Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and an enormously disproportionate savaging 0

Mesut Ozil was substituted at half-time this evening with a hamstring injury - it was fairly evident from quite early in the game that his conditioning wasn’t right and so it was no surprise to see him replaced by Tomas Rosicky.

Neither, sadly, was it a surprise to see this article from Neil Ashton.

People who claim that journalists operate on agendas are always derided, but whilst that accusation is probably made far too often there are certain media people who are always writing the same old vitriol about the same old players and managers.

It’s hard to ignore.

Criticise a player’s performance if you must, and ignore his injury if that allows you to make a more compelling argument within your article, but to start throwing around phrases like ‘nicking a living’ and claiming that a player is ‘lazy’ is a bit much - it crosses a line between being a critique and being something far nastier.

Nobody would claim that Ozil has been in good form these last few months, but there are some very understandable physical reasons for that which have been covered in many articles and by Arsene Wenger himself.

I just don’t see the need for this kind of personal attack; why does it have to be so vicious and bitchy? You can analyse a player’s contribution without resorting to hackneyed insults and character assassinations.

Neil Ashton seems to have three settings: he’s either breaking ‘anonymous insider’ stories, doing poorly disguised PR for Chelsea players, or he’s defaming the reputation of a foreign player or manager.

He doesn’t do much else, and that last habit is particularly ugly.

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