Ozil: I will never change my game

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Two years ago, as Germany marched towards World Cup glory, Mesut Ozil was a lightning rod for criticism back home from media critics and former professionals alike. Given he was out of sorts, some of the comments weren’t too far off the mark.

Weirdly, it seems to be happening again. Not that he cares too much.

After a stellar season leading the Arsenal midfield, the 27-year-old feels confident enough to brush off criticism about his performances and body language against Ukraine and Poland. The Germans, who have four points so far, need to beat Northern Ireland tomorrow evening if they’re to secure top spot in Group C.

“It bounces off me,” the Arsenal playmaker said when asked about the latest derogatory comments aimed in his direction (translation by ESPN).

“To be honest, I don’t care what others say. There will always be people who voice their opinion, mostly it’s negative. I don’t know if they have to say it or not. When a former player or whoever wants to make headlines, it just bounces off me.

“Like I said, the coach’s opinion matters: Mr Low tells me the truth.”

He continued: “How much we run, how many springs, you can ask the Bundestrainer [Low], I am always in the top five. The other thing is just personal, it’s aura. We are all in our own skin.”

“I never wanted to prove anything, neither to me nor the people. It was always my goal to help the team. There’s a minority of fans and a few journalists who only measure me by how many goals I’ve scored or created.

“But a game lasts 90 minutes. And what I do there — the ground I cover, my passes, the chances I create – sometimes just does not interest them. But to me it matters what the coach thinks of me.”

Ozil also dismissed suggestions he should adapt his game and be more selfish in the final third.

“I will never do that, and I don’t have to,” he said. “I’ve been very successful with it over the years, no matter where in this world I have played. Some say that I have to be more egoistic. But I am just the guy who passes the ball when’s someone’s in a better position.”

Ozil also hit back at teammate Jerome Boateng who suggested that Germany need to improve in the final third if they are to succeed in France.

“We have to take shots,” said Boateng. “It’s all good until we reach the final third, but we can’t get past the opponents, are not dangerous. We need to improve that, otherwise we won’t get far.”

Bristling with annoyance, Ozil said: “That’s his opinion. He certainly knows how to play attacking football.”

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Arsenalboy

Why would he change his game? He’s the best at it.

H

Love this: “I am just the guy who passes the ball when’s someone’s in a better position.”

GunnAlex

Wish there were more people like him at 5-a-side.

David C

great quote! Here’s an idea: stop using Gotze as a striker and get Mueller up top with Ozil feeding him.

richard of York

Knowing boateng, the sarcasm will be lost on him.

Demand

You know boateng?

midgunner

Personally I think he’s played a bit below his usual standard in the Euros so far, but he’s still capable of moments of magic like that perfect cross for Schweinsteiger and that first time shot against Poland…

Also, everything he does seems so effortless and understated that it looks like he is taking the easy option every time. And sometimes he seems to be thinking ahead of those around him and that’s one reason a lot of what he tries to do doesn’t always work.

Aditya

Nobody has been showing that world class game that goes in their respective leagues. Ronaldo has been absolute shit. Pogba just one good game. Lewandowski, greizman etc etc.. Nobody stood out yet except a few like xhaka, payet, hamsik, hysaj.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Ozil is a great player but why wouldn’t Ozil want to improve his game in some areas to be right there with Zidane, Platini etc… Zidane does not score lot of goals but he turns up big in finals (WC, CL etc…). Platini was a geat playmaker like Ozil but he was a devastating free kick specialist and has even changed his game to become golden boot winner towards the end of his career. The areas I think Ozil can improve are of course goals and being the match winner when the team needs him and I am talking from… Read more »

Jakemilla

Ozil said he wouldn’t change his game. He never said that he would improve his game. Important distinction there I think.

Jakemilla

*never said he would not improve

Simplistic

Real Talk!

Rufusstan

He constantly improves his game. Just looking at the stream of articles since he has been at Arsenal about: training, improving his strength and physicality, even his body language, shows he is constantly looking to improve.

He can do all that and still play the same way he always has.

Just doing it better.

