Former Arsenal women’s winger Karen Carney has heaped praise on polarising Gunners playmaker Mesut Ozil, claiming he’ll be at the club longer than manager Unai Emery.
The Germany international has struggled for consistent game time under the Spaniard, but Carney believes he still has a long future at the Emirates Stadium ahead of him.
“I think Mesut Ozil will stay at Arsenal longer than Unai Emery,” she wrote on the BBC Sport website. “Both of their contracts end in the summer of 2021 but it is the manager who is struggling most.
“I don’t think Ozil has been used in the right manner at Arsenal. He can be Marmite – a super, super talent who can frustrate you at times. He is a special player that is needed in certain games and certain situations. He looks like he plays the game in slow motion but he isn’t. He just makes things look very easy.”
Is Carney right to rave over Ozil?
Emery’s continued snubbing of Ozil has been one of the more baffling aspects of his tenure in north London. Yes, the German can be frustrating and, yes, he doesn’t work as hard as some other members of the Arsenal squad.
However, you have to make some concessions when you’re dealing with a legitimate world class talent. Arsene Wenger was able to get the best, or close to it, out of Ozil when he was in charge, so Emery’s failure to do so is a black mark against his management.
The statistics from this season show that, while the 31-year-old hasn’t been at his best, he can still produce when played. As per WhoScored.com, he is averaging 1.7 key passes, 1.7 successful dribbles and is being fouled 1.3 times per game despite limited game time.
Yet Emery doesn’t start him because he doesn’t work as hard in training as some other players. Give me a break. Do you think Eric Cantona was the best trainer at Manchester United? Or Eden Hazard at Chelsea? No, but they turned up on game day, as Ozil typically does.
This is man who has amassed 43 goals and 75 assists during his time at the Emirates [Source: Transfermarkt], but Emery doesn’t want him playing alongside Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. It’s bizarre.