In a special report conducted by Goal, it has been revealed that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was warned back in 2010 about Mesut Ozil’s poor mentality and work-rate.
The Arsenal boss was asked about the German’s state of mind earlier this week and he tried his best to relieve any pressure on the club’s record signing. After signing for £42 million last summer, Ozil hit the ground running and was a focal point of Arsenal’s excellent pre-Christmas form but since the winter break, his performances have been poor and he’s gained a lot of criticism.
Wenger spoke of the ‘toughness’ of the Premier League and is confident that Ozil can adapt mentally and contain the pressure that he seems to collect on a weekly basis.
“I never tell Mesut, ‘You have to win us the game’,” Wenger told the world’s press. “He shouldn’t do that. It’s down to the performance of the team. But maybe he feels that a bit in a different way than I do. I just want him to enjoy it and play well.
“It is difficult for him mentally to be confronted with that pressure every three days and in every single competition. But he will adapt. He had a difficult game [against Bayern] because he missed that penalty and it was on his mind. Sometimes, when you are under this kind of pressure, it’s good to refresh.”
Ozil was left out of the side that beat Sunderland at the Emirates last weekend after missing a penalty against Bayern Munich and putting in an all-round poor performance.
It was a big move from Wenger who was warned about the German’s low work-rate and poor attitude in scout reports back in 2010. That didn’t stop him signing him last summer, though, but reports are now coming true, much to Wenger’s frustration.
Despite impressive performances at the 2010 World Cup and an expiring contract which made him available at a reduced price, Wenger decided against signing him due to the information gathered by the club’s scouts.
The same reports also cited Ozil’s lack of team ethic and laziness off the ball, which have become evident at times since he joined the Gunner, with the 25-year-old clashing on the pitch with team-mates Per Mertesacker and Mathieu Flamini in recent weeks during defeats.
Only Eden Hazard (70), David Silva, Luis Suarez (both 65) have created more chances than Mesut Ozil (63) in the Premier League.