Fatigue choking the life out of Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil 0

Mesut Ozil is going to be torn to pieces in the press tomorrow morning, and probably by quite a few Arsenal fans in forums this evening.

Is that fair? Yes and no.

His form has obviously flat-lined, but it’s hard not to have sympathy for a player who seems to be completely spent physically. Ozil, as mentioned on this site before, is suffering from what many other foreign playmakers have dealt with previously: cumulative fatigue brought about by the physicality of the Premier League.

That doesn’t completely explain the loss of influence or his alarming and frequent tendency to abdicate his defensive responsibilities, but it is a mitigating factor. He’s fighting an uphill battle against his form - and against some of his own supporters - without really having the emotional or physical energy to compete properly. In big games such as the one this evening players can sometimes exist on pure adrenaline, but as soon as Ozil saw his penalty swotted-away by Manuel Neuer his enthusiasm for the contest seemed to evaporate.

It’s really easy to observe a player’s body-language and draw negative conclusions, but that’s quite a surface-deep way to judge an athlete. This is a player who looks shattered and who ultimately needs some time out of the first-team at the soonest opportunity. All of the early season freshness has gone, and all of his creativity has gradually drained away. It’s actually difficult to watch at times and it’s all too apparent that he’s not yet conditioned correctly for English football.

Go easy on him.

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