Following the criticisms that have trailed 26-year-old Mesut Ozil, for his underperformance at Arsenal, the player suffered a knee injury that would take him out of action for at least 2 months and now, his famous girlfriend, Mandy Capristo, has reportedly left him. Ozil, who has been dating Capristo since early 2013, has reportedly cheated on her with Melanie Rickinger, the ex-girlfriend of Levante defender, Christian Lell. According to the Mirror, Capristo has put an abrupt end to her relationship with Mesut Ozil and deleted all photos of the Arsenal midfielder from her social profiles. The last quarter of this year must really be very eventful for the Arsenal player, who has recently refuted claims of his desire to quit the North London club. However, while many would consider this an off-the-pitch distraction, the effect of such could further soil his career not only with Arsenal but as a footballer playing with any club.
While footballers react differently to the issues in their personal life differently, the theory in some quarters that vents leading to this eventual break up may have been on going before Ozil got injured and may have indeed affected his performances this season, cannot be ignored. Ozil hasn’t hit the form that dubbed him ‘the king of assists’ from his days at Real Madrid. He has been variously criticised for his underperformance at Arsenal which has got his fans laying the blame on Arsene Wenger for playing him out of position. They have argued that Ozil performed best at Real Madrid playing just behind Karim Benzema, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria operated from the wings. But at Arsenal, he is constantly being deployed on the left wing of attack to accommodate Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey in the hole behind the top striker and this was said to have affected his game, drastically dropping his contribution to goal scoring. Other theories have said that the Arsenal formation at times and the fact that he doesn’t have the kind of quality he had at Real Madrid around him at Arsenal, are the reasons for his underperformance.
The player’s critics have on many occasions countered this excuse by claiming rightly that Mesut Ozil is a world class footballer and a professional that should make an impact in any position he is being deployed, plus the fact that he’s allowed the license to roam across the attacking part of Arsenal’s midfield. As matter of fact, Ozil spends more time on the right than the left as evident in the matches against Leicester City and Manchester City. More support was given to their argument by the performance of Cesc Fabregas who he supposedly came to replace as a creative force at Arsenal. Playing as a roaming defensive midfielder or as a box-to-box midfielder in the Chelsea midfield, Cesc Fabregas has provided 7 assists in 4 matches for fierce London rivals and his brilliant displays for the Jose Mourinho led side is even more of a factor to hit on Mesut Ozil for his lacklustre performances. Ozil has been described as lazy and not willing to improve.
It is best for Ozil and Arsenal to clean up the off-the-pitch mess surrounding the German playmaker to resuscitate his Arsenal career. The contribution of the media to all of this could either be devastating or end up laundering the player’s image in the long run. Therefore, Ozil and his advisors would do well for him to be in the news for the right reasons from now, if he wouldn’t be dubbed or tagged a negative character. Also and more importantly for the Arsenal fans is the growing comparison between Mesut Ozil and Cesc Fabregas, who Arsenal reportedly refused a return to the Emirates because of Mesut Ozil’s presence. Wenger bought Real Madrid’s midfielder Mesut Ozil for £42.5m and this summer refused to activate the first-option clause, when Barcelona agreed to Fabregas’ departure and made it known that the 27-year-old is not in their plans anymore , as Ozil’s presence meant that a return for Fabregas was no longer viable. While Fabregas has been getting all the assists at Chelsea, Ozil has got himself an eventful last quarter by getting criticised every match before his injury, got injured and may be out for 3 months and now Mandy Capristo, just left him. A proper check into Ozil’s career is highly important at this stage to prevent it from nose diving further down the sea bed.