Sunday, August 14, 2022

Loew: It wasn’t only Ozil who underperformed

Joachim Loew says Mesut Ozil is not solely to blame for Germany’s shock World Cup exit; the first time since 1938 that they’ve not advanced beyond the first stage of the tournament.

Chasing a goal that would have put them through at the expense of Mexico, who were losing 3-0 to Sweden in the other Group F game, the reigning champions conceded twice in stoppage time to lose 2-0 to South Korea.

Ozil, who started the game having been dropped for the win over Sweden on Saturday, created seven chances from open play, the most by any player in a single game at the World Cup so far. One particularly brilliant ball should have seen Matt Hummels break the deadlock but the Bayern man shouldered the ball wide.

At the end of the game, the Arsenal midfielder, so often the butt of criticism when his sides are underperforming, was pictured in an angry confrontation with frustrated Germany fans on the terraces. While he was far from his best in Russia, manager Loew – taking time out from smelling his bummy fingers – refused to pinpoint the Gunner as the main problem.

“Today, because of a number of bans and injuries, we had to make changes,” Loew told reporters at the Kazan Arena.

“In 2014 and 2017 that was also the case, it happens. A team only begins to gel later at the tournament, so it makes sense to bring some [players] in and let it [the gelling process] go easy on them.

“It wasn’t only Ozil, a number of other players didn’t perform as they normally would. I take responsibility for that and stand up for that, but I thought it was a good team.

“I didn’t think Thomas Muller had been that convincing in the first two matches and I wanted to make a point there [by dropping him].

“Towards the finish when we realised we needed a goal we took a defender out late on and that meant we became less structured, but we couldn’t wait, we had to risk.

“We needed to throw things forward and it opened things up in defence.”

It’ll probably take Ozil a while to get over this disappointment. He’ll now head off on holiday for a few weeks before joining up with Unai Emery for the Spaniard’s first pre-season at Arsenal. Assuming his chronic back problem isn’t playing up, there’s a fairly high chance he’ll be in contention for our first game of the season against Manchester City.

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Like Spain in the last WC its simply the end of an era for this team and their style of football.


oh dear, we are buying plenty from the german market….


The players bought from Spain by various clubs after 2014 weren’t shit so I doubt buying from Germany matters in that way. Lucas Torreira may arrive from Italy, who didn’t even qualify. Bernd Leno is younger than Neuer and may start featuring as 3rd choice in the future, but certainly wasn’t part of this team.


Like the trend setting position of goalkeeper and the oh so German Sokratis Googlehissurname.


Quoting BBC: Germany are the fourth defending champions to be eliminated from the Group Stage at the World Cup in the last five tournaments (also France 2002, Italy 2010, Spain 2014).


I think criticism of him today was harsh. That said, he needs to buck up his ideas for the new manager. No more moping performances, disappearing or slumped shoulders will be tolerated by Emery or the fans now he is the highest paid player (by some distance). His security blanket is gone.

Jean Ralphio

His performances should not be based on body language but his stats and other difficult to quantify measures. So many times he has been accused of not imposing himself or ‘disappearing’ when he has run more than any other player. Criticism of him should be based on evidence and not one or two times he made a bad pass like pundits and commentators like to do. Also, when creativity lies at the feet of one player, it’s always easy for the opposition to nullify the threat. Other players need to contribute too for Arsenal this coming season.

Brendan from NY

To me, the focus is always on the body language, but really our attention should be on his lapses in concentration when possession transitions to the other team. For a moment, he gets lost and isnt paying attention, or trying to get into his formation, or trying to win the ball back. I couldnt care less if he rolls his eyes and slumps his shoulders so long as he remembers to do his job


Yep, it’s totally the body language. I truly believe that if he dumped the expressions or adopted Flamini’s point and shout instead nobody would ever have a damn thing to say about him negatively.

He had plenty of teammates to point and shout at today with 25 attempts and no goals. Half the time he had nowhere to go with it because Germany were standing still in the final third.

Not his fault today at all.

carlos vela

I’m glad there are people like you.


