Ozil ready and focused if selected, says Wenger

Mesut Ozil Kicker interview - full transcript

We’re not yet sure if Mesut Ozil will be selected for Wednesday night’s Champions League game in Munich, but chances are he’ll get the nod.

Arsene Wenger says he hasn’t yet selected his team, but it would be a big surprise if the 28 year old was kept on the bench for a game in his home country, and a game of this importance.

Ozil has struggled for form in recent weeks, leading to speculation he might be dropped, but the Arsenal manager says he’s ready and focused ahead of what is a key night for the Gunners.

“I have no doubt that we play in Germany and Ozil is highly focused to have a good performance tomorrow,” he said.

“Ozil has been playing for us for many years now and he knows perfectly our team and he knows how we want to play in every match. So it is an important match.”

Arsenal are likely to have two Germans in the side tomorrow, with Shkodran Mustafi likely to line up at the Allianz Arena.

“They have a very good attitude and approach, which German players often have,” he said.

“Mustafi has brought us a lot of stability – he’s strong in the challenges and has developed.”

It would be a very nice time for Ozil to find some form again, because our chances of getting a good result would be much improved if he played well.

He did score one of the goals of the tournament thus far against Ludogorets in November, and without a goal since December 10th, it would be the perfect time to get back on the scoresheet.

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66 Comments on "Ozil ready and focused if selected, says Wenger"

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He’s never completely convinced me.
If someone offered us what we payed I’d snap their arm off.
A joy to watch at times, but a luxury player who often goes missing for large chunks.


You’ll be heavily down voted, but many would agree. I hate the way he cowers when the ball lands on his head, like that kid in the playground who hates football…

Not a patch on Denis.


totally agree 45-50m and i’ll be happy to sell. Luxury player no more no less.


I’m not attacking you personally but what you said is very stupid.

Poodle time

Totally agree as well. Strolling about – only shows up to really play on too few occasions


Totally disagree.

St. Cathorla

Another PASHUN merchant.

While I agree that he hasn’t been doing so over the last couple weeks, Mesut absolutely took games by the scruff of the neck earlier this year and especially last.

But only if he would run araaound a bit.

Ex-Priest Tobin

Thanks for saying what everyone knows but few want to admit.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Don’t follow the whole luxury player theory.

Özil is the world champions’ player of the year, he would fit any team in the world and he’s a luxury player? If so, I wish we were a luxury club.


You can point out to some people what pure class is – but no way in hell they would recognize it themselves

Donald's Trumps

I’d appreciate his class if he ever jumps for a header. It pisses me off no ends.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Henry, Pires, Bergkamp and Vieira did not go missing during games and that often. In fact Vieira teammates used to say he would be sloppy in training and massive during games.


Its so mental how people absolutely hammer Ozil. If you actually look at his stats they’re ridiculous, he covers so much ground on and off the ball. I think the reason why he has been so off the boil recently form wise is because the midfield base behind him keeps changing. He needs a ball player behind him, and he needs protection too. Even in the days of the Invincibles our more techincal players who werent as physical off the ball used to have teammates for protection. Pires used to call Ashley Cole is bodyguard. Ljungberg had that famous interview on TV when he swore explaining that Lauren would kick the shit out of anyone who kicked him. And that definitely breeds a confidence I think. Ozil needs a ball player to feed him, and an absolute unit to protect him. At the moment we are kind of missing both types of player. Xhaka looks like a serious contender to build a relationship with him, they just need more games together – Granit is a player our midfield has missed really badly over the last couple of games.

No. 8

best comment I have read on here for a while

Heavenly Chapecoense

Oh, the frail and delicate Ozil. Do Rakitic , Modric and Fabregas need this protection? Christiano Ronaldo said Ca$hley was a real nightmare. Ferdinand said Adebayor was very very difficult to defend against. To the contrary, Ozil needs to adopt a bit of this spirit from tonight and on.


Fabregas: Matic and Kante, Cahill, etc.
Modric: Plenty of Real guys who like to kick people. Ramos. Marcelo. Pepe.
Rakitic: Busquets will kick you and then fall on the ground holding his face. Same goes for the Real players.

And they’re all pretty able with the ball at their feet as mentioned above. I think the original comment is a good one- all too frequently one player is singled out when it’s a team failure.