Aaron

Now I’m just voicing opinion here in response to Midgunner’s comment. I get what you’re saying about Ozil perhaps being one step ahead of the others but does that make him a good footballer? In essence, is football not a team game with origins far before the modern period where you can buy better players to create a better team? So in that case would a better player not be one who is one step ahead of his teammate but a player who can develop chemistry with his teammates? It seems this would be especially important for a playmaker: to… Read more »

midgunner

Good point Aaron. You’re right of course. I guess what I was badly trying to say is that Ozil seems to play as an ultimate team player, but those around him don’t always think the same. I watched him feeding Draxler, spin away looking for the return pass, only to see Draxler running into trouble losing the ball. This was far from an isolated incident and I thought if I was Ozil how frustrating it must be. As you said, I’m not saying Ozil is necessarily better, but sometimes on a different wavelength to those around him. I guess it’s… Read more »

Aaron

Yeah I get what you’re saying, it would be frustrating especially when you know his ability to pick a pass and create play is second to none.
Now I know it sounds like I’m going on a bit of an Ozil-criticism path here but I want to ask what’s changed since WC 2010. Cuz that Ozil was on fire and became known as one of the best playmakers in the world

adriano

Realistically, how can you expect a great player to do something that contradicts his own greatness?
If Ozil sees a pass or a play developing, he’s going to go for it instinctively.
Especially at international level where there’s little time to build cohesiveness with your teammates, it’s often more individualist-players who stand out, for this reason.

Alex Hill

Great attitude, intelligent guy.

Aedan

Not related to the story, but is anybody else bring redirected to an (I’m assuming) Scammy website when opening news stories through the android app?
Never change, Mesut.

Anonymarse

I get something that pops up sometimes that tells me to go somewhere and download an app because my phone is ‘damaged by virus’ but that happens on the actual website. Sets the vibrate going on my phone. Dodgy.

Aedan

That’s the same problem I have! Glad to see it isn’t just me

Indian Gooner

You Go Mate. We all love you for the kind of player you are. His game is kind of difficult to understand for the nob heads because he doesn’t run around the pitch like a horse that has lost its head. He is a class act who floats around the pitch like a butterfly and stings like a bee when needed be. And then there are also..most of these commentators who are jealous and hate Arsenal. So it is very understandable why he gets a lot of stick. So it is better for Ozil to let go of all this… Read more »

Ike's Mood

Spot on, Indian G. I used to sit next to a bloke at Highbury who continually accused Dennis Bergkamp of being “a lazy player”. Sadly, nob heads in Arsenal scarves are nothing new.

Super Joshi

He was lazy. Kept passing to other people so they could score rather than running. Slob. 😉

gee

Ozil plays like he is wearing expensive slippers – true class

Yas

I am confused. This player holds the highest assist record in 3 top leagues! you build teams around him like Xavi and Pirlo……. not complain about shortcomings which every player has

Alex

The problem is that Low doesn’t build the team around him, but around Kroos. He is a good player and does his job well, but the offensive is not active enough to take all benefit from Mesut’s talent.

Alex

I have been following Germany for years now and there is a real hate against Mesut. It’s beyond football, it has to do with being a Muslim, not singing the anthem (German legends weren’t doing it but nobody cares) and of Turkish roots. Scholl criticised Mesut while saying last week on ARD that he is not interested by English football, he rejects English football and the PL and that he doesn’t know how Mesut does in England… Germany will always blame him for anything bad but never thank him for anything good. Germany won the WC playing 10 and Özil… Read more »

Unnecessarilystupid

Sorry to correct you but it’s “did a goal”.

Alex

Sorry, i’m french, my english is not perfect. 🙂

Erzengel

Nonsense. It’s “he done a goal”.

Coq au Vin

But stupid none the less.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

I have to agree with your assessment. There is the same sentiment in France. Blanc as coach of their national team planned to block players from foreign descent and wasn’t even fired for it. Football is universal and some so called supporters or pundits do not realize it. I have always stated Ozil can further improve his game but I think he is being targeted in Germany for reasons that make sick.

Thomas

I was like Ozil…obviously not as good…but better than i got credit for because in the situation i’d always pass to someone in a better position so i didn’t score as much as the rest….i was the main provider though..but still..”oh yeah Thomas sucks”

Fuck them..

Lord Bendtner

I have very similar story, except that my problems started the day I began stealing mail

Stewart Robson's therapist

Neil Ashton can go f*** himself.

