Sunday 17 November 2019

Neville: Wenger must take the blame for Ozil's dip in form

Gary Neville says Arsene Wenger must accept blame for Mesut Ozil's lack of form as he should have rested him in January to help him adjust to English football.

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil should have been given a break says Gary Neville.
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil should have been given a break says Gary Neville.

Gary Neville says Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger must take a share of the blame for Mesut Ozil's recent run of poor form, arguing there is "no excuse for an experienced manager" not to have given the German a break from action over the winter.

After a positive start to his career at the Emirates following his £42.5 million transfer from Real Madrid, Ozil has struggled badly and has become a scapegoat for some disappointing Arsenal results.

The German international has been unable to find an upturn in performance levels and was substituted at half-time and it later emerged he has sustained a hamstring injury.

Neville, the England coach and respected Sky Sports pundit, believes Wenger should have given Ozil a break over the busy Christmas and New Year period to help him adjust to English football - saying that Sir Alex Ferguson used to do this with Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United.

"He's obviously dipped this last couple of months and first season in a new league can take some getting used to, even with the price tag," he tweeted in a number of comments about the former Real Madrid player.

"Some players can carry lack of form better than others. His body language suggests he struggles and at the moment looks like he's finding it difficult mentally.

"On a Christmas break, there is no excuse really for an experienced manager. He could have given him one in the first two weeks in January. Ronaldo used to get one."

Neville said that Ozil will prove a good signing for the Gunners, but that they need more striking options to bring the best out of him.

"Arsenal are better for having him and he will return strong. Some are rightly pointing out others who have been up and down in the first season but then improved second and third.

"He will improve more when he has a striker that runs beyond and provides movement for his strengths. Every good number 10 needs two to three players that make runs behind and sacrifice themselves. It's a modern game problem - too many want to be a number 10!"

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