It would be nice for Arsenal fans if our German international midfield star was right in what he says about this season’s record two legged defeat in the Champions League knockout phase inflicted on us by many of his fellow countrymen.
Mesut Ozil has revealed that the 5-1 beating at the hands of Bayern Munich that sent the Gunners crashing out of Europe’s elite club competition at the same stage as the previous six years was among the most painful and humbling parts of his football career, which is hardly surprising to be frank.
What is a bit more surprising, to me at least, is that our playmaker seems convinced that some good will come of this for Arsenal in the long run, Sky Sports have reported. The German claims that all the other low points have been followed by a bouncing back to success and he says that the current Arsenal squad must also do this and learn from the experience in Munich.
Ozil said, “The devastating loss at Bayern Munich this season is undoubtedly one of the darkest hours of my footballing career. It’s in the top five of the most humiliating defeats I’ve suffered.
“We were positively prepared for the game. Arsene Wenger had revealed to us his game plan. He was very clear about his ideas – and they were good ones.
“Our intention was to go all out for Bayern’s central defender Mats Hummels; to prevent him from opening up the game which he does so brilliantly. We wanted to force him to play the ball to Javi Martinez, who’s also a fine central defender but who isn’t great at opening up the game.
“In this way we hoped we’d be able to stop Bayern from building up the play at an early stage and disrupt their rhythm.
“Of course I could go on about why our game plan didn’t work. I could look for excuses. But I’m not going to. What went on between us in the dressing room after the match is nobody’s business, nor is what Wenger considered our failures to be in his post-match analysis.
“The fact is, we all failed. We were all bad! We played a game that held a mirror up to our faces.
“It was a performance we can’t just brush aside. No, we have to learn our lessons from it. We all have to ask searching questions of ourselves and accept responsibility for the defeat. All the players, all the trainers, even the management. Because this fiasco also represents a great opportunity!
“In my footballing life I’ve often fallen flat on my face and been knocked to the ground. But I’ve always got up again and won victories and titles following the defeat.
“This defeat by Bayern will produce something good at the end too.”
Really Mesut? I am not so sure, because the very next time we played Bayern Arsenal lost by the exact same score, suggesting that absolutely nothing was learned. Plus we have also failed to learn from the UCL exits dealt to us by Monaco, Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the past, so why on earth does he think this time will be any different?