Home Football English Football Watch: Gerrard And Keown Savage ‘Liability’ Mesut Ozil After Arsenal Defeat

Watch: Gerrard And Keown Savage ‘Liability’ Mesut Ozil After Arsenal Defeat

BT Sport pundits Steven Gerrard and Martin Keown were less than impressed with Mesut Ozil’s performance in Arsenal’s defeat to Stoke City on Saturday.

Arsene Wenger’s side were beaten 1-0 at the Bet365 Stadium thanks to a second-half strike from new Stoke signing Jese Rodriguez, though they did have a goal from Alexandre Lacazette controversially disallowed for an adjudged offside.

A familiar topic of debate reared its head after the match, namely the work rate (or lack thereof) of Mesut Ozil. The German playmaker was the subject of fierce criticism at times last season due to his apparent lethargy on the pitch, and Keown and Gerrard had no time for his showing at Stoke on Saturday evening.

In fact. Gerrard went as far as to call Ozil a ‘liability’ in away games.

“He’s left me frustrated – we’ve seen him on his day when he fancies doing both sides of the game he is a world-class talent.

“I just worry about his reaction and body language – when the ball is turned over he offers his team-mates zero. Away from home, he’s a liability – he just doesn’t do enough.

“It’s clear to see that out of possession he doesn’t want to know – he only wants to be on the ball, trying to create and making things happen.

“But world-class players do both – when they lose possession they put a shift in for their team-mates and it was clear that didn’t happen.”

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal attempts to get past Saido Berahino of Stoke City during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at Bet365 Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Former Arsenal defender Keown agreed that Ozil was “just going through the motions” in the loss, and hinted that his desire to leave the Emirates (and potentially running his contract down to do so) have been a factor in the midfielder perhaps not trying as hard for the team as he could and should be.

“Wenger wants him to be creative to get on the ball and create chances to win matches.

“He’ll accept, maybe wrongly so, that he doesn’t really want to work hard for the team.

“He doesn’t point the finger at one individual but I feel that today Ozil should be doing more for his team. He needs to have a good look at himself.

“He wants to get away from the football club but he’s not going to do it this way. Wenger will make him sit out the rest for the season. So while he’s here he needs to apply himself in the right way and give arsenal a performance.”

Ozil, like teammate Alexis Sanchez, will see his current deal expire at the end of the season and with no breakthrough in negotiations seemingly in sight, the prospect of him leaving for nothing next summer is currently a strong one.

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