The biggest story in World Football at the moment is the racist treatment handed out to Mesut Ozil from the German DFB and his fellow countrymen, which has prompted Ozil to retire from the national side….
The furore rages on with both the German Prime Minister and the Turkish president (amongst hundreds of others) joining in the debate, but thankfully Ozil has now joined up with the Arsenal squad in Singapore for our pre-season games, and his team-mates are keen to make him welcome and try to forget about all the nastiness in Europe. Petr Cech explained it like this when asked about Ozil’s situation. “I’m not in a position to really comment on that, it’s a private personal matter for Mesut against the German Federation. As a team we support him here, we try to make sure he feels good, so he can train and perform at his best. As a team that’s all we can do. Obviously his decision is his decision and everyone should respect that.
“He’s training really well, he’s happy to be with us and we’re happy to have him back as well because he is one of the key players in our team and we need him to be fit and ready for the season. He has been working really hard so hopefully he will be fit.
“In general in football you always have criticism and it’s not always the right thing to do to a player. Football brings so many millions of people and opinions together that it’s always been like that. As a professional football player you have to make sure it doesn’t move you and that you perform. That’s all you have to do – perform on the pitch and then all the critics disappear.”
If only that were true, as this one looks set to run and run, but Cech went on to say how important it is that he gets support from us in this troubled time. “… I have to say Mesut has come back and is really happy to be here. As I said Mesut is an important player for us, we want him to perform, we want him to feel comfortable. He has the support from the team and we hope by the start of the season he will be fit and ready to perform for us.”
Cech was then asked if Ozil would make a good captain for Arsenal, and he replied. “That’s a question for the manager, but obviously he’s one of the most experienced players and he’s a world champion. He’s played at international level, and he’s a key player for us so yes he’s one of the candidates.”
Personally I have never thought of Ozil as a possible captain, but maybe it would be good for him? He has certainly shown he has balls in his statement to the DFB, but is he really a leader on the pitch?