Unfortunately, like the Arsenal(under Wenger), he’s an easy target for the ever so clueless English pundits. Seems no one realises that he’s not a Messi or Ronaldo but instead thrives in the presence of quality players around him. He can only dribble so far and create so many chances.
We would have the same body language if we kept making the perfect cake batter for sale and our teammates kept using it to bake bread and buscuits in a cake competition.

The 12th pin

I agree that it’s silly when people obsess about body language, but I don’t think it’s something you can just totally write off in favour of stats. There are some thing so that stats don’t measure. We know football is a remarkably psychological and optional game game. It’s hard to believe, given what the players are paid, but what else can plains our away form, or a striker who doesn’t score for months and then finds his form, or a World Cup champions underperforming in the next tournament. We also know that body language effects the individual, and also the… Read more »


He done his job, created numerous gilt edge chances. At times when he had the ball every single player ahead of him was static, Ozil isn’t a captain fantastic who can win games on his own, he’s only as good as those around him.

Sure Sané is laughing to himself in some Manchester Weatherspoons.


Doesn’t Loew have to take some responsibility considering the talent at his disposal. Call me old fashioned but I would think it has more to do with him than Ozil …


You: “doesn’t loew have to take some responsibility”

Loew as quoted in the article you’re commenting on: “I take responsibility for that and stand up for that”



lol true i was trying to point out that if anybody should be vilified (which they probably shouldn’t) it should be loew

Not sure why Ozil cops for so much flak. German footballer of the year and all that i suppose.

David C

How did he not take Sane? They were dying for some speed down the wings. Hummels missed chance after chance, I thought Ozil played well in the 3rd game.


@Artro you make a valid point there and happy to see only green thumb. Looking at the game highlight, all you see is Ozil doing his stuff and his mates missing open chances…. So Easy to fingerpoint him, but he’s the only one who created something tonight

Mayor McCheese

I don’t get how a player can create seven goalscoring chances and make more key passes than any other player on the pitch and still get trashed. It’s not his fault that his teammates sausaged the caviar he served.

Gudang Pelor

Well, unfortunately, we, people need some something they can blame on when things are not going their way.


Gutted for Ozil, on a very human level. He wasn’t great, but this was team failure. He will get absolutely shredded in the German press, and worse in German right-wing media. I’m not bringing in politics honestly, I just hope us Arsenal supporters are a little kinder come start of our season.


Yup, the entire German team have seemed clueless and lost their nerve. I’ve already noticed, every article lamenting (or celebrating) Germany’s failure has his photo as the accompanying photo. It’s this kind of biased nonsense that really puts me off. I wouldn’t be surprised if he decided to retire from International football.
Let’s hope he starts the season afresh, full of motivation and fully fit, and gets the support from fellow Gooners.

Ordnance Dave

Ridiculous, when Muller was absolutely shocking this tournament. If anyone deserves a pasting in the fatherland it’s him. Trouble is the usual suspects (Boateng, Ozil) will be singled out.
The Germans reacted pretty badly last time they went out this early (1938)


lol. stop it


Ozil is a supremely gifted footballer who works much harder than he gets credit for, But…. I’d still like us to get shot of him this summer, but other than China or Turkey I can’t see where we can get someone to take him off us?
Looking forward to Martin hitting me with Ozil game stats……
Yes he’s creative and very efficient in his use of the ball, and certainly nowhere near Germanys worst player, but I’m not convinced his output is worth the tradeoff in his shortcomings.
Apparently this makes me a biased hater…


Was going to say you are a biased troll but seeing you know you are a biased hater don’t feel the nedd to.It’s close enough I suppose.That kind of self knowledge is admirable tho.?


Cheers ?
In all fairness I only know I’m a biased hater thanks to Martin, he deserves full credit for my awareness…. Were it not for him? I’d still quite wrongly consider myself to be someone with an opinion that differs to some on a Arsenal forum.
And thanks to you I now know I’m also a troll ?
You learn something new everyday ?


