Michael Ballack has become the latest player to criticize Ozil for his attitude. While acknowledging Ozil’s importance to the German team, he was concerned about the performance. It has become a broken record. No one doubts his talent; they just have to coax it out of him.
It is understandable for some players like Mesut Ozil to feel the pressure of having to justify a heavy price tag with…moderate performances on the pitch, while others like Christiano Ronaldo take on the added responsibility like a duck to water.
I am not writing this article to lambast Ozil for his performances on the field but rather on his attitude or weak character. It speaks volumes when you see your teammates, Per Mertesacker and Mathieu Flamini, having a go at you for not trying hard enough. The minute your head goes down in frustration, it has a ripple effect on the rest of the team. Whether your team is comfortably winning or suffering a heavy loss, the attitude should be the same and that is to fight to the end. Can you remember the great comeback against Inter Milan in the Champions League in 2004 when Arsenal had lost 3-0 in the first leg and went on to win the second leg 5-1 after scoring three goals in the LAST five minutes of the game? Do you think that would have been possible with Ozil’s attitude?
Again I reiterate that this article has absolutely nothing to do with Ozil’s talent, which I agree he has in abundance, but rather his attitude on the pitch especially when his team, be it Arsenal or Germany, is in a losing position. German fans have recently been jeering Ozil and this is because they are spoilt for choice in his position and do not have to handle him with kid gloves because they spent so much money to bring him to the club. If he is not performing, they have Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze and co. to take over.
The jeering can either have a negative effect on him which shall then threaten to affect his club teammates or it shall harden him up and prepare him for the rigors of the Premier League. If we do end up getting Fabregas, what are the chances Wenger will tolerate his pouting on the field for long?
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I just had a sickening thought…can you imagine Mesut Ozil and Mario Ballotelli both in the same team and we are losing 2-0? What a sight it would be to see the two players walk all over the pitch sad and depressed while we still have half an hour to go.
If Mesut Ozil needs to look for inspiration from somewhere, he needs to look no further than Luka Modric, his former Real Madrid teammate who initially struggled to settle to life in Madrid but always gave his all on the pitch nevertheless and has now become an integral part of his team. It is not the bad performances that fans do not like but rather the aura of a lazy player on the pitch who gives the impression that he does not care about proceedings around him.
Now is the time for Ozil to take charge of the German team and prove to the world what a mercurial talent he is or regress further.