Mesut Ozil – Sport BILD interview transcript

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Reports: Ozil to miss Liverpool with illness

Earlier today quotes emerged from a Mesut Ozil interview with SportBILD, in which he talked about how he was singled out for criticism, his ‘heart’ beating for Real Madrid and more.

As ever with these things, mere snippets don’t provide the full context, so with thanks to Lewis Ambrose (‪@LGAmbrose‬), we can give you that.

This is all the Arsenal related stuff from his interview.

PLEASE NOTE: To websites/blogs/media organisations: if you take the translation from here, a link back to this article would be greatly appreciated.

Mr. Özil, in 31 games for Arsenal you’ve scored nine – more than ever before – and got nine assists. Why are you still criticised so often?

Actually it is extreme in both directions. When I’m out and about loads of fans call my name, they want a photo. The national team fan club just voted me player of the year, millions visit my social media sites. Numbers don’t lie.

On the other side there are critics and the expectations on me are extreme. People know what I’ve achieved. That I’m a world champion, have played for Real Madrid, had 20 assists last season. So when it isn’t going great for the team, someone gets picked out – unfortunately, often it’s me.

How do you deal with that?

Eventually you have thick skin. It used to trouble me, I thought about it, but if you continue like that you’ll be broken. I have become stronger and not everyone can like you. But you know what makes me. Proud? That the Arsenal fans have written an Özil song.

In that the fans sing you’re better than Zidane! You wrote about that in your book, ‘Magician of the game’.

I have never experienced something like that in a club. Every time the fans sing it I get goosebumps.

How would you rate your season?

I started strongly but – like the team in general – not kept up my performance. When it isn’t going well overall it is twice as hard for a creative player. Take the games against Bayern, for instance.

Arsenal lost 5-1 twice! You were accused of sinking again

Exactly. But I’m not the type of player to chase after the ball the whole time, everyone knows that. My potential lies far more on the offensive side. I’m supposed to be dangerous, create chances, score goals. When I don’t get the ball, that’s difficult.

Your contract expires in 2018. Is it right that Arsenal have withdrawn their offer to you?

You must not believe everything you read. I will just say I have one year to go and I love to run onto the pitch for the club. At the moment everything is open. Let’s wait and see what happens.

The fans would like to chase Arsène Wenger away! Mats Hummels recently said after Carlo Ancelotti was spat at (by Hertha Berlin fans, not Bayern) that fans have less and less respect. Do you see it similarly?

I appreciate the enthusiasm of our fans, the passion. But there have to be limits. I agree with Mats there. We are people, we make mistakes like everyone else. Anyone who works in football and in the public eye has to deal with pressure, that’s a part of it. But one should maintain respect for people and not exceed certain limits.

Is a Bundesliga comeback conceivable one day?

I wouldn’t want to rule it out. Many relatives – especially my mum – would welcome it if I were closer- But you can never plan these things in football.

So, there you go, unsurprisingly they’re being sensationalised elsewhere.

We could definitely use the Ozil from the first half of the season if we’re to finish strongly, and Sunday would be a great start there.

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Hoosier Gunner
Hoosier Gunner

Is this the season with the most # of interviews by Mesut?

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

“But you know what makes me. Proud? That the Arsenal fans have written an Özil song.

I have never experienced something like that in a club. Every time the fans sing it I get goosebumps.”

I can’t help but think if we had more fans singing and supporting our players at home matches we’d have a much more productive team. Yes football is overly expensive, but it’s a two way experience not a passive one. Sing up gooners!

215Arse
215Arse

Agreed. It’s so quiet at the Emirates unless it’s a big match. Sad really.

Greg
Greg

Look at the prices. The club push passionate fans away. More interested in tourist £’s

Florin
Florin

Long story short, Arsene and Mesut will stay, Alexis will go.

Futsboller
Futsboller

Alexis will stay – he loves Arsenal, and the feeling is mutual!

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

Alexis loves playing football and open spaces for his dogs. We need to find a unique way to combine the two ?

Martin
Martin

Why are there so many toxic fans disapproving of this comments ?

Gimpaldinho
Gimpaldinho

Probably because its nonsense, as much as I want players of his quality to stay, it seems very unlikely that will happen now.

