After getting it in the neck from certain quarters after his performance and penalty miss against Bayern Munich on Wednesday night, Per Mertesacker has called for support and understand for Mesut Ozil.
The German’s penalty was saved too easily by Manuel Neuer and the BFG backed up Arsene Wenger’s claim that it affected him negatively throughout the game.
“Against Bayern you must be ice-cold, otherwise you have no chance with a penalty,” Mertesacker is quoted saying in the Telegraph.
“This should not be a reproach to Mesut, he will be angry. We tried during the game to interact with him, so he forgets quickly but it was eating away at him. You could see that.
“It is up to everybody to encourage each other. It is not only up to Mesut. He will come back even stronger. He is a massive player and we need him at his best. It is obvious that when you miss a penalty you are disappointed but you have to get over it quickly. That is the main thing.”
And having been written off as too slow, too clumsy and unsuited for English football in his first Premier League campaign, the now universal favourite Mertesacker has urged patience and understanding.
“It is not normal to come here and perform well in the first season over 50 games,” he said.
He was backed up by fellow German Lukas Podolski who said, “Trust in Mesut, he will give it back twice in return and make all of us happy. Friends stand together. Let’s go AFC!”
If only we could think of other players who haven’t exactly set the world on fire when they first arrived …