Is labeling Ozil a flop Over the top? Making a statistical comparison of our creative midfielder


Labeled a ‘FLOP’

Mesut Ozil is a flop, a waste of money, he disappears in big games, he is not good enough, etc, etc, etc. I have read numerous stories (headlines) about the man that was once labelled as ‘stealing a living’, by Robbie Savage of all people. Robbie Savage who works for the BBC, I am forced by law to pay his wages. Who’s the one ‘stealing a living?’ W.nker!

I wanted to use non-emotional data to evaluate Mesut’s first season at Arsenal. The one in which he was called a ‘flop’. I wanted to investigate how much of a flop he really is. I decided I would take playmakers from four clubs, Arsenal, Chelsea, City and Liverpool (last season’s top four) and compare them on the key areas they’re meant to perform and influence a game. In addition, the other three players are lauded by the same pundits and journalists that are so keen to label Ozil a flop.

I have avoided non-quantifiable stats like, it being Ozil’s first season in the league, or the calibre of player the number 10 works with, or how much they cost. This is pure, unbiased, statistical data.

GT Screengrab 01

In the Premier League season 2013/14 (average per game)

  1. Hazard – 0.4 (14 in 35)
  2. Silva 0.26 (7 in 27)
  3. Ozil 0.19 (5 in 26)
  4. Coutinho 0.16 (5 in 33)

It’s fair to say Ozil is behind in this statistic. Although Hazard is a penalty taker and playing for Chelsea he gets a few, he still has to show the nerve to score them, so fair play to Hazard, he gets goals. However, when you look at the total number of goals, really Silva, Coutinho and Ozil have nothing between them.




  1. Ozil .35 (9 in 26)
  2. Silva .33 (9 in 27)
  3. Coutinho .21 (7 in 33)
  4. Hazard .20 (7 in 35)

What is really striking is that a player lauded for his creativity and brilliance has only 7 assists in 35 games.

Its obvious goals and assists are the two most important stats for a creative midfielder. However, assists are the primary function of a player in the number 10 role, and the critical asset they bring to a team. Like goals for strikers. It’s what they’re paid to do.




  1. Silva
  2. Ozil
  3. Coutinho
  4. Hazard

I put passing together as one comparison, and looked at just four of the many available passing stats. I felt that total passes, successful passes, key passes and forward passes are the four key passing stats for a creative midfielder. Forward passing and key passing are what makes the number 10 the creative hub. The fact that player takes risks with their passing. Otherwise you have players like Arteta and Carrick with better passing records than the guys above, despite the contribution of those passes being far less valuable to goals.


My main point isn’t that Ozil is better or worse than the players in the comparison table. It’s simply this: ‘if Ozil is a flop, then given his statistics are virtually identical to Silva’s, how the fuck can Silva be the best 10 in the league?’ It simply doesn’t add up.

Ozil has disappointed, he has not performed as well I was hoping he would, in Europe especially. However, when did Silva last dominate a top, top side? He went ‘missing’ against us, ‘missing’ against Barca and no doubt will do it again. Rightfully Silva is a respected player, he is excellent. But he does nothing more than Ozil. Remember this the next time you cry for him to be sold. If you do!

Forget his body language, forget the headlines, and forget what MotD tells you. Based on what you see above is Ozil a flop? I don’t believe he is.

For the record, so far this season Ozil has played 12 games and scored three goals with five assists. Not bad, not bad at all.


Guest Bio

My name is Babak Daemi, London born, although raised in Kent. A Gooner for over 20 years I simply love the club. I love its a London club, I love its a decent and respectable club, and I love that we hate the spuds. My first game was a friendly V Gillingham, 3:1 Arsenal. I now live up north so go less, but am as passionate as ever. My twitter handle is @brdgunner. COME ON THE GUNNERS. 


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One Response to Is labeling Ozil a flop Over the top? Making a statistical comparison of our creative midfielder

  1. Don March 2, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

    The vendetta against Ozil has been incredible, manipulated and contrived by the media – with the only possible motive to print anti-Arsenal bias – because as we know – Arsenal generate more column inches, blogs, twitter RT, and online hits than any football team in the world.

    Ozil is an outstanding player. His pass completion is sensational, especially when you see he never ties the easy option pass and always goes forward. You compare that the to media darling Eriksen – who average just 75% pass completion and a fraction of assists, it is repugnant how obvious the bias against him is. The claims that he is ‘lazy’ is also disproved in every game when he always emerges as the player who has run the most distance on the field.

    His assist/pass to Rosicky v Everton was incredible, an arrow precision pass with pace and guile. He does this in every game many times. His assists should be a lot higher when you consider the one-on-ones he has laid on for Alexis, Walcott & Welbeck this season.

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