Heavenly Chapecoense
Heavenly Chapecoense

I approved the said comment but would have down voted yours 1000 times if I could because of freedom of speech.

Bob\'s Mexican Cousin
Bob\'s Mexican Cousin

Is there space for more crests in his shrine in Tocopilla?

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

Would much much prefer it, if it were the other way around.

Sanchez to stay is a must. Ozil if he signs great, but he is replaceable. As for Wenger staying, that would just kill the club.

Why not
Why not

Nah. Rate Ozil more. Less of a prick.

Raaja
Raaja

Seems he wants to stay…

Anon
Anon

Have a feeling this break will do wonders for us. Foot in mouth but I think we’ll beat City this weekend.

clins
clins

” But I’m not the type of player to chase after the ball the whole time, everyone knows that. ”

this is exactly whats wrong with ozil. however good player you are you need to do the defensive part of the game. there are no individuals , team is what matters . this kind of behaviour will never be tolerated in teams coached by the best managers in europe . you will never see a single individual staying still in guardiolas team. even neymar and messi defends for the team , why cant he

Alex
Alex

Neymar and Messi defend??? Oh, ok… There are other ways to defend than making ugly tackles. Mesut is used to block the connections between opponents and prevent them from a passing solution. Check it out, it’s very interesting to see…

Alex
Alex

Btw, do you include Löw and Mourinho into the circle of the best coaches in Europe? They work(ed) with Özil, you know…

salmok
salmok

agreed.

thats fine if you can deliver like ronaldinho but when i see 34 year old rosicky chasing to press opponents and mesut jogging around chewing gum…thats where i draw a line…

oh and imo..when rosicky broke out as ten in the early 00’s…infinitely better than anything weve seen from mesut.

tomaas very unlucky with injuries…him and totti and kaka perhaps the last actual tens of world football.

Hoosier Gunner
Hoosier Gunner

So convenient, comparing a player who hardly played, with Mesut.
What’s next? Ledley King was infinitely better than Koscielny/Mustafi?

Vespertillio
Vespertillio

Walob.

Mourinho worked out that no one provides the bullets for strikers better than Mesut.Ronaldo loved him (no not the fat one).Löw ditto.Both managers used him and once a victory is secure he was pulled because he’s not a defensive minded player. This crap only gets wheeled our when we lose. Something that’s more down to our none existent midfield shield or no defensive strategy.

clins
clins

low plays ozil frequently , i agree.because its easier for them , they have sauch talented players in every position that they dominate every game they play, so all ozil needs is to create chances.

mourinho never favoured him. he always favoured other players over ozil so they had bad blood between them and by the end of season he was out of the first team altogether , thats how arsenal got him in the first place. theres whole bunch of articles with ozil quoting on this. this is the same mournho that critisized and benched player of the year hazard and mkitriyan for not defending enough. its not like they were not defending , they were defending but its still not enough for him.

Sir Henry Norris\'s Brown Envelope
Sir Henry Norris\'s Brown Envelope

The former Real Madrid manager José Mourinho, spoke about Mesut Özil’s departure from his old club: “Özil is unique. There is no copy of him – not even a bad one. He is the best number 10 in the world.”

clins
clins

In particular, Ozil recounts an episode where Mourinho called him out at halftime of a match, undressing him verbally in front of the whole team.

“You think two beautiful passes are enough,” raged Mourinho. “You think you’re so good that fifty percent is enough. You think you are too nice to tackle.”

“He pauses. Stares at me with his dark brown eyes. I stare back. Like two boxers at the stare-down before the first round. He shows no emotion. Just waits for a response from me. How much I hate him right now. And I love Mourinho actually.”

Mourinho then proceeded to illustrate Ozil’s tackling deficiency in colorful fashion. “Do you know what your tackling looks like? No? I’ll show you.”

According to Ozil, Mourinho then mimicked a rabbit, pursing his lips, pulling his hands close to his side, and hopping around the dressing room.

