Pundit questions why Mesut Ozil is Arsenal’s scapegoat: He’s outstanding

Garth Crooks defends Mesut Ozil's record at Arsenal after the German midfielder's goal and assist in a 5-2 win at Everton on Sunday

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Arsenal star Mesut Ozil Photo: Paddy Power

Garth Crooks has questioned why Mesut Ozil has become Arsenal’s “whipping boy” over the past three seasons.

The Germany international has been heavily criticised over the past 12 months or so following some disastrous Arsenal performances in the Champions League and the Premier League.

Arsenal lost 4-0 to Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League at the end of August as Ozil struggled to have an impact on Merseyside.

The World Cup winner was made a scapegoat earlier this month when he missed a big chance before Watford scored their equaliser from the spot and went on to secure a 2-1 win against the Hornets.

Ozil, though, produced a mesmerising performance alongside Alexandre Lacazette and Alexis Sanchez at Goodison Park to help the Gunners ease to a 5-2 victory over Everton on Sunday.

The 29-year-old scored his first Premier League goal of the season before he teed up Lacazette for Arsenal’s third in a game where he made eight chances for his team-mates.

Former Spurs legend Crooks defended Ozil’s record at Arsenal and questioned why the former Real Madrid midfielder receives so much criticism.

“What I can’t understand is why Ozil has become Arsenal’s whipping boy over the years?” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“I know he can be temperamental and is prone to sulk but he is not the first player to behave in this way and he certainly won’t be the last.

“The Germany international seemed to carry the can for Arsenal’s defeat at Watford recently and it even prompted a suggestion from one pundit that Ozil’s performance may signal the end of his career at Arsenal. At this point I have to ask myself, ‘how can a player of Ozil’s obvious class be so easily dismissed?’

“I have always been of the opinion that the best teams tend to have the best players and usually fans want to keep them. So why does Ozil get such a bad rap from some Arsenal supporters?”

Ozil moved to Arsenal in a £42.5m deal from Real Madrid in the 2013 summer transfer window.

MORE: Latest Arsenal news and views

MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip

Novak Djokovic is defending champion at the Mutua Madrid Open (Photo: Marianne Bevis)
French Open 2020 men’s preview: Djokovic, Nadal, Thiem lead the charge
Jurgen Klopp
Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Liverpool FC v Arsenal
Frank Lampard
Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for West Brom v Chelsea FC
Michael Owen
Michael Owen states his prediction for West Brom v Chelsea FC
Michael Owen
Michael Owen states his prediction for Sheffield United v Leeds United
Frank Lampard
Dimitar Berbatov states his prediction for West Brom v Chelsea FC
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Rio Ferdinand
‘Great character’: Rio Ferdinand reacts to Man United’s thrilling 3-2 win at Brighton
John Barnes
John Barnes: The player Man United should sign before transfer deadline
Kai Havertz
Frank Lampard talks up new Chelsea FC signing after brilliant performance