Martin Keown: How Arsenal can stop Mesut Ozil going missing
The former Arsenal defender believes Arsene Wenger needs to define Mesut Ozil's role in the team
Arsene Wenger need to define Mesut Ozil’s role in the Arsenal team after his disappointing performance in their 2-1 loss at Manchester City, according to Martin Keown.
The Gunners edged into a first half lead thanks to Theo Walcott’s close-range header before goals from Manchester City duo Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling overturned the deficit to secure three points.
Ozil struggled to have a telling impact the top of the table clash which led to criticism of the Germany international’s subdued performance at the Etihad Stadium.
The Gunners have lost back-to-back Premier League games to leave Arsene Wenger’s side in fourth place and nine points adrift of leaders Chelsea after 17 games.
Ex-Arsenal defender Keown has attempted to explain the reason behind Ozil’s subdued performances in Wenger’s side.
“Mesut Ozil and Arsene Wenger need to work out his role when the team don’t have possession. His workrate at Manchester City was not good enough. It looked like he was walking when Arsenal did not have the ball,” Keown told The Daily Mail.
“We didn’t see his ruthlessness in front of goal against Everton but there was nothing wrong with his work-rate at Goodison Park. At the Etihad, however, he seemed to have an issue with when the ball should be pressed.
“Ozil needs to be given more responsibility in winning the ball back when Arsenal do not have the ball against teams who are good in possession like City.
“This question is rarely asked of Arsenal because they are usually so dominant in possession but it does not look as if Ozil’s role has been clearly defined when they do not have the ball.”
Ozil moved to Arsenal in a £42.5m deal from La Liga side Real Madrid in 2013.
The north London side went 14 games unbeaten before their 2-1 loss to Everton at Goodison Park last week.