Danish midfielder is performing better than the German playmaker in almost every category imaginable this season
THERE’S a chant Tottenham supporters have for Christian Eriksen that Mesut Ozil would’ve heard loud and clear at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
The gist is the Arsenal star isn’t a patch on the Spurs No23… with every passing weekend it’s a song that rings truer and truer, with Football Whispers investigating.
The Dane has been exceptional this season and particularly in recent weeks as Tottenham attempt to overhaul Chelsea and clinch a first Premier League title.
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Eriksen has contributed to 32 Spurs goals this season, scoring 12 and assisting a further 20.
He is the perfect example of a Mauricio Pochettino player; someone who combines outstanding technical skills with an insatiable work-rate.
His form has perhaps been slightly overlooked due to the exploits of Harry Kane and Dele Alli but the 25-year-old is as crucial to Tottenham as the English duo.
The same, however, couldn’t be said for Ozil at Arsenal this season.
The German has drifted through the campaign, occasionally providing moments of brilliance – as he did against Ludogorets – but generally looking disinterested.
Defenders of Ozil will make the point he has never been an all-action player and that it can be easy to overlook what he does well during games.
The 28-year-old actually made more passes than any of his team-mates during north London derby defeat.
Ozil also functions best when there are high quality players around him, as he has proven time and time again for Germany.
Arsenal, bar Alexis Sanchez, do not possess world class stars, yet Ozil is a player who cost the Gunners a club record £42.5million.
A player who is reportedly demanding a £300,000-a-week contract to remain with the club beyond next season can’t hide behind excuses.
Ozil has registered 11 goals and 11 assists in all competitions this term.
They’re respectable figures and this season will be his highest scoring since arrival at the Emirates in 2013.
But Ozil’s return doesn’t match Eriksen’s… and that is the case across the board.
Arsenal’s No11 has created fewer chances in the Premier League, 73 compared to 100, is playing fewer key passes per game (2.7 to 3.1) and is averaging fewer shots per 90 minutes (1.3 to 3.8).
It’s little wonder he’s trailing Eriksen.
Ozil does, however, dribble with the ball more often every match (2.7 to 0.8) and averages more passes (69.3 to 55.1).
It appears he is still trying to conduct, it’s just the musicians aren’t up to standard.
Eriksen doesn’t have that problem. He is playing alongside two of the Premier League’s finest attacking players.
If he gets a cross on the money, it will tend to lead to a goal – such as his sumptuous ball which Alli expertly finished in the FA cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea.
It’s intriguing to think how Ozil would fare if he was placed in this vibrant Spurs team.
It will never happen, especially after his antics on Sunday, but you doubt he’d be so lethargic and, on occasion, as invisible as he’s been during certain Arsenal games.
One thing is certain though. And it’s what Spurs have been chanting since both arrived in England in 2013.
Eriksen is the better player, as much as that will pain Arsenal supporters to admit.