Mesut Ozil disappears in big games, when the pressure is on. That's just what he does, a statement repeated so regularly it simply becomes accepted fact. But unlike the 'facts' presented by Donald Trump and the Leave campaign, there is actually substance behind Ozil's disappearing act.
Arsenal as a whole were poor against Tottenham on Sunday, but Ozil was poorer. The German was torn apart in post match player ratings and a statistical graphic compiled and shared on social media by Tribina from Croatia shows the extent of the £42.5m man's tendency to wilt on the bigger occasions.
In 12 games against 'top teams' (the rest of the Premier League's top 7 as well as PSG and Bayern Munich in the Champions League), Ozil's has managed a single goal and no assists this season.
By comparison, in 24 other games against the rest when the pressure and intensity is very much off he's scored or assisted a total of 19 times - that includes four goals and two assists in just two Champions League games against Ludogorets Razgrad.
Ozil has had half as many shots per game against 'big teams', completed fewer dribbles, made less passes, less key passes, and lost the ball more often. His output is noticeably reduced across the board and cannot be written off as a factor of facing better quality teams.
That might explain some of it, but not all of it.
As a 'world class' player, Ozil should be stepping up in the biggest games and making his real difference there rather than against a team Arsenal should beat anyway.
He's not solely to blame for the Gunners under performing this season, but it certainly counts towards it in a big way when Arsenal cannot rely on one of their best players to do the job when other around him are stumbling.
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