Eriksen vs Ozil: Which playmaker comes out on top?

Sitting in the Sports Tonight Live studio, getting ready to film. I ask the Arsenal fan next to me, is Eriksen better than Ozil? The shock written on his face was as if I had told him Glenn Hoddle is their new manager.

People might think im crazy, but I truly believe Eriksen is a better player. But what usually tends to happen in this modern football era, is people  judge good players the teams they have previously played for.

The Stats.
(Stats are based on 2013-2014 season)

Barclays Premier League:

Ozil: 5 goals 9 assists
Eriksen:7 goals 8 assists

Europe:

Ozil: 1 goals 2 assists
Eriksen: 3 goals 2 assists

If you look at Ozil’s European record, it is quite average for a player deemed world class. For example; his record in Europe for Real Madrid is 2 goals 3 assists(2011-2012) and again 4 goals 1 assist (2012-2013).

The German drifts out of games far too often for a player of his quality, compared to Eriksen who is vital – Spurs’ main man, in fact. The Dane features heavily in everything the Lilywhites do, whether that is him dropping deep, playing as a less-advanced playmaker, or playing as the ‘number 10’.

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I strongly believe that Eriksen is the more complete player out the two. He is not just a assist man, unlike many Arsenal fans believe.

Additionally, if you compare values, Eriksen is a far better signing than £42.5million compared to his £11 million!

The former Ajax-man is yet to be consistently awarded a starting berth in his favoured number 10 role, with Sherwood utilising him more regularly on the left side of midfield. Nevertheless, he has still successfully established himself as the focal point of the Spurs attack, even when forced out wide.

Hasan Salihamidzic has criticised Arsenal star Mesut Ozil for “going missing” in big games:

“It is a big challenge for Özil to banish this inconsistency from his game. He can be a genius on a lot of moments – and that’s why he played for Real Madrid before – but I cannot explain why he goes missing this often,”.

“Mesut has to learn to explode even on bad days and he has the potential to do just that.

Hasan is correct but, ever since Ozil came to Arsenal his stats have decreased rapidly. His workrate is not a question but when you’re  a big name, like the German is, you have to perform in every game. Eriksen has performed consistently in most of the majority of his games.

Both will have good seasons and will both be key men for their sides, for me at this moment Erisken is the better and far more consistent player. There stats are very close, but only one of them is recognised as world class? Strange?? Eriksen is still young (22) and can improve his game, Ozil is 25, will he adapt his game? Ozil was interviewed by Bild Sport and said:

“I can play better in ALL departments than I did in my debut season”

Eriksen for me needs to work on is his finishing, having only a 69% shot accuracy in the league, but 100% shot accuracy in the Europa League. Although he had only 11 shots in the Europa League, 6 of which were blocked and the rest crossing the goal line.

Another thing that Eriksen needs to work on is his defensive contribution. With both Tottenham full-backs very attack minded and Spurs often playing a high line at the back, Eriksen going back would benefit Tottenham and help him being a more well-rounded player.

Evaluation

Yes, Eriksen is better! Sadly people only rate players based off what teams they’ve played for. Eriksen could score 40 goals and 20 assists this season, but Ozil would still be better because he played for Real Madrid and Arsenal, who are big clubs. So it doesn’t matter if Eriksen consistently outperforms Ozil. Ozil played for a big club and in the eyes of Arsenal fans, that means he’ll always be better.


A contentious debate indeed, but who is the greatest talent, Christian Eriksen or Mesut Ozil? This discussion is sure to cause a great divide, split fairly evenly across North London. Let us know in the comments or on twitter @TBRFootball.

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