Germany and Arsenal playmaker, Mesut Ozil, was excluded from this year’s Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) team of the season and couldn’t quite edge out Riyad Mahrez to win in the running for the PFA Player of the Year award.
The PFA team of the year was leaked on social media – a week before it was intended to be revealed. A statement on the organization’s website read:
“The PFA is disappointed that a member of the public has chosen to deliberately leak our representative teams from the official brochure of the Awards Evening;
“As a matter of urgency, we are seeking a detailed explanation from the brochure printers as to how they were able to secure a copy of the publication;
“The unveiling of the PFA representative teams is eagerly awaited by our members and football fans throughout the country and we hope that the unfortunate leak does not affect the wide-ranging debate and discussion which accompanies their normal release on the day of the event.”
The 2015-16 Premier League PFA Team of the season for the Premier League is as follows:
Goal Keeper: David De Gea (Man United);
Defenders: Hector Bellerin (Arsenal), Wes Morgan (Leicester), Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Danny Rose (Tottenham);
Midfielders: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester), Dele Alli (Tottenham), N’Golo Kante (Leicester), Dimitri Payet (West Ham);
Strikers: Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Harry Kane (Tottenham).
A pretty accurate pick judging by the performance of each of the players this season, although there wasn’t any room for Mesut Ozil in the midfield.
Riyad Mahrez was named the PFA Player of the year after scoring 17 goals and assisting 11 in his total play time of 34 league games to date. His performances have catapulted Leicester City to the top of the Premier League table.
Leicester are currently 8 points clear on the top of the table, with only 4 matches left in what can only be described as an enthralling season for the English club. It is then not a huge surprise to see that the PFA team of the year is filled with Leicester City players.
Arsenal have been struggling to maintain a top four position after being top of the pile during Christmas – a struggle which has been reflected by their lack of players in the PFA team of the year; Hector Bellerin being the only Arsenal representative in the pickings.
It is highly debatable though, over the omission of German world cup winner, Mesut Ozil, from the PFA team of the year as well as a snub in the PFA Player of the year award. Many football pundits believe that the midfielder would have at least deserved a place in the midfield of the PFA team of the year.
Ozil recently insisted that he isn’t chasing individual awards but would much rather focus on competing for silverware with the whole squad.
“If I have a great season but we don’t win anything, what does it bring me?” he reflected last month. “Certainly not a spot in the PFA’s Team of the Year.” – As reported by ESPN.
Mesut Ozil’s performances have certainly not been under par this season. He has accumulated a total of 18 assists and 6 goals for Arsenal; putting him on course to surpass Thierry Henry’s record of 20 assists in a single season. The world cup winner has also broken Frank Lampard’s record tally of 134 chances created in a single season by creating a total of 137 chances, and counting, this season.
But the stats don’t seem to matter to the voters as Ozil was snubbed in the PFA Team of the year in favor of Dele Alli and Dimitri Payet – players who have picked up their form in the latter part of this Premier League season.
2016 hasn’t been a great year for Mesut Ozil, to say the least, maybe because the Arsenal strikers have not been as effective as they can be. But, compared to Payet and Alli, Ozil has much better stats for the overall season.
Check out Ozil’s stats for the overall season compared to PFA team of the year members Alli and Payet:
Mesut Ozil – Games: 32, Goals: 6, Assists: 18, Chances created: 131
Dimitri Payet – Games: 27, Goals: 9, Assists: 9, Chances created: 100
Dele Alli – Games: 32, Goals: 10, Assists: 9, Chances created: 49
Showing, for the overall season, Ozil has created and scored more goals than his counterparts. But, in 2016, Alli and Payet scored and created 12 and 10 goals respectively; with Ozil only coming up with 5. Another factor to note is that the whole Arsenal squad have performed well under their capabilities this season, while West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur have been on an astonishing run of form.
The main question remains; whether it is Ozil or his team mates who are underperforming. Olivier Giroud has now gone 13 matches without scoring a single goal, which brings up the issue of whether Ozil is to blame for the Frenchman’s woeful statistics in 2016.
Ozil may also be to blame as he is the main play-maker in the Arsenal squad, he is meant to be pulling the strings in midfield as he used to when he was at Real Madid. His influence at Real Madrid resulted in their dominance in the Spanish La Liga, aiding them to their famous 100 point season.
But, it is doubted that a player such as Mesut Ozil will ever lose his abilities and class. Arsene Wenger was at a loss when he was asked to explain how Mesut Ozil didn’t make it into the Premier League PFA team of the Year.
Arsene Wenger said in an interview:
“It’s a surprise to me, I cannot explain it. It’s the players who vote;
“I don’t know why they did not pick him. When you are top in the assists usually that is a sign of quality that should get you a place in the top team.”
It is therefore bewildering that Mesut Ozil didn’t quite make the cut, but if Ozil is to surpass Thierry Henry’s record of 20 assists in a single league season, it would certainly show his doubters just what he is capable of in what can only be described as a struggling Arsenal squad.
With only 4 matches to go in this thrilling Premier League season, we can only wait and see whether his performances will improve.
Do you think Mesut Ozil deserved a place in the PFA Team of the year, or maybe even with the award for PFA Player of the year?