Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Wenger: Ozil’s Germany retirement damaging to both parties

Arsene Wenger fears Mesut Ozil’s international retirement could hit the German’s domestic form in the long-term.

The Frenchman, who signed the midfielder for Arsenal in 2013 and then rewarded him with a huge pay increase in January, fears the player could miss motivation that comes from playing for a place in a World Cup or European Championship squad.

Ozil quit playing for Germany claiming he was subjected to unfair discrimination following a photographed meeting with Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and that he was made a scapegoat for Die Mannschaft’s poor performance at the World Cup, particularly by Reinhard Grindel, the president of the DFB.

“I did not love it that he withdrew from the Germany team [because] the Germans respect what he achieved,” Wenger told Sport Bild [translated by ESPN].

“A small bit of motivation disappears when you know that you don’t have to be ready for a World Cup, a European Championship.

“I love it when the players are as good as possible. He loses a bit if he does not play at an international level.”

Ozil has so far refused to meet with Germany boss Joachim Loew to discuss the situation. His coach, who is under severe pressure following four defeats on the bounce, believes his former charge has closed the door on a return, but who knows what might happen in the future.

“I believe that Germany needs Özil,” said Wenger. “I hope that Loew can convince him that he will come back.”

Wenger also touched on his own future, hinting he could make a return to work in January having enjoyed his time off.

“I believe that [I’ll] start again on January 1,” he said. “I don’t know yet [where I’m headed]. I am rested, and I am ready to work again.

He added: “There are associations, national teams; it could be also [in] Japan.

“Thanks to my 22 years at Arsenal, I have big experience on different levels. There are enquiries from all over the world.”

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Sorry, Arsène, but Germany has never admitted what Özil brought to them. Maybe Low, but the media, former players, fans… no. And if you feel for someone, you protect him. They didn’t.


Downvotes confuse me, can u guys explain?


Upvotes agree with the comment, downvotes disagree (or in your case it is funnier to downvote).

Ozil being German player of the year after year suggests that Germany did admit what he brought to them, though I’m guessing that is what others think when they downvoted.


still confused.
2013 Bastian Schweinsteiger
2014 Manuel Neuer
2015 Kevin De Bruyne (played for Wolfsburg)
2016 Jérôme Boateng
2017 Philipp Lahm
2018 Toni Kroos

Man Manny

National team player of the year I guess. Not Bundesliga.


he won “Player of the year by Fan Club Nationalmannschaft” three or four times but this voting isn’t very representive because every guy on the internet can vote multiply times. Or am I wrong here?


DFB.de: You’ve received this award five times now – what does it mean to you?
Özil: The award itself isn’t that important to me, if I can say it like that. But the fact that so many fans register online to give me their vote is something that makes me proud. And for that I want to thank all the fans out there.

This isn’t a representive voting when he got 316,850 votes from all over the world. That doesn’t necessarily means that the germans appreciate him.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38630795 Ozil didn’t play in Germany all those years.




German player of the year, not bundesliga player of the year. The award is given to the German player who has been deemed to have performed better than the others in the national side and their domestic performances. So he was acknowledged when things went well, as he always is even at club level. He was also held up as a symbol of successful integration of people with a different background. The problem is that when things went sour, performance wise, they turned on him and didn’t consider to use constructive criticism to find out the real flaws of the… Read more »


My point is that there are two different votings. One is “Germany’s Player of the Year”(former “German Player of the year” since Ailton won it as the first non german in 2004) which either can be won by someone from the Bundesliga(whether hes german or not; robben, ribery..) or the national side playing abroad(Kroos, Klinsmann, Bierhoff). This voting comes from the VDS(Association of sport journalists) which is far more representive than the one where anybody can sign up to vote multiple times for someone from the national side. The BBC Headline is missguiding. It wasn’t the Germanys Player of the… Read more »

A Different George

This is one of the clearest explanations of what has happened that I have seen. (As far as what is wrong with Germany on the pitch, it seems fairly clear that the problem is they have never replaced Klose with anything approaching a consistent goal-scoring attacker.)