Rakitic and Modric play in the Spanish league where it is nowhere near as physical, and Barcelona and Real Madrid get some much protection from referees out there. In the Premier League, when a team plays Arsenal, they specifically train to kick us off the park and the referee’s here buy into it because of the total window licking oiks in the media, that still think football is just about having some cunt lump the ball up the pitch to another cunt to header it.

So the English game is all about power and technique. Right now Arsenal have a lot of the technique but we’re lacking a lot of the power, and that is the fact. Go have a look at all of the teams that have won the league, they’re all big teams, that all have the powerful players and the technical ones.


Have to play him.

This is a massive match and we need every advantage.

People keep whinging about Ozil but he often runs the most in the team and last match, eh created two glorious chances early on in the 7th and 8th minute against Hull, literally opening them up like a knife through a paper cup.

One he intercepted and squared to Iwobi only for the youngster to inexplicably square it back by which time the Hull defenders were all over Ozil.

The following one he instinctively headed the ball through to Alexis who wasted it.

Would be extremely idiotic NOT to play Ozil.

I would have liked to have seen Lucas but alas not going to happen.

So instead :


Ox to watch Douglas Costa and Alaba with Bellerin.

Welbeck will have to help Monreal but he can also switch in field when Alexis drifts wide left (ala Henry)

Coquelin to press higher whilst Granit sits tight in front of the Cbacks as the triangle base, transitioning our counters as quickly as possible on the flanks when they are caught up field.

But Ozil needs to play and he needs to add a bit of ‘aggression’ to his game.

The Cbacks that Bayern have are tall and we will likely not have much joy with crosses so we need to find the diagonals with quick combinations.

If a ball comes in from wide someone needs to gamble closer to the 6 yard box.

Alexis may pull out and wander so Ozil has to make up the difference from the vertical (in addition to Welbeck), We saw how Ozil almost got the volley in against Hull. If he can be a bit more composed with the finishing (and convicted), he may well score something.


“You’re just a boring Rambling Pete, a boring Rambling Peeeeeete,
You’re just a boring Rambling Pete” ; )

It’s all love really Santori X


Ah, the good ole 2-3-1-3-1 formation


come on… Ox on the flanks is a joke and u know it…

The Arkansas Traveler
The Arkansas Traveler

Ox can play in the middle tonight. It’s his time.


I just hope Ozil isn’t moved to the wing – I feel what he does offer is really negated out there and we have better options. If he is dropped I’d like to see Iwobi in at no. 10

But I’d start with Mesut – if nothing else he’s always capable of a piece of brilliance that can lead to a goal.

Bellerin, Must, Kos, Monreal
Granite, Ox
Welbeck, Sanchez, Iwobi


Media doesn’t give us enough credit.

We finished ahead of PSG who trounced Barca today.

Weak mentally?

We beat Hull who beat media favorite Liverpool and man motivator extraodinaire Jurgen Klopp.

Now do we believe we are strong?



Come on guys, this is the Champions League. Leave the odd form back at home, with the rain, and bring on the upsets.

An Ox-Sized Coq

Welbeck, Alexis, and Walcott up top. Let’s not move Ox out wide, I feel he’s earned his run in the middle.


Walcott.. please lord no. One thing we can’t afford to do against a team who will repeatedly make us chase the ball, is give the ball away every time we receive it.. aka Walcott’s biggest flaw.


John Terry said years ago he would much rather play against Walcott than Giroud. That’s all I need to know to want the big man up top. Good positioning let’s the best centre backs handle pace. Wrestling all match with a giant beautiful Frenchman is exhausting work.


john terry is an absolute parasite of a human being though


Say what you want, but no one has a better final pass in this team than Mesut Ozil. Yes he is off form, but we are a MUCH more creative team with him than without him. Benching him would be the worst move ever. People need to lay off the guy…Alexis didn’t have a good game against Chelsea as well and bar a penalty and a lucky goal, wasn’t that good against hull as well. Our attacks breaks down more with him than Mesut. However, when both are on form, they are amongst the best players in the world.


Does really matter if we win against them on Wednesday? It’s all about winning the tie for me. I don’t care if it’s 1-1 then 0-0 or whatever. Just win the tie and let’s have something to look forward to for once.


An away goal or two would be cool.