Ozil writes that this sent him over the edge, and he then threw his jersey at Mourinho, daring him to go out and do better himself. That didn’t make things any better, and Mou fired back. “Oh, are you giving up now? You’re such a coward. What do you want? To creep under the beautiful, warm shower? Shampoo your hair? To be alone? Or do you want to prove to your fellow players, the fans out there, and me, what you can do.”

http://www.foxsports.com/soccer/story/mesut-ozil-jose-mourinho-coward-real-madrid-book-excerpt-030217

Nikki
Nikki

The comment about him not the type of player who chase after the ball the whole time, is that kind of mindset detriminal to him? Nowadays, even creative players need to prepare to chase and press the ball in unity everytime the team out of possession. I think it’s better if rather than concede that he’s not good at it, he should want to improve that side of him.

Alex
Alex

The problem is that whe he tackles more than Xhaka + Coquelin in Munich, nobody cares. I’d be very curious to know how often the untouchable Sanchez tackles

EdmundHill

I just think that it would stunt the creative/attacking side of his game. Currently, he depends a lot on being free to take up spaces so that when the team has the ball, he’s able to capitalise. Chasing after the ball means the other team’s possession determines where he finds himself.

But perhaps you’re right. He’s intelligent. I think he can find a way to press while keeping alert on what space is available to him when the team gets back possession. On the other hand, perhaps it’s a matter of systems. If Arsenal had a system that’s more set and rigid (as opposed to the fluidity that’s based on players’ own intuition and understanding), which ensured Ozil has very specific instructions on what to do and when, perhaps that would help improve that part of his game. I still think it would compromise his creative ability and instinct a bit though.

Clerkenwell Gooner
Clerkenwell Gooner

I believe this is what was meant by his comment. It’s to say that he is more effective for the team if he looks to space to launch counter-offensive moves. Not that he’s above pressing.

I really don’t understand the willingness to let a player like Özil go. People seem to have forgotten that just last season he had the top assists in Europe! The system this season hasn’t suited that side of his game quite so well but he’s still a massive player for us.

Hoosier Gunner
Hoosier Gunner

There are two ways of looking at it. You either work on your flaws to round out your overall game or if your strengths outweigh your weaknesses, the coach can always implement systems that don’t expose it. Mesut turns 29 this year. I think it is unwise to work on his flaws, rather than using him properly to maximize his obvious strengths.

There are many examples of players who don’t really “chase the ball” or “get dirty in the ditches”. That doesn’t mean they don’t ever press or defend. We only perceive the tangible things like chasing and harrying and don’t pick up on things like blocking passing lanes, being in the right place at the right time, etc.

At this point, playing as a defender or a midfielder at Arsenal is a tough one. You’re going to look bad.

vino
vino

“When it isn’t going well overall it is twice as hard for a creative player.”

I feel for him on that. Wenger specifically wants him to focus on attack and his natural talent, and he seems to be very happy being given that freedom. If people want to complain that he doesn’t contribute enough defensively then they should have a go at Arsene because it was the same with Fabregas. He wants them free of responsibility- you get 20 assists when it works, you get hammered when it doesn’t. But it’s not really the player’s fault.

It’s kind of an all or nothing situation with him under Wenger, at ManU (god forbid), he’d never get anywhere near 20 assists in a season. But he’d be doing a lot of dog work for the team. Maybe people would prefer him used like that and that’s fine, but it’s not his decision to play how he wants despite what people think about Wenger’s lack of tactical instructions to players. They do have instructions and Ozil’s are clearly to concentrate on his strong points.

There does feel like a bit of bias imo. Maybe it’s just the Arsenal goggles, but Ozil has never had a season as bad as Eden Hazard had last year, and he seems to get off fine. Just had a bad season. You don’t see him running about like pundit’s dream N’Golo Kante tackling in his own half either. And this is a player who most certainly WAS under tactical defensive instruction and not carrying it out properly.

Tapps

I know that this may be sacrilege, but I saw Bergkamp have stinkers too. When you buy a player of this ilk, you can’t expect him to perform the chores he wasn’t bought for. Ozil is a luxury player (and a very good one at that) – but you can only afford this type of player if you have the rest of the team play around him and cover for his deficiencies. IMO, we don’t have this at the moment. The resolution is to either get rid of him, or build the team around him. Given his obvious talent, I would choose the latter.