Klose, Lahm, and Schweinsteiger were the backbone of the 2014 team. Ozil may have chased Lozano,(and played well in their last group game), but I would contend that their midfield got overrun time and time again. Their record indicates they were shit in every part of the pitch, but the midfield play was extremely poor.

But, hey, no Ozil to take the brunt of the criticism now. Welcome to reality!


It’s not Ozil’s fault that the midfield was overrun, which it wasn’t, it was easily bypassed. Germany followed the template set by Arsenal of playing the wrong player at defensive midfield. Kroos is just like Xhaka, they are not holding midfielders. Ozil is an attacking midfielder who plays in the half spaces and glides around the pitch. Ozil is not like mosaic, he is like Zidane or Bergkamp, when their midfields were bypassed, nobody looked at them. It is the coach’s job to find balance in your team. If leaving Ozil out to be more assured defensively while not losing… Read more »

Irrational Gunner

Totally agree with your post here. In fact, it is one of the more succinct views on why Ozil should play. Even needing protection from the deficiencies in his game, teams are better off with him than without him.

Also, I did not mean to imply that Germany’s short comings in the midfield were all on Ozil. Fact is, in this WC where the midfield play was so crucial to advancing, the German holding players were no where to be found, for lack of a better phrase.


Well put Devlin. That about sums it up.

And it’s quite pathetic how Muller – who I consider to have been their worst stinker of the tournament, Neuer, who showed his lack of intelligence, and Kroos, who was far from the world-beater he’s made out to be, went right ahead and passed the buck on blame as well.

I used to like watching Germany, and not just because of Ozil. But right now I’m enjoying the schadenfreude.


Ozil national player of the year 2011-2013. 2015-16


Özil was regularly voted their player of the year…something like 5 times in 6 years although don’t quote me. So I can’t agree with you on that

Danger Mouse

He won German player of the year for five years running so it’s a bit of a nonsense to say the fans and media never gave him credit.. To me its this simple, Ozil pissed off the German public by calling Erdogan ” my president ” and after a collectively poor World Cup he ended up being the unfortunate scapegoat. All a bit of a mess but I agree with Wenger, maybe it would be better for him and Germany if they can reconcile now that things have calmed a bit. Having lost four games in a row without him… Read more »


For he hundredth time, he didn’t call Erdogan “my President”, Gundogan did. Mesut didn’t put a picture on the internet either, it was a private meeting. Gundogan was the idiot who plastered it all over the web. Mesut has every right to be pissed off by the people who didn’t stand up for him while others were being vile to him. Mesut didn’t close the door, but until something changes why should he go back?

SB Still

Looks like Wenger is enjoying his well deserved vacation.

If I remember correctly he was quoted about getting back to work in Sep.

He can afford to take it easy.


Wenger himself clarified on the missed return-to-work target, saying
“I am a little bit short for a September return to work. When you rest after a busy championship season, you lose a little bit of the motivation to come back again. But January is a possibility, yes”


Sometimes, you know, after some time away from the game you can maybe lack a little bit of sharpness.


Ozil already lacks motivation, god help us if he loses anymore.
I don’t see him going to China, but hopefully someone in Turkey or the States can offer him enough coin to entice him in January.

He is the definition of just cruising, scored his last big contract, quit international football and got himself a ridiculously fit bird.

He hasn’t put in one top performance since the end of last January, he’s been bang average and that’s being kind, he’s done nothing to warrant a starting spot, any Ozil apologists who claim otherwise aren’t being honest with themselves.

Terry Henry

Don’t refer to women as birds you moron.

Donald's Trump

I know, have a bit of class. They like to be called ‘sorts’.