Happy to help

No Longer Laughing Stock

Well I agree mate. For 350k a week you should at least get someone who performs in big games, and thumb me down all you like, he doesn’t. Not even an argument.

Jean Ralphio

‘Supremely gifted’, ‘creative’ and ‘very efficient’ are not words to use if you’re trying to say he is a player not worth keeping.


I’d like to see the midfield set-up differently. I’m not sure you can get away with consistently setting up with a No10? and I don’t see the point in asking Ozil to do things he’s not comfortable with, or asking him to cover for a fullback by playing him out of position, he’s just not cut-out for that side of the game and his weaknesses will continually be exposed. If we’re going to be a team that presses? Then everyone needs to press, and for me that means a different type of footballer and a different way of setting up,… Read more »

Faisal Narrage

I actually agree with this. I think people need to realise these things can be the case without it being a slight on Ozil. It’s not that Ozil isn’t effective, it’s just that in recent years football has evolved. The Gegenpress has developed to counter the possession-style, but the problem is Ozil is at his best in a possession/tikka-takka type style. It’s simply a case of style and compatibility, and I too am not convinced he fits in the new style we’re going towards (the style currently doing well in football). These things are harder to quantify, but one thing… Read more »


1. One “maverick” working within a clear structure (and doing his bit of tactical discipline/work/defense, even if it’s less than everyone else) cannot *possibly* be mostly to blame if “your structure is left exposed” and “your midfield overrun”. That’s just silly. If that’s happening then it’s on the club to buy better midfielders or (more probably) on the manager to organize things better so that creativity can flourish within the structure. It’s called balance. Is 4-2-3-1 passe? Fine (I don’t think it has to be but…), then play 4-3-3. No one can tell me with a straight face that Ozil… Read more »


Lol! You know he’s trying hard not to let his bias show.

I really don’t like Ronaldo and he probably could be very divisive. But I won’t be trying to sell him if he was on my team because I know he’s supremely talented and very efficient. But hey…


Ronaldo has scored 311 in 292 for Madrid and 85 in 153 for Portugal…..
If you think Ozil’s movement, creativity and technique are worth the structural shortcomings as a collective? Or there aren’t any shortcomings in the collective due to his inclusion? Then just for the record… I don’t think that makes you a biased hater.
But just as a plot twist… I think it could mean you’re shortsighted? and really bad at analogies? Ronaldo is on a different planet to Ozil!


Well, my point is that if you’re going to say someone is ‘supremely gifted’ and ‘very efficient’ (which Ronaldo clearly is) then you will not be pushing for his exit regardless of how you feel.

But since you said the same about Özil and you still feel he should go, it’s either you do not really believe he is ‘supremely gifted’ and ‘very efficient’ and you’re just being patronizing OR you’re the shortsighted one.

Hope that’s clearer. ☺️


ozil also assisted like 158 of those 311, so it’s sort of ironic that the stats you’re using to bash the man are at least partially of his own making. seriously, google some of the articles that quote ronaldo absolutely trashing the madrid hierarchy when they sold ozil to us. the man you claim is on “a different planet” considered ozil an absolutely crucial piece of his success. also, if you have the time, watch ozil’s RM highlight reels on youtube. most of the goals ronaldo scores in those clips are simple tap-ins as a direct result of ozil’s brilliance


Not sure about the biased part i just think you’re wrong

Chippys chip

Well he should be fighting fit, refreshed and rarering to go next season. LMFAO

Yellow Ribbon

Ozil wasn’t bad at all today. It has not always been his fault.. it is just that dumb people don’t understand his game.


exactly. 1. His cross putting it on a plate for Hummels and his bit of skill with Reus on the wing to set up Werner were probably Germany’s best moments in the entire match (also laid the ball off for Kroos to shoot in the box, who really should have gotten his shot on goal). Either of those goes in, it’s mainly because of him. 2. Throughout the game (especially before Low did the brainless Wenger move of throwing on all his forwards for his midfielders, thus forcing Ozil to play deep with Kroos), Germany’s successful attacking moments were nearly… Read more »

KC Yeo

He is wearing a number 10. I expect more from that.
Ozil is just passing left and right and he made no attempt to run at defenders. If you don’t run at defenders, you don’t get free kicks.
He did not run back to help defence as well against Korea. I hope
he is more “lively” when he plays for Arsenal. His body language speak loads.