Thierry Walcott

He handle that very well. I love this guy! #YaMesutYa!

Alex

And today die Welt wrote a fire ship against what Mesut has said claiming that “a bit courage would do him good”.
To tell you the German mood against him.

Dan

The last person who has to change his game is Mesut Fucking Ozil. Can’t say I mind that people think he’s shit though. Makes it harder for him to get a move away.

Arrow2814

I love Ozil but here’s hoping that Germany attack is lacking against Northern Ireland. I’m hoping for a draw honestly. GAWA

Trev

Hmm when he came to Arsenal, didn’t he say Wenger asked him to be more selfish, or did I remember that wrongly? He certainly asked him to score more, and he asked him to change his game. Ozil said he was happy with that because he came to Arsenal to improve. He also said he wanted to improve his body language to show the fans he cares, now he doesn’t care? Seems he has has been re-thinking some things, I wonder what the implications are for Arsenal, if he doesn’t see his game in the same way as Wenger especially,… Read more »

btw

Amazing, everything you wrote was accurate, the people here cannot accept any criticism of Ozil whatsoever. Absolutely delusional.

Someone above was asking why he would not want to improve his game and go thumbed down as well.

Wenger did ask him to take more shots and score more goals, Ozil himself said it. Down with reality, down with truth, long live truthiness!

Stringer Bell

The man is getting stick from lots of quarters in Germany and he is defending himself. Your lack of awareness is staggering

Trev

I don’t even consider what I said as criticism. I am a huge fan of Ozil. I was just wondering if he re-thought whether he should be adapting his game or not. I actually thought he shouldn’t try to change it much when he came over as he was already the best no 10 in the world. I complained a lot at the time when it seemed Wenger was trying to change his game. I am just wondering if his view of his game was now at odds with Wenger. Also, I know he was defending himself under questioning, I… Read more »

GoonerN16

Cool Dude, class act….

Super Joshi

To be fair he’s no Bendtner is he.

Gervinho

I have this belief that Ozil runs complex algorithms constantly in his head to determine where the ball must go next and also where he must move to. I think that he might need to tweak the algorithm slightly to factor in who is receiving the ball. For instance, he has the ball and the algorithm tells him that he has a 32% chance to score, but a ball played at 22mph at approximately 74 degrees will allow his teammate a 41% chance to score…so he makes the pass. Unfortunately, his teammate is not technically perfect (like Ozil is), so… Read more »

Eddie McGoldrick

Amazing comment

assistantref

I would think after a gear of watching Walcott and Giroud balloon them over he has plenty of data points for further refinement.

julpearl

Ozil don’t worry about critics they’re jealous of your success. Your style of play is what makes you who you are. We love you to bits best player in 21st century.

ClockEndRider

Honestly, some people will never be happy until they gave a load of Jordan Henderson clones in midfield. Why not, their body language would show how much “Pashun” they have and they would show serious effort in dragging their lumbering body around the pitch like they’ve been asked to do a triathlon carrying 2 cwt of coal. Oh and they have the refined touch of a demolition wrecking ball and the ability to thread a through ball comparable with the knitting skills of a myopic 80 year wearing boxing gloves.
But most importantly, their levels of “Pashun” would be unquestionable…..

santori

19 assists this season in league. I think he enjoys being with us because Arsene truly appreciates what he does. Again media will prefer to target one of our players. When he comes up with the assist (For Shweinsteigger), the focus is on the aging product and not the killer cross. No mention either of how Wenger has developed Koscielny into one of the best defenders around considering he had only one top flight season in France. Or how Giroud has put in 8 goals for France in last 6 competitions. All he criticism on Giroud, in his best season… Read more »

Stillmatic

I wonder if this is endemic of Europe or the world’s media in general. Look at the players that get it the most in every country, and they tend to be labelled their best player. France = Pogba now. And before him, all their best players got it; from Henry to Zidane. Germany = Ozil. Sweden = Zlatan (though tbf, he deserves it). England = Write now, Rooney (though Sterling is helping to deflect attention). Spain = Everyone (though Cesc was the one before). Just noticed another variable. Other than Rooney, all those other players spent the early part of… Read more »

Coq au Vin

I wish I could right.

Coq au Vin

…Like the Arseblog team. They don’t need to change there game.