Saturday, September 18, 2021

Keown wants Ozil to improve on work rate

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Arsenal’s German midfielder Mesut Ozil celebrates scoring his hat trick, and his team’s sixth goal, during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Arsenal and Ludogorets Razgrad at The Emirates Stadium in London on October 19, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL

Mesut Ozil needs to improve his work rate if he is to remain a key figure at Emirates Stadium, says former Arsenal defender Martin Keown. The Germany international has been struggling to find his best form of late and Arsene Wenger recently acknowledged that he expects more from Ozil.

Keown believes the 28-year-old has exceptional creative prowess, but he urged the attacking midfielder to contribute more off the ball.“He is a sort of icing-on-the-cake type player,” Keown was quoted as saying by Standard Sport ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League encounter with Bayern Munich.

“Arsenal need more from him, particularly from a defensive point of view. You could say he is in there for his creativity, but the likes of [Dennis] Bergkamp, [Thierry] Henry, [Robert] Pires, they all offered creativity, but they offered just as much work rate.

“A modern-day player has to be equipped to do both and I do not know whether Arsenal get enough from Ozil when they do not have the ball. “Maybe I am being unfair, it can be difficult to recover back, but you see other players doing that.

“His body language is an issue and he has suffered lately, particularly in the big games.”Arsenal warmed up for their clash with the Bundesliga champions by beating Hull City 2-0 on Saturday.

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