In the process of ‘just passing it left and right’ he made more chances than anyone else in a match thus far this world cup. Did Mueller defend? Reus? Hell, it’s hard to tell if the back line did much defending, and then there’s Kroos, whose nifty little backpass in the middle of the box gave them the goal that lost the match. There were 4 defenders and two midfielders behind Ozil in the lineup – that’s 6 players – plus two wingers, and people are whining about the #10 not running back and playing defense. Against South Korea, who… Read more »


Well he’s certainly not wrong. Khedira’s legs have gone, Müller has been dreadful, Draxler the same, Boateng, Hummels and Kimmich seem to have forgotten they are defenders and Kroos has given away two goals. So a bit silly for the fans to hang Mesut out to dry, bit of luck he’ll retire from international football and concentrate all his efforts with us from now on.

Truth is the matches have been played at a slow pace with very little movement from any player on the field and now they have paid the price.


He probably will retire from international football, not sure he’s the type of character who’ll battle it out and win the fans back


He doesn’t have to win true fans back as they have always supported him.


I support Ozil…. and would love for Emery to reinvent him so that you can shove my words back down my throat
I just think it’s unlikely.
Being overly positive whilst burying your head in the sand is what lost Arsene his job


Throwing the baby out with the bath water doesn’t make much sense either. Hence the expression, I suppose.


That expression came about because in olden times when families had less they could only afford to have one bath a month or thereabouts, The man of the house went first and it went backwards from there until the baby who was last. By that time the water was filthy so the saying came about because you could lose the baby in the filthy water and throw them out together. Nothing to do with ‘not making sense’, just saying


That’s great background, but it’s not accurate with current usage. Modern usage interprets it as not throwing out the good when getting rid of the bad. I was not using the phrase as a equivalent for not making sense, but rather to say it is nonsensical to throw out the good while getting rid of the bad. We have had major defensive problems = bad. Ozil is an excellent scoring opportunity creator [NOT A DEFENDER] = good. Throw out the defensive problems, not the #10. German fans and media are blaming the Turkish heritage guy with poor body language for… Read more »


they had so many players coming through, but low still stuck with the team that won them world cup 4 years ago. many of them are just the shadow of the players they used to be. should have never played khedira , boateng , neuer and maybe muller. none of then were close to their best.what makes it more puzzling is that they had an entire worldclass players better than them that low could have used but choose not to. gundogan , sule , goretska ter stegen , all of them were more deserving than them. not taking sane was… Read more »


I don’t entirely disagree, but it’s worth pointing out that the “next generation” of Werner, Kimmich, and Goretzka were all disappointing today, especially the first two, who were very wasteful with the ball.


His meeting with Erdogan before the tournament hasn’t done him any favours when it comes to how he is perceived by German football fans.

Prof Wenger to Emerytus

In fact it was a smart move from him. You get accused of trying to overthrow government otherwise like it happened to the turkish NBA player.


Even in the 80th minute, the entire team seemed so casual. Surely the news of Sweden’s lead must have filtered through by then. There was just no sense of urgency.


Despite being knocked out of the tournament early, Germany still have plenty of good to very good players, and they should remember that in the immediate aftermath of their world cup exit.

I think that their main problem in Russia was simply their inability to convert chances created into actual goals. That should be the focus of any inquest into what went wrong, rather than any hysterical witch-hunts against this or that player.

Of course, playing against teams that put 9 and sometimes 10 men behind the ball (excluding Mexico) doesn’t help when it comes to goal scoring.


Neither does leaving Sane behind.


“You’ll never win anything with Ozil “.


Except the last world cup


…and a bunch of FA Cups.


