New Delhi: It seems German midfielder Mesut Ozil, after winning the World Cup in Brazil, is still in festive mood. His on field efforts have failed to inspire any confidence following a poor start to Arsenal's new season.
Ozil, one of the stand-out stars in Brazil, has looked like a mediocre player for Arsenal in the post World Cup outings. Starting the 2014-15 with renewed vigour, Arsenal needed a firing Ozil to help newly arrived Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck to fulfil their club dreams.
But the former Real Madrid player is yet to show his true self in the Gunners shirt. Their latest outing against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League have tell-tale signs of a dispirited player taking the field. On Tuesday, Ozil was doing nothing worthy for a team which banked heavily on his capabilities.
His performance was not the sole reason for Arsenal's 0-2 away defeat at Signal Iduna Park. But with his abilities and stature, the 25-year-old player ought to have given lot more, starting from chasing the ball. That's where many a loyalists have started questioning his commitment, or the lack of it. The same can be said about his relationship with manager Arsene Wenger.
Last season, Ozil was unveiled with much fanfare as a saviour of the club. And he started his English stint producing match-winning performances. In his first ten matches for the London club, Ozil scored three times, assisted five more and there were as many as 31 chances created. Towards the end of the season, his performance dipped and considerably, was accredited to tiredness.
But, at the start of the current season, he has so far failed to play his usual self or replicate the World Cup form. It may well read a continuous trend -- in the last ten matches, he managed to score only two goals. With two more assists and some 20 chance creation, his performance was clearly taking a hit.
For a club like Arsenal – which is struggling to win trophies – a below-par contribution from one of their most beloved stars and well paid player cannot be accepted. His poor form can be attributed to frequent changes in the team formation and his requirement to fall back to do defending chores. But that's what today's professional players are expected to do.
The stakes are pretty high for his club and his stature as one of the best players in the world.