0-0 does absolutely nothing for us – it leaves us having to win at home, because any score draw would see Bayern go through. We absolutely MUST score an away goal. Or preferably several away goals.


Cue shit performance from ozil, shit team performance, aw – we showed great character, we have a chance at home, so let’s look to the future


You said it! How long will we have to keep looking to the future? How long till this team is fully mature? What a joke.


You boys need to leave that shit at the front door before a big champions league game. I’m not saying everything is smelling like roses. However, I’m going to do my best to enjoy an occasion like this and get behind the team. If we play like dicks have a moan, but don’t start before the game has even kicked off.

Stuck on repeat...

Completely agree Gonner Al.

Whilst we all know that the original comment is a distict possibility, get behind the team lads, & show some support! As you rightly said Gooner Al, “if we play like dicks have a moan”, & you can do so with the blessing & knowledge that you can see something that the players & manager can’t. But until then show some support & belief.

It’s time to step up lads! Put in a performance. Have a feeling that we might just do this!!! COYG!!!!


“If selected”, he says. F’narrrr!


I have a feeling Ozil will make his ‘comeback’ in this match, in his home country. Time to put those scoring boots back on, Mesut. A brace would be very welcome!



Fireman Sam

No Walcott or Iwobi I hope. They have their strengths but not in the starting lineup against Bayern for me.


Hope he has a blinder – for us and for him.

Really struggling to deal with the negativity surround this team at the moment. Would love a decent performance to silence the naysayers, even if only temporarily.


Ok, well, that didn’t happen. *Sigh*


Guys let us win this game bt leave Ozil too sart coz he makes chances

Lula da Gilberto

Might be a bit of an arsehole, but with the PSG result against Barcelona, I don’t think there’s much of an excuse for us not to at least challenge.

Lula da Gilberto

Also, Ozil has been really disappointing for a while. But with a game like this it’s imperative that you use your best players. I’d use him for sure, but if he doesn’t show up for this one you have to question the mentality of the player and whether it is worth paying the money for someone who goes missing.


Argh I just hate being moderated, Blogs. I don’t swear and I don’t call others on here names. Honest.


Away from home against a team like bayern…i really hope ozil dont start…he is a wonderful player when he is in the mood but against bayern we need players who will fight for the ball…..coq, xaka n ox as num 10 will be the right combination….its just an opinion from a huge gunner fan from mauritius island….coyg…


May be pessimists will say if we weren’t top of the group then we wouldn’t draw Bayern and if drawn against Barcelona which looked toothless in attack and had no resistance in defence, then may be we’d have won…


PSG made them look bad tbf. Their midfield played the match of their lives. Also Emery is one of the best cup managers and knew how to use their weaknesses.


I understand a lot of the sentiment regarding Ozil on here. He is sumply one of our best players and needs to start. Yes he needs to perform. However, blaming him for lack lustre performances should be targeted towards others aswell. I think Ozils problems relate with his attacking partners. Theo, is not in the same class and is to slow to react when Ozil has the ball. Iwobi is still young and hasnt found enough space in front of Ozil. There has been only Alexis who is able to find free space regularly. Although he keeps scoring his form is bad. Lucas wouldve been good and Welbeck should start. Ozil needs others to play well for him to play well. I am dissapointed this season thatbhe is unable to turn a game. A player of his ilk should be able to. I often wonder what we’d be like with an inform Wilshere supporting Ozil… Iwobi, jack, shaka… anyway good luck boys. Lets turn these lacklustre performances around. 3-0 gunners!!


That’s a fair point. I think Wengers system does not play to his strengths and when you look at the others around him only Sanchez is on the same page. Ozil is a cerebral player in a team of mop heads for the most part. Mediocrity is a plague at arsenal. Against Bayern the only two players that walk into the starting 11 are Sanchez and Ozil. The standards at arsenal have been dropping for years. The FA cup wins glossed things over a bit but I think fans are starting to see the cracks. That bird that looked so incredible the night before is showing loads of cracks in the morning.

Someone's Something

Can’t see us winning in this form. But hopefully we can come out with a good result and finish the job at our place!

Danny Ragu

I hope he starts. Ozil is class, not his best season but dropping him tonight is not the time to do it.

I’m really looking forward to the game. Watching the Arsenal against the best teams in the world is the reason to be in competitions like this.


