By Matt Farr
Stan Collymore has echoed the cries of Arsenal fans demanding more out of Mesut Ozil following the draw with Manchester City on Sunday.
The German international has endured heavy criticism of late having contributed no goals and just two assists since the start of the new year, including the one assist that came in the 2-2 draw with Man City at the weekend.
Ozil, 28, has developed a reputation for going missing in games, and pundit Collymore was critical of his performance for Arsenal against their Premier League rivals.
In his column for Boyle Sports, he described Ozil as “a supremely skilful attacking midfielder who lights up the stadium when the time suits him”, a damning verdict on the Arsenal man’s absence of big-game pedigree.
He added: “At times of need he just coasts through games, has a poor tactical awareness of danger to his teammates even when in the opposition half, and indeed was sloppily dispossessed for one of the City goals.
“Ozil is a man-child if you like, who has the childlike smile, plays a childlike way but ultimately in the latter stages of big tournaments or playing against men he goes missing.”
From 32 appearances in all competitions, Ozil has contributed nine goals and 10 assists, including a superb hat-trick in the 6-0 Champions League rout over Ludogorets in October.
His return still betters many of his Arsenal teammates, but it is far below the sky-high standards he set last season, and far below what the world-class talent is evidently capable of.
Ozil supplied an incredible 20 assists last season as Arsenal finished second in the Premier League, but they will need him to rediscover that form if they are to lift themselves from their current slump.
Arsenal’s failure to beat Man City at home on Sunday left them in sixth in the Premier League, seven points adrift of City in fourth.