The Cops del Rey, etc


Name three players in our squad that would slot straight into a team that finished above us last season. We are so far behind the top four it’s horrific and the more I look at our “good but mediocre” team the more I believe Emery was brought in because his
back door key via Europa hopefully gets us into the Champions League. This is the reality. Actually, name two players.


Aubameyang, Ozil, Mkhitaryan. A couple of years ago you could have asked the same about Liverpool players. Let’s make judgements after half a season under the new boss.

many people

Aubameyang, Ozil, Nacho, and I am sure Liverpool would be happy with Cech too.



Also think we’ll get a lot more from Bellerin, Xhaka, Kolasniac, Mkhitaryan, Niles, Welbeck this season.
We’ve got good players, we just need some organisation and structure to the team, things had just got a little flat.


Given that we finished 6th, let’s see- Aubameyang all 5 teams, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette, Monreal, Ramsey, Ozil. We’re not as rubbish as everyone seems to think. If we had stayed in even half of the games that we lost away last season, we could have been in the mix for a top 4. The season before that, Liverpool barely got to 4th place ahead of us, and no-one was talking about Man U’s 6th place because they won the Europa League. Things change fast, as liverpool have demonstrated last season


You are giving the Tottenham and Chelsea squads, for starters, way too much credit. Arsenal are solid, but they need a game plan.


I thought he was good, maybe their best player all-around today. He tracked back on defense, asked for the ball, kept it moving, created good chances, etc. what the hell can he do when Hummels/Gomez can’t put the easy ones in. They don’t have a deadly goal-scorer and it’s nothing to do with Ozil. I’m still glad we have him for Arsenal.


He’ll always makes chances. Germans were terrible today. He’ll always have that cheesed off look. Still a great player and he’ll be just fine for us next season.


”there’s a fairly high chance he’ll be in contention for our first game of the season against Manchester City.”……which happens to be the most represented in the wc; yet their players will be available for that match


maybe I missed the context of Loew’s comment, but even to mention “not only Ozil” as underperforming seems harsh. 7 chances created doesn’t sound like underperforming, but perhaps he was considering the entire team performance over the 3 matches.


Lets not forget he created 4chances against Mexico. Only one player did more. Had 3rd most ball recoveries and was 1st in attacking 3rd passes. Yet he was labelled a flop while Kimmich/Khedira/Hummel/Muller escaped such harsh treatment. It shows how biased media is when talking about Mesut.
Yes he has bad games but i’ll always defend him when criticism is undeserved


Massive wake up call for Ozil. No returning late to the squad because Germany have advanced to the latter stages of the tournament and hopefully the new manager won’t be as accommodating when it comes to dropping him if he puts in toilet performances.

Bould's Eyeliner

Ozil had some trademark ineffectual displays–the lack of movement from his outfielders, the lack of space and time to think, it all took a toll on the Ozil that the British press love to smirch. It wasn’t for a lack of effort given the numbers, but aggressive physical pressing always seems to get under his skin. I was hoping he could have a great tournament to work out some stress and come back to Arsenal a more complete player, but maybe this will also have the same effect. Some rest, some specific training, and reflection. That being said, as a… Read more »


Andreas Granqvist for Ballon d’Or ??

Petit's Handbag

Arseblog, I’m still trying to decide if the chronic back problem is a dig or not.
I’m sure it’s not but Ozil is the most conflicting player I’ve ever seen at Arsenal and we have sure had a lot!


He’s going to be mullered by German media, isn’t he? Joachim Loew’s attempt at shielding the player even though his performance today was not bad is admirable but shows how worse things are going to be.
I hope this doesn’t impact Ozil adversely and he comes back to us strong.


With so many of our players not involved in the World Cup or past the first round I’m hopeful this will give us a chance to get off to a good start. A huge break imo giventhe new manager

Big Dave

Arsenal fans are used to that most weeks… One of the most unmotivated players ever…. nevertheless, he’s still one of the most talented.


He was constantly pointing to his team to make the right runs today and tracking back to defend, that’s a weird way to show a lack of motivation.


i mean if you cant get motivated by the risk of your national team getting eliminated at the first hurdle in a must win game at your defending world cup then what is going to motivate you dave?


