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NOBODY can deny Mesut Ozil is a supremely talented footballer.
The German has the ability to light up a match with a moment of class very few others can produce. But when you demand to be paid over £200,000 a week that alone is not enough.
For that amount of money, you want an individual who thrives and delivers when the pressure is on. Yet at the first sign of bother, the 28-year-old has a habit of shirking responsibility.
And for Arsenal, that psychological deficiency within Ozil has been horribly exposed in the past two games.
On Tuesday night against Everton, a point after a sluggish performance would have been something to take away from Goodison Park.
However with the scores level, Ashley Williams was seemingly given a free header to score to seal a 2-1 win and cap a night of redemption after a poor start to the match for him.
On closer inspection, the goal came about because when facing with the task of defending, Ozil turned his body away from the ball rather than compete in the air against the Welshman.
You can argue Ozil should never have been in that position given his physical limitations but the lack of strength and fight for the club, his team-mates and supporters at that moment was alarming.
Ozil has been in English football for long enough now to be aware of its physical demands and to his credit he has bulked up in a bid to adapt.
But despite his genius too often he still cowers when it gets tough and becomes a liability. And that was clearly illustrated once Manchester City took control of the match in the second half yesterday.
You could hear the disdain and anger in commentator Gary Neville’s voice as he watched Ozil walking about on the pitch, putting no effort into winning the ball back.
In the 90 minutes, the German did not win a tackle or interception.
He cannot demand to be put in a wage bracket amongst the very elite and produce that level of application. He cannot say he wants to win the biggest trophies then capitulate in that manner. But that mental fragility is a trait which runs through every player in the Arsenal squad.
It’s an insult to the fans who have travelled to Everton and Manchester City to see a team so lacking in leadership, guidance and culpability.
It may only be Arsenal’s third defeat of the league season but the same attributes which have crippled the team over the past 10 years have already reappeared and it won’t be addressed while Arsene Wenger is still in charge.
Lifeless and unmotivated displays have become a hallmark under the Frenchman and though defeats can happen, it’s the manner of them which are most concerning. Surrendering two 1-0 leads within five days suggests a major weakness in mentality.
If it wasn’t already clear, Wenger has great difficulty inspiring his teams nowadays despite the excellent character he claims they have.
One wonders if performances like yesterday will be at the forefront of his mind when he considers whether to renew his contract.
Because wins against West Brom and Crystal Palace and Wenger will almost certainly talk up the character and mental strength within his players. But the fact is in the big games, his words and power of persuasion lost their potency years ago.