Mesut Ozil's Form for Arsenal Could Cost Him His Germany World Cup Spot

Stefan Bienkowski@@SbienkowskiFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2014


Things aren't going too well for Arsenal football club right now. Essentially out of their ambitious European campaign and out of the title race following a loss to Stoke last weekend, to add insult to injury they have also lost the flair of the world class star. 

In just 35 games for Arsenal this season, Mesut Ozil has only managed five goals and 13 assists in a debut year that many assumed would see the former Real Madrid midfielder tear up the English top division with the same tenacity that saw him become a regular at the Spanish club. 

Yet as we saw against Bayern Munich in the Champions League two weeks ago, Ozil may show the same old spark from time to time, it only takes a matter of time before he turns within himself and resorts to a mildly passable performance. Far from the superstar that Arsenal wanted and desperately needed. 

But what if Germany and coach Joachim Loew were to drop the Germany star?

The most obvious alternative to Arsenal's star midfielder is Bayern's own special signing from last season—Mario Gotze. For even though Ozil may have only recently fallen out of favour at the English side and his national team, the young star from Pep Guardiola's side has been long favoured to eventually move into his position. 

In 31 games for the German and European champions this season, Gotze has scored 10 goals and created nine assists in a debut campaign that looks destined to see him finishing as a champion of not only Germany's Bundesliga but the penultimate European Champions League as well. 

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

What really defines Gotze as a fellow great alongside Ozil and potentially pips him before the Arsenal star is not only his advantage with youth but the clear drive he has in each game he plays. It's what took him to the Munich club in the first place and what demands he continues searching for success as the long-term German regular struggles in his search for incentive. 

Another option, if Ozil is indeed confirmed as unavailable or out of form, is new Chelsea sensation Andre Schurrle, who is currently scoring goals for fun for English Premier League side Chelsea. A forward who has, until now, sat on the cusp of the German first team and will be desperate to prove his worth if given the chance.

Despite his form for Chelsea and the tally he ran up at Bayer Leverkusen last season—18 goals and 10 assists—the most notable quality of Schurrle's is of course just how direct he is, especially compared to Ozil, which is definitely something Germany could use right now. 

Amongst the false No. 9's and total football crazes that have recently overcome Loew's side of late, it strikes one as a rather refreshing option to have a player like Schurrle in the front line. Perhaps not a player of the highest calibre, but one who will run directly at a defence and wouldn't be afraid to take the hard shots. 

Of course the final option for Loew is the Borussia Dortmund winger Marco Reus, who could well find himself playing off whoever the coach opts to play up front for the national team. For the young German is a talent who can play anywhere across the front line. 

The 24-year-old sensation has been an exceptional player for Jurgen Klopp's side over the past two seasons, but what we've seen from Reus has been a role out on the left of a front three. Somewhere he's also played for Germany but not a role that could simply replace Ozil.

Yet what we should remember is that when the forward made his name just a few years ago at Borussia Moenchengladbach he scored goals and created assists with utter ease from a central position that excited every club in Europe. If Loew could convince Reus to play there for Germany to the same effect then we would have a new exceptional No. 10 on our hands. 

For now we can only speculate on the future of Loew's front line and whether the out-of-form Arsenal forward can actually force his way into a side desperate to win the ultimate prize this summer. Germany have been threatening Spain's dominance for almost a decade now and they can't afford to wait for Ozil.