Mesut Ozil is certainly under the spot light more than ever at present. The German appeared to be getting back into the groove of things with a brilliant display against Liverpool and followed it up with an exciting first ten minutes against Bayern Munich.
The German won a penalty with some neat footwork but failed to convert from the spot, his second miss this season. Ozil then lost total confidence and is receiving plenty of criticism from the Arsenal faithful as a result.
Arsene Wenger has stuck by him, and for good reason too as the former Germany international can produce moments of magic. But recently he’s looked incredibly jaded.
Wenger has this to say about his record signing:
[on Mesut Ozil’s penalty] He missed a penalty… with his style of play… what can I say? They missed one as well. The regret I have is that we missed our penalty. We needed that tonight because you could see that Bayern was on the ropes at the start of the game. We had three good chances in the first 15 minutes, we started the game well. I feel too make them more insecure we needed to score that penalty. But he missed it.
[on whether it affected Ozil] Yes, he was affected by it. I think he wanted to do so well tonight that it affected him. You could see even five or 10 minutes later on the pitch he still was shaking his head. It had a huge impact on his performance. Our usual penalty takers were not on the pitch tonight, that’s why we had to decide. It was Ozil, Cazorla and Sagna. Cazorla missed as well, Ozil has missed, you think sometimes ‘OK, he missed from the penalty spot before, but he will not miss again’, but it can happen to anybody, you cannot reproach that.
[on Ozil’s confidence] Look, you are always concerned about the confidence of your players because that’s your petrol in a team. Your confidence is what gives them the desire to go and play. In our job you have to deal with that.
Ozil’s compatriot Lukas Podoski feels the criticism is part and partial of the game, however the harsh comments directed at the Germany midfielder will only make the situation harder and more difficult for the team.
The 28-year-old took to Facebook on Thursday to stick up for his teammate and has called for fans to back the under fire midfielder:
Everybody is disappointed because of yesterday’s result. However, that’s football. It’s not fair to diss Mesut. Critique is part of sports and this is good — but polemic is not.
Picking one player out doesn’t help the collective and the whole club neither! He’s an outstanding player who will make all of us happy in future.
A missed penalty won’t change that. This happens to me and to every footballer. Friends stand together. So lets go! Poldi.
Ozil himself took to social media to apologize for the penalty miss, he posted on Facebook:
The next morning doesn’t feel better either. Sorry guys — it wasn’t planned that way. Outnumbered it was really hard to win against this team.
Arsenal have plenty of options in attacking midfield and ready made replacements in Rosicky and Cazorla. Ozil has been overplayed recently and should receive a rest against Sunderland this weekend. Not dropped entirely, just on the bench.
The German has appeared fatigued but is undoubtedly a brilliant player. He’s struggled to gain momentum after some difficult fixtures in recent weeks and is due a start from the bench this weekend.
Also with The Ox playing exceptionally well, Ozil finally has someone to latch onto intricate throughballs like against Liverpool.
The criticism Ozil received has been overly harsh but he himself knows he needs to dig in and get back into flying form. He can be untouchable on his day.
So get back behind Ozil Gooners, he needs all the support he can get.