Ian Wright defends Ozil, questions midfield set-up


Ian Wright has defended Mesut Ozil after the German came in for some serious criticism following the 1-0 defeat to Stoke.

Some pundits singled out the Arsenal playmaker as a big problem for the Gunners, but the former record goalscorer believes the current set-up, particularly in midfield, doesn’t get the best out of the 28.

Asked on Sky Sports Debate show if he understood frustrations about him, he said, “What, the one that’s already created 10 chances for his teammates when he’s supposed to be having a nightmare? Because he looks frustrated when he loses the ball or something happens?

“If I’m Arsene Wenger, I’m saying ‘When he gets the ball, I just want you to back him up, and if he loses it you get it back and give it back to him to let him get on with it again.

“Because some players you have to give them the licence to do that. The stick he gets, it really annoys me, it jars me.”

Wrighty also questioned whether the midfield combination of Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey had the right attributes in the current set-up.

“I know that Xhaka’s a good passer,” he said. “He’s playing in that deeper role, the holding role, with Ramsey. They haven’t got the legs for me. Even when they do lose the ball they’re so easy to get past.

“I believe he [Ozil] is somebody who should have even more licence to do what he wants. He’s a creative player, he’s not going to start running back and tackling people. They can utilise him better.”

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