Ozil's numbers suggest he is slowing down as he approaches 30

Friday marked Mesut Ozil's five-year anniversary since his Premier League debut and Saturday marks the German's first visit to St James' Park to face Newcastle United.
Normally, the opportunity to perform in front of 52,000 passionate fans is one you would suspect a World Cup-winning player paid £350,000 per week would relish.
Yet with Ozil, you are never sure. Worryingly, Unai Emery hinted he feels the same way, having used his pre-match press conference to challenge his playmaker.
'He can improve, he can do more,' Emery said. 'I want to find with him the possibility to do the best, to make decisive passes, to do more near and in the box to score.'

December 2013 — Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal (shoulder injury)
March 2015  — Newcastle 1-2 Arsenal (illness)
August 2015 — Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal (knee injury)
April 2018  — Newcastle 2-1 Arsenal (rested) 
Raise your level, in other words. Ozil has registered two goals and one assist in three Premier League games against Newcastle but, bizarrely, has never played on Tyneside.
In Arsenal's four visits since he signed, he has been injured, then ill, then injured, then rested. Now, at the fifth time of asking, he is finally ready to face Rafa Benitez's side.
There is no denying Ozil's natural talent. He can be a master of angles and awareness, a drifter who can split open a defence with a perfect pass out of nowhere.
Yet Emery does not seem to want to entertain luxury players. He wants more. He wants someone who will bust a gut to get the ball back, or take the game by the scruff of the neck.

The average distance covered by the German per 90 mins in the top flight:
2013-14 — 10.7km (26 apps)
2014-15 — 10.9km (22 apps)
2015-16 — 10.7km (35 apps)
2016-17 — 10.4km (33 apps)
2017-18 — 10.5km (26 apps)
2018-19 — 10.4km (3 apps) 
Ozil, who turns 30 in just one month, has never been the type.
In his last five seasons, his distance covered per 90 minutes in the Premier League has hardly fluctuated, even if, so far this season, he is averaging 10.4km — his joint-lowest effort to date.
So Emery is arguably asking too much by telling him to do more in that regard. However, when it comes to the request of more in front of goal, the new manager is well within his rights.
His statistics for this season, though so soon into the campaign, tell a story.
Ozil is creating only 1.12 chances a game, compared to 3.49, 3.16, 4.31, 3.39 and 3.18 in his last five seasons. He has not managed a single shot on target, while his passing stats are poorer than ever and dribbling is down.
It has not been the best of starts after 242 minutes of football, with Aaron Ramsey often preferred in the No 10 role while Ozil sits on the right.
Naturally, Emery wants more from Arsenal's main man, who has endured an eventful two months.
He has made three appearances and missed the game against West Ham because he was either in his sickbed or the doghouse after reports of a row with Emery.
Away from Arsenal, he has been in the news because of the accusations of racism and discrimination he made against the German football federation which led to his international retirement.
Today, after a two-week break, is a chance for him to get back to business and show his worth.
Newcastle are likely to give Arsenal time on the ball at St James' Park. Benitez's side have attempted 1,102 passes in the Premier League this season — the fewest of any side.
Against Chelsea and Manchester City, they managed embarrassingly-low possessions of 18.9 per cent and 21.9 per cent respectively.
So Arsenal should see plenty of the ball in the North East and that can be when Ozil is in his element. He can turn into an artist, call the shots, play with freedom and have fun.
Still, it will take more than a single match to win over the new coach. A U-turn is required because, so far, Ozil's statistics suggest he has slowed down while Emery wants him to get on board quickly. 

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