey and covers a lot of ground right across the pitch.
“I think it is easy to get the wrong idea because of his style on the ball. Someone like Alexis Sanchez looks busier because he does a lot of one-twos and plays with more urgency.
“It is great to play it quick and early, either one-touch or two-touch like Sanchez often does, but there is nothing wrong with being different.
“Ozil has the imagination to hold on to it a little bit longer because he knows the picture will change if the defence are anticipating a one-two or an early ball, and that might leave him some space.
“So he is not lazy, either off the ball or on it. Even if he was, what he brings to the team means his team-mates would not mind.”
Ozil has scored one goal and has made 10 assists in 11 Premier League games for the north London side this season.
The World Cup winner moved to Arsenal in a club-record £42.5m deal from La Liga side Real Madrid in 2013.
The Gunners are level on points with Premier League leaders Manchester City ahead of their trip to West Brom on 21 November.
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