Me So Hornsey
Me So Hornsey

I think what he means is he’s not N’Golo fucking Kante and in this respect I do have sympathy for him.

But on the other hand he did beg Wenger to switch to the middle a couple of seasons back.

In this league, a creative no.10 that doesn’t press and can’t tackle is really going to put pressure on his team mates unless he takes up a ‘drifting winger’ position and is supported by a 3 man midfield.

It makes us way too top heavy in attacking transitions and I feel it is part of the reason our midfielders and centre backs have looked so exposed on the break and the lack of confidence eminating from this Has excaserbated our firm.

Me So Hornsey
Me So Hornsey

*form

Alex
Alex

Guys, guys, it’s truly time to give him a break with all the “defensive” critics! Mesut is used by wprl d class coaches who have never complained about him, he has won several big trophies, he’s got the same rate as Sanchez against the big PL teams… It’s time to just look at his way of playing, look at the team with and without him (much better without than with then defensively speaking if we follow your thoughts, no?) and to stop listening to MOTD or s*** like this!

santori
santori

I think a couple of things :

1) He mentions his relation to the rest of midfield which I think becomes acute in bigger games when the deeper midfield drop too far back and is seperated. We have had issues functioning in midfield this season. Granit is naturally a deeper playmaker but Coquelin is also naturally more cautious by nature as a DM. When instructed to sit deeper, they get dissconnected with Ozil and the German drifts out of the picture.

2) He’s stronger this season but Ozil still pretty much performs better over one half of season. We need someone -else to act as surrogate in his position. Iwobi has been tried there to some effect but is still learning. I think the player who can reap us benefit from Ozil’s position the most is frankly Ramsey who has hitherto been played in myriad positions to mixed effect.

3) I think Alexis looks as good as gone in the summer. Wenger (should he stay a season to transition the team for an eventual handover) may be able to convince Ozil to extend a season at very least. Players of his ilk are hard to come by these days and the clubs that have them may not relinquish them so easily. If say we sell on Ozil, where does he go? Bayern? PSG?

If PSG, I would try and grab Pastore as a swap deal. We will have to readjust our style of play fundamentally with more playmaking coming from Granit (and Santi). Pastore may almost play a second striker behind the main CF.

Either way, an Ozil exit will leave us with plenty of food for thought as to how the team can be re-arranged. It is not an easy task but one Wenger tends to excel in (on field tactics and such otherwise)

Which is why it may still be desirable to have Wenger sort through the potential issues in the summer, hold another season before handing over.

santori
santori

Even if should we retain Ozil for one more season, I think Wenger will do himself a massive favour by looking into our current issues in deep midfield.

Granit looks solid. There is a good player in Coquelin but we know he works better with certain players only at the moment. There is still a chance he can work a better relationship on the pitch with Granit.

The superb Santi is over 30+ and carrying injury so should not be relied upon to be available (see Arteta and Rosicky last season)

Ramsey I feel is better attacking midfield in lieu of Ozil.

Jack looks like he hasn’t rediscovered any mojo at Bournmouth. He may be gone.

Elneny to me is an average player at best. The sort content enough to come off the bench if need be which I would say is why we signed him.

Then there is the Ox who has done reasonably well in the position but clearly has to come to grips with the defensive responsibilities as his instinct is to go forward. Personally I feel he is best for us out wide (particularly if we lose Alexis and vacate additional space with Walcott whom I think should be sold)

Potentially we haven’t tried Iwobi deeper in midfield. I think he may have the strength, technique and ability to pick through passes from deep. BUT he is also still on a learning curve and cannot be relied upon as a main starter in the position yet.

So I feel whilst we may have to watch replacing say Alexis, Walcott, Ozil (maybe a fullback Lback…Chambers I feel should come back into Rback which was his natural position for Soton), deep midfield may still need reinforcing.

Someone either like Fabinho at Monaco, leggy Diaby/Gilberto mix, may be a reasonable player to bring in.

Or if we should one someone a bit more attacking minded to link better another candidate (probably more expensive) would be Saul Niguez at Athletico. Quick feet and someone who can be brought in now to replace Santi eventually in another season down.

But midfield needs attention. Its been defunct this season and IMO the root to many of our short falls.