Former Arsenal Coach Claims Mesut Ozil Is Physically “Elite”

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Arsenal’s former director of high performance, Darren Burgess has talked up Mesut Ozil’s physicality (via The Athletic).

It’s the most common way to criticise Mesut Ozil by pointing towards his lack of physicality moving around the pitch.

The former Germany international’s body language and expression-less demeanour is an easy way to characterise the player’s shortcomings on the pitch.

However, one former member of staff doesn’t think that is the case. Darren Burgess is the former director of high performance who left the club at the end of last season and thinks that Ozil is perhaps a lot better at this side of the game than many think.

“Mesut is much-maligned physically,” Burgess told The Athletic.

“But there were many games where his running numbers — and I’m talking high-speed numbers, not just distance but high-speed numbers — were among the elite in the competition. So he’s certainly capable of doing it.”

Burgess also praised Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s physical stats, comparing him to a prime Fernando Torres in terms of sprint consistency. It’s an interesting interview with Darren Burgess. Clearly, the former director of high performance has a good idea of what the Arsenal players are like physically on a day-to-day basis. Mesut Ozil often gets criticised for his physicality but the data seems to suggest that this isn’t justified.

Read more: allarsenal.com