Martin Keown urges Arsenal team to confront Mesut Ozil
The Arsenal legend believes the Gunners team need to tell Mesut Ozil to carry out his defensive workload
Martin Keown believes a member of the Arsenal team needs to confront Mesut Ozil about his poor work rate.
The Gunners exited the Europa League at the semi-final stage on Thursday night following a 2-1 aggregate loss to La Liga giants Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano in the Spanish capital.
Arsenal squandered a 1-0 lead against 10-man Atletico in the first leg of their last-four clash at The Emirates after France international Antoine Griezmann cancelled out Alexandre Lacazette’s second-half opener.
The Gunners lost 1-0 to Atletico in the return leg after Diego Costa netted a winner on the stroke of half-time to secure a place in the Europa League final in Lyon for los Rojiblancos.
Ozil struggled to have a telling impact on the Europa League semi-final tie to prompt criticism of the World Cup winner.
Former Arsenal star Keown believes Ozil is given a free pass in the Gunners team.
“I haven’t been happy with Ozil for some time, he picks and chooses his games. He was on the edge of things today, he seems to get lost in the defensive traffic,” Keown told the Daily Mail.
“You can hide a little bit in that wide position, I was thinking “are you going to get back for your team?” “Are you actually going to put a shift in?”
He added: “The great players I played with, [Dennis] Bergkamp and [Thierry] Henry, they worked hard as well and I don’t think this team can carry anybody. Somebody needed to grab him a long time ago to give him a shake and say “we’re trying to get the ball to you, we are working for you, but you are not working for us”.”
Arsenal lost 3-0 to Premier League champions Manchester City in the League Cup final at Wembley back in February.
The Gunners are in sixth place in the Premier League table but won’t finish in the top four.
The north London side signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the January transfer window.