Let’s face it Rich you have never liked or appreciated Ozil as you have rubbished him at every opportunity. So anyone who disagrees with you is an apologist? He’s already scored 3 goals this season and playing well


Ozil has scored 3 goals…. but he certainly isn’t playing well, and anyone who thinks he’s played well is delusional.
He’s finished and is simply winding down his career ensuring that his retirement is an extremely comfortable one.
On current form both Iwobi+Welbeck should be starting ahead of him

Greg in Seattle

Nothing like a good post from Rich to make you feel happier with your own life.

A Different George

I don’t think you know much about football. Sorry. Maybe the NFL.

Please don’t.


You seem to be in the minority Rich, why don’t you stick with the other tossers at aftv.


Arsene, only do something very interesting for you, whether due to the country, the role or whatever. I’m sure you have enough cash to live on even if you do nothing.

Getting back to an all-absorbing night and day manager role is not sensible, it is tiring, you are 68 and you are more intelligent than that and can achieve bigger and better things.


Well the thing is, I believe many thing would be very interesting for him, including some that would be considered not worthy by other managers. I think that’s why he mentions Japan and that’s why I can imagine him coaching an academy team.


Agreed, he is a bright bloke and can bring a lot. I’d love to see him in a role from above bringing his intelligence to bear, whether on Arsenal’s board or FIFA (not saying either are likely) or boosting football in Japan, Africa or elsewhere.


Roles high up, especially on boards and within large organizations, often carry with them only a very limited possibility to change things. On the other hand, working directly with players, especially young ones, would allow him to strongly influence them and would be exactly in line with his valuation of human aspects of the game.

I believe he would be a great consultant with his honesty and insights, I just don’t see an organization (larger than a club) much interested in progress, it’s quite the opposite actually, whether it’s FA, FIFA, or UEFA.


With all due respect no African country holds the level of lifestyle offered by Japan, an incredibly advanced country on so many levels, Wenger will be right at home there.

One Arsenal

I hope he boosts football in India. He’s the perfect person to make football big in India.

David C

I wonder if FIFA/UEFA have offered him a role. I’d love Wenger to be involved at football’s highest levels.

Would we want him back at Arsenal on the board or would that undermine the new guys and Emery?

I can’t wait to see his statue when they honour him!

Interlull’s suck…but, in Canada, we’re all a little distracted today 🙂

Irrational Gunner

Bomb’s away boys and girls!

A Different George

I would love it if he became the coach of a francophone African team. Not nearly as intense as a club job, but lots of scope for ambition.


I stand with Özil in this. Looking at the way his former team mates slagged him off afterwards. Particularly those classless wanks from Bavaria. Fuck ’em!

Also, always nice to read/hear the musings of Arsene. Please write a book before doing anything else! We need to know Arsene, we need to! What was the idea with Park? Why did you sell André Santos? These questions and many more…please help us!


Why did you buy Andre Santos would be more appropriate!


What did you see in Sanogo/Chamakh. Why didn’t we buy a defender in January every time we were trying to make a title challenge and we were ravaged by injuries but only you couldn’t see it. lol

Crash Fistfight

Hold on a sec, Loew is under pressure and could get the sack, Ozil won’t play under him, does have a good relationship with Arsene and Arsene is free at the moment.

Arsene for next Germany manager, anyone?


Nah, too toxic.


Oh, hell no! As a big fan of Arsene Wenger i wish him everything he wants to do, but as an austrian this would leave me scrambled(it’s not that i do not like germans, but i love it when they get battered in sports, comes from a slightly
national inferiority a lot of us austrians have towards the germans). Also Löw just got a new contract and the board seems to stand behind him and i don’t think a 2-1 loss gainst the world champion has changed that.

Cliff Bastin

Imagine if he becomes Monaco’s director of football and works with Henry and manages to woo Mbappe back and says I HAVE YOU NOW in a Darth Vader voice.


I hope he is hired as a director of football somewhere. Just so that a journo can repeat this quote back to him:

“No director of football, I don’t know what it means. Is it someone who stands on the road and directs the players left and right? I never understand what it means, director of football.”