Reading your comments, guys, i love the way you’re so much influenced by the poor punditry you’ve got in England (don’t worry, it’s the same in France) and the media that have been hating Mesut for 3 years and a half now. But he should play today: if we lose or draw, the scapegoat is already found.

Rectum Spectrum

The last time barca conceded 4 in the champions league we got to the final. Kind of like an inverse ET/Elliott relationship.


Hard to see wenger dropping him. We could play him as a RW like Mourinho did at Real. Welbeck-Alexis-Ozil front three with Elneny-Xhaka-Ox in midfield would be interesting to see. At least we could keep the ball with those.


I can’t see Wenger lining us up like that, but I’ll guarantee a win if he does. 🙂


I’d do the same, play Ozil as an inverted winger, what Robben does, tell him to cut inside, dribble and shoot with that amazing left foot. It would certainly be a surprise for Bayern. But I would put Alexis on the LW and Welbeck as a striker, I think he lacks a bit of creativity and technical skills for the LW role but has speed and strength for a striker role. Sanchez and Ozil could also assist each other when running into the middle in front of their goal, as they used to do in some matches.

At least I would do that in football manager, in real life it could be a disaster but it’s not like we are firing on all cylinders at the moment 🙂


Wouldn’t that be a real sign of intent. I would be absolutely gobsmacked and over the moon. Instead 4-2-3-1 exactly what Bayern have prepared for, and it’s Groundhog Day once again. Still can’t wait to watch the match. Win lose or draw. COYG!!!!!


just watched julian draxler running rounds around poor sergi roberto. why didint we ever take a chance on him . he was so close to us every season , it was literally like he was just waiting on arsenal to put a bid on him. it never happened and psg just got a world class player at ripe age. he would’ve been a perfect replacement for ozil

John 1971

I have been supporting Arsenal since 1971 and have watched many great players over the years.
The Ozil saga and what is happening at the moment from the media and fans needs comment. Ozil is a phenomenal player and is currently being used as a scape goat for Arsenal’s lack of success in the run in for the title. The comments that he cannot play on the big stage are a fallacy. Here is a player with a pedigree at the highest level
2010 World Cup. nominated for player of the tournament. Most assists
2011, 2012,UEFA championship top assists.
2014 World Cup. Winner and started all games
2011, 2012,2013, 2015 2016 German player of the year
2016 Arsenal player of the year and most assists 19.

Is there any other current arsenal player in the squad that has this achievement? If you are a true Arsenal fan get behind your players and give them all the positive support and no negativity. It is bad enough with the media out there looking to create a story out of any negativity that is associated with arsenal.

Everything of the best for the game against Bayern Munich.


Özil at his best is one of the best midfielders in the world, But abit to often he is at the other end of the scale and just dissapear from games.

But even when he plays well people dont recognice alot of the work he does that make the team tick. Also he has been let down alot by shit finishing this season because he have created 60 goal scoring opportunities in 22 Premier league games and he really should be way higher up the assist charts. Unbelieveable he only got 4 assists out of 60 chances created. Hehe

But not sure if he should start tonight though, I am a firm believer in competition for places and I think form trumps reputation every time, and right now I’m not sure it is wise for him to be starting based on recent form.

Cause if he goes out there and play like he has been doing lately then we are basicly fucked.

But, lets see what the boss thinks.


Players make a football team and how good your team is is determined by the quality of players you have. Of course a good experienced manager is important for the tactical and psychological set up of the team. This is the reason teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Man United and Man City dominate their national leagues and seriously challenge in the UCL. If we look at the present Arsenal team, perhaps only Koscielney, Alexis and Cazorla would get into a combined eleven with Bayern, in my humble opinion. This is a bitter truth. The Arsenal Board and Wenger are jointly to blame for this because they lack ambition to win titles, but are content with getting into the top 4 in the EPL which guarantees qualification for the uefa champions league. The monetary income from UCL helps to maintain the healthy accounts of the club and keeps the club owners happy and contented.


Can people please refrain from saying we are going to fuck it up, at least until if and when we do! 🙂 COYG!

Matt P

How the fuck anyone can still support Wenger is totally beyond me. That was INEPT and GUTLESS today. And sell Özil to China while we can. He will enjoy the money and the much lower intensity of football.
Fucken disgrace