Mesut Ozil has been ruled out for up to three months after scans revealed he ruptured his left knew during the 2-0 defeat to Chelsea, that is no more news but what is quite surprising and shocking is the revelation by Wenger that the gunner’s midfielder told the staff that he felt a crack in his leg during the first half interval.
Wenger stated ‘He had a little problem just before he went out at half-time. He had a little pain with his knee, he felt a crack.
‘I said to our physio to keep an eye on him and if there was anything wrong with him, tell me because when you’re 1-0 down, you want to keep your offensive players on the pitch.
Now why would Wenger make such a decision to continue with ozil, yes he did say it is important to keep your offensive players on the field, but that should not be a player who has a crack in his leg, also one would have thought with the history Arsenal have with injury to players that Wenger would have been more cautious and made a change. It is obvious Wenger didn’t remove Ozil mainly because there was no worthy replacement on the bench which is due mainly to injuries and to some extent not doing the right thing in the window.
Ozil hasn’t been in top form since coming back from the world cup where he won the trophy with Germany. In fact there have been calls from fans and pundits for Ozil to be benched. He has been a shadow of the Ozil that graced the premiership last season with his sublime skills, dribbles and goals. Many have attributed his slow start to the season to fatigue, a consequence of a hectic world cup, but some will also argue that he was given enough time to rest before resuming the season.
Another reason given for Ozil’s slow start is his been played out of position and the fact that this season he has had to perform more defensive duties, that if played in the right position like in the game at Aston Villa, we will see the best of Ozil. But again it can be pointed out that it had been given the same responsibilities and performed well. The bottom line is that Ozil has been below par this season and could have been replaced on numerous occasions, the fact that he was left to continue with a crack in his leaves a lot to be desired.
Looking at the Arsenal bench on that day and the team in general, the likely replacements would have been Wilshere and Rosicky but both have been saddled with defensive midfield duties, making one to question the decision of Wenger not to buy a defensive midfielder. With Arterta injured and Diaby coming off a long term injury and Flamini the only recognized defensive midfielder, offensive, attacking players had been left to pick up the slack on that day.
The transfer window will open soon in January and one hopes Wenger will look to shore up his defensive midfield position. This will help Arsenal have more options, as they hope to challenge for titles.