Germany were dogshit this time and deserved to go out. Although Ozil would obviously disagree I’m glad he’s back early with lots of time to recover and get focused on Arsenal.

Lord Bendnter

I just don’t want to hear a “We’re giving Ozil a psychological break to ease his mind after what he went through in Russia. He’ll be in contention from the third matchweek onwards.”

True gunner

Germany seems to have caught the ‘Ozil virus’ just as Arsenal did all season. Let’s hope the coaches eradicate it because it’s costing an arm and a leg for mediocre performance.

Jack but

It’s a win for arsenal then


Why do so many fans defend him so vehemently? It’s no wonder we Arsenal fans get such a reputation when so many elitist people constantly droll on ‘Well if you think he is a bad player then you are just too stupid to understand his key pass stats.” Believe it or not most people can understand his stats quite well, including many professionals in the game, and I don’t care how subtle or ‘quietly brilliant’ his game is, for an out and out attacking player with zero defensive contribution he just doesn’t do enough to actually contribute to the performance… Read more »


Have you seen the chances he created yesterday? How on earth can you conclude that he `doesn’t do enough to actually contribute to the performance of a team.’? He didn’t need some mythical players to convert them, just a semi-decent striker.


I love Ozil but he can avoid the negativity that surrounds him all the time by pushing himself more. When he does, he is deadly. Although the racist criticism in the German sector has to do with his Turkish roots and nothing to do with football. They forgot their foreign origins when they are winning trophies for them but suddenly realise they are not white when they loose.

Pat Rice and Beans

He was shit

David Hillier's luggage

Maybe if Timo Werner wasn’t doing his best Stephane Guivarc’h impression we’d be talking about Ozil setting up a German win and a MOTM performance, not him being the reason Germany are out.


“Ozil, who started the game having been dropped for the win over Sweden on Saturday, created seven chances from open play, the most by any player in a single game at the World Cup so far. ”

In other words….Ozil plays well, rest of the team is total shite, and he gets blamed for it. Yeah, that’s Germany for you.


And Arsenal, all too often. Let’s hope the new look changes some of that.

Monkey knees

Not their best player… But not their worst, by a distance. Werner was like a rabbit in the headlights up top. Prolific in Bundesliga does not mean first choice in a world cup. Ozil had nothing happening in front of him. The stats dont lie today. He played like… Surprise… Ozil.

David Hillier's luggage

He’s not that prolific in the Bundesliga either – he had less than half the amount of league goals Lewandowski scored last season and the same number as Aubameyang (who played less than half a season). Reckon if Germany had a prolific Bundesliga striker they would have got through despite the dodgy defence.


Typical media. Too many fans are prey to these simplistic red herrings. There were similar nonsense about say Flamini being a weak link when in truth Coquelin did not improve us when he came back (nor Elneny). Silence there. Similarly Granit only ever had 2 red cards in his career with us and early on but the same facile media continues to portray him as a hot head, ill disciplined. No mention of Koscielny whose first season with us was littered with reds, own goals and penalties conceded. Ozil I thought made a number of chances for Germany last night… Read more »


Well said!!


Not Ozil’s fault if Hummels tries to head a perfect ball in with his bloody shoulder. Does that guy think he’s Danny Welbeck or what?

I’d say the most blame for the loss should be on Low, he basically panicked, threw on all of his attackers at 60m when it was 0-0, and left Germany wide open for the counters that killed them off. All in all they deserved to go out, but Argentina are just as shite and they’re through–a little more patience might have gotten Germany a result.

Super Joshi

They clearly got knocked out because they didn’t have Der BFG.

Ach du scheisse!


Poor Mesut. He created two gilt edged chances for Werner and Hummels. If they score as they should he comes out with two game saving assists. The first he backheels a 1-2 and flips back for Werner who volleys wide. But he needs to do more in a match. Much more I think. 350k a week is a lot of money for someone who only creates chances.

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