Not trying to be funny but Ozil is one of those players who always looks like he could go up another level, hopefully this is similar to Koscielny’s situation and actually empowers him. Ozil is already looking great under Emery when he plays.


Ozil has been bang average under Emery, what planet are you on? In fact he’s been extremely piss poor since the ink has dried on his new contract. He’s supposed to be our best player??.. but hasn’t managed to be our best player in a single game since last January
He’ll be moved on at the earliest opportunity, if anyone out there is crazy enough to take him?


Not trolling, but come on JamesKim. Have you even watched us this season? Ozil has looked far from great in every single game he’s been involved in this season. If anything he’s regressed


Ozil’s been shunted to the wing – and the right wing, his less effective side – far too many times while Ramsey has gummed up the AM #10 areas. Ozil in the middle, Ramsey to the wing or the bench. If he’s off, leave him at the training ground.


lots of people are in denial over ozil

Paul Roberts

I stand with Ozil politically and footbally? 🙂


Denial? nah. If Fortnite is his jam that’s cool with me.


Ozil has got it wrong. He has been voted the German player of the year multiple times inspite of possibly there being better performers in their team. Also look at the racial diversity in their team in Gundogan, Podolski, Khedira, Klose, Gomez, Boateng.. cant really say that German FA is is racially biased with that list.

Owl faced Deeney's cojones

Podolski and Klose are black so they have lot of diversity. I agree.


nah, mate. Believe it or not but Podolski, Klose and Gomez never considered not to be german. Sounds odd?! Well, it is.


Can’t be termed “racial diversity” still.


You are so wrong. He was their most creative player all those years and at least appreciated for it.

A Different George

No one, including Ozil, is claiming that he was discriminated against in the national team. He is saying that the football establishment and many fans scapegoated him when the team did not do well and that they connected criticism of him to his ethnic background, that he wasn’t “a real German.”

Rostock Gooner

Arsene Wenger, future “Die Mannschaft” Manager

David Hillier's luggage

Emery’s doing well, and I like the fella, but I do miss Arsene’s soothing voice. Comes flooding back even reading snippets of interviews like this. Bob Wilson has a lovely voice too, could we have him do the PA at the stadium every now and again please?

Toffee Fugee

A bit late but…..Puma, three stripes and you’re out ?

Tony Adams Nose

If you understand football you know what Ozil can do and he makes it look effortless when he does it. Consistency is his problem as he just can’t seem to do it week in week out. I remember watching the German game that got them knocked out of the World Cup and focusing on him. Almost every chance they had in that game was created by Ozil. Their finishing was woeful as he gave them chance after chance. The way he plays makes him look lazy and this image does not sit well with the German press. My big concern… Read more »


When Emery was asked about 4-4-2, he didn’t seem all that impressed. I doubt we’ll see much of it other than if it somehow fits tactically for the odd match here or there. We would essentially give up the middle 1/3 against stronger teams without that dedicated 3rd man in midfield.

If he did, Ozil could work wonderfully as one of the 2. It wouldn’t get both of Auba and Laca up top, but we haven’t achieved that a ton regardless of formation and Ozil would bring far more than Auba to playmaking and buildup.

Irrational Gunner

For me the best offensive football we have played was the 20 to 25 minutes against Chelsea in the second league game. Granted we did not win, but we created several chances in that period against a better side than Fulham. As I recall Ozil was in that match until about the 68th minute(?) or so.


You can clearly see how much Germany has not benefited from not having Sane in the squad for the world cup.

Against France in the recent friendly, everything good was coming from Sane making runs.

Had he been available to Germany with Ozil feeding him balls, it would have been a very different outcome.

Also good to see Gnabry get more of a look in.


Kai Havetz is the new creative for Germany.

Still very young, may still be a role for Ozil over next couple of years whilst Havetz is brought in increasingly to play. BUT as per everything the issue with Ozil has never been offensive output but his defensive gumption.

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