By Aramide Oladipo
Martin Keown has heaped heavy criticism on Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil for his display against Stoke City on Saturday afternoon and branded him an “expensive luxury”.
The 28-year-old produced an uninspiring performance as the Gunners suffered a 1-0 loss at the bet365 Stadium – their first defeat of the new campaign.
Although they created chances throughout the match, Arsenal lacked a clinical edge in the final third and Ozil’s final pass was especially disappointing.
The German also failed to assert his authority on the opening fixture of the Premier League against Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium.
The attacking midfielder has failed to produce a single goal or assist for the Gunners this season.
Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, former Arsenal defender Keown admits that Ozil was not the only player who disappointed on the weekend but he stresses that the midfielder has to work harder on the pitch.
“Mesut Ozil is the most frustrating player I’ve seen wear an Arsenal shirt,” he wrote.
“He is an icing-on-the-cake player — someone who is happy to create the chances to win matches but will not scrap and fight for the team.
“Ozil is an expensive luxury — but if he is not going to work hard out of possession then he must do so when he has the ball.
“But if he is just trying to see out his time at Arsenal, that is going to be a long year for all involved. He must forget about himself, give his all for the fans and the club and then go gracefully.”
Since moving to the Premier League four years ago, the Germany international has consistently failed to step up in the matches where Arsenal are struggling and help them find a way back into the game.
The midfielder will have the chance to redeem himself when the Gunners face top-four rivals Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
In other Arsenal news, Dermot Gallagher delivers verdict on Arsenal disallowed goal v Stoke.