Before the season started Arsene Wenger called on his midfield to take the pressure off Arsenal’s attackers by scoring more goals.
His players didn’t appear to disagree with Mesut Ozil admitting: “I think now and then I need to become a bit more selfish- then I’d definitely score more goals.
The German added: “In truth I’m more the sort of player who doesn’t really go for goal, I tend to look for my team-mates and think, ‘Can I play this pass?'”
So far – Mathieu Flamini’s unexpected brace against Sp*rs and the Ox’s strike in the Community Shield aside – the midfield have not exactly delivered.
Indeed, despite racking up 22 appearances (not inc. Community Shield) between them Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil are yet to register a goal and it’s a state of affairs that appears to be a source of frustration for the latter.
Speaking after yesterday’s win over Leicester, Arsene Wenger noted that Ozil, who delivered a passing masterclass including a deft cross for Alexis’ second, was upset not to bag a goal having had three opportunities to do so.
“It [his assist for Alexis] was classy and the little frustration I have today is that he could not score a goal or the chance he had.
“He is really upset because he know he needs a goal as well but the ball he gave to Alexis as fantastic.”
Ozil netted five goals in 36 appearances last season and seven in 40 games in his debut season – stats he should probably be improving on given his technical quality and the number of chances Arsenal create as a team.
This year (as the below graphics from FourFourTwo’s StatZone app reveal) he’s not exactly been prolific at taking on chances with only nine shots in his eight appearances.
We’ve no doubt the goals will come for the midfield – Ramsey and Cazorla have scored in spurts in the past – but it’d certainly be good for Ozil to overcome his hoodoo sooner rather than later.