• News

Petit slams Ozil: “He has been a ghost for two years”

Getty Images

Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit accused Mesut Ozil of lacking any desire on the pitch

The former Real Madrid playmaker was brought off by manager Unai Emery at half-time in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw at Brighton on Boxing Day.

And Petit has been left far from impressed by Ozil’s mentality over the past two years for the Gunners.

“Arsenal were magnificent against Brighton for 30 minutes,” Petit told Paddy Power.

“They played good football but, just as they did at Southampton, disappeared all of a sudden.

“The quality they had been showing vanished and it became obvious what their weakest link was – the defence. The goal they conceded was awful.

“Mesut Ozil was taken off at halftime. I’m a big fan of his, but he has been a ghost for two years.

“Where is the Ozil who was one of the best players around, making so many assists and goals? I think he has lost his desire on the pitch, it’s not there any more.”

The French World Cup winner also believes Arsenal’s defence isn’t good enough ahead of Saturday’s trip to Anfield to take on unbeaten Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Petit added: “In defence they are weak, they’re average. They make individual and collective errors.

“Sometimes you have to laugh. They injuries are not an excuse, most of the players who stepped in are internationals.

“The quality they had been showing vanished (at Brighton) and it became obvious what their weakest link was – the defence.

“I don’t know what’s going on with some of these players. During the long unbeaten run you thought Arsenal are back on track.

“But now I look back at the number of those games in which they were lucky and, suddenly, reality returned.

“They need to raise their game mentally on Saturday. I’ve seen glimpses of improvement compared to previous years but you can’t perform for just half an hour against Liverpool.

“You need to be fully switched on for 90 minutes, especially away from home.

“If Arsenal go to Anfield thinking they can just keep plodding away the way they have been, it’s over – they’ll leave the stadium with three or four goals against them.”

Petit played for Arsenal in midfield between 1997 to 2000, where he won the Premier League and FA Cup before joining Barcelona.

The Frenchman also had spells with AS Monaco and Chelsea before announcing his retirement in January 2005.