Germany's Özil will bounce back at World Cup: coach Löw
FRANKFURT - Reuters
The 25-year-old Arsenal midfielder has enjoyed a rollercoaster season following a bright start after his big-money move from Real Madrid. REUTERS PhotoOut-of-form Germany midfielder Mesut Özil will recover his form at the World Cup in Brazil this month despite recent lacklustre performances for club and country, Germany coach Joachim Löw said on June 5.
The 25-year-old Arsenal midfielder has enjoyed a rollercoaster season following a bright start after his big-money move from Real Madrid.
His form dipped as the season wore on this year, earning him jeers and whistles in the past few Germany internationals.
Özil was equally lacklustre in the 2-2 draw against Cameroon on Sunday, missing a great chance in the first minute and having little impact in the entire game.
“To be honest I am a bit surprised by the reaction against Mesut,” Löw told a news conference ahead of his team's final warmup game against Armenia tonight.
“Mesut won German national team player of the year last season but it is clear that he has not performed to the fullest of his abilities in the past few games.”
Only a season or two ago Özil was seen as the next natural leader of the German team with his ability to dictate their attacking game, his skills and goal-scoring prowess earning him heaps of praise.
But he has lost his spark since his surprise move to Arsenal last year, also earning recent criticism from former Germany captain Michael Ballack who said Özil should take on more responsibility and lead the team.
“Through discussions and by showing him trust I think that he will deploy his exceptional abilities,” Löw said.
“I am certain because I know him and because I have had longer talks in the past months, that he is hot for the World Cup.”
“I am certain that he will do it and that Mesut will be better at the World Cup than he may be at the moment.”
Germany takes on Ghana, Portugal and the United States in Group G.