John Cross in the Daily Mirror: The final humiliation for Mesut Ozil came at half-time. The German midfielder was substituted, his misery compounded in the Allianz Arena, and we are left wondering where Arsenal’s record £42 million signing has gone.
He came off with a hamstring problem that will keep him out for a few weeks – a knock that made manager Arsene Wenger’s decision much easier. But even that injury cannot excuse such a lacklustre display.
In short, Ozil was bitterly disappointing again. Wasteful in his passing, sloppy with his control and consistently ineffective, Ozil had yet another bad night in the Champions League – the tournament which was supposed to be his stage.
(To compound the point, in the paper's player ratings, Ozil is given a 2 out of 10)
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Neil Ashton in the Daily Mail: At £42.5m Mesut Ozil is the most expensive export in the history of German football. After his performance in Munich you wouldn’t pay two-bob for him.
There should be something special about returning to the country where it all started for the Arsenal midfielder. Behind those eyes something is going on with Ozil because he is simply not right - and not just because of the hamstring problem that will keep him out until April.
Ozil, the highest-paid player in the history of Arsenal, is nicking a living. In the Allianz Arena, against the world’s best club side, he had a face on him like a slapped backside until he was substituted at the break. He was lucky to get to half-time.
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Jim White in the Daily Telegraph: Arsenal had turned up in Germany apparently attempting to field an ineligible player in this Champions League tie. After half an hour, we knew the player’s identity: it was Ozil, making himself entirely ineligible from consideration as a man for the big occasion. The German’s season has traced the trajectory of a rollercoaster. Up, up, up, then down, down, down it has gone. On Tuesday night it reached the point when the car arrives at the end of the ride and all the passengers get out, underwhelmed.
My, he was poor. This was the sort of game he was bought for, to deliver a difference. Yet almost from the moment the Bayern fans rose to their feet to issue a collective chant Ozil was indifference personified. Stationed out on the right of a midfield four, his first contribution gave a clue as to how he would proceed. He deftly brought down a lofted pass, then dribbled unchallenged into touch. And that was his high point.
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James Olley in The Independent: This wasn’t quite the impact a £42.4million club record signing on a revenge mission was supposed to have, in Arsenal’s biggest game of the season.
It was not the redemption he had hoped for. If Ozil was indeed desperate to atone for the first leg penalty miss that haunted him so visibly, then he didn’t show it.
For the second year in a row, Arsenal were knocked out but can again be proud of a performance brimming with defiance in Bavaria. In fact, that is another example of how Ozil made no difference whatsoever.
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Even Bayern fans have a pop at Ozil: Ozil also came under fire from the stands in the Allianz Arena, from where Bayern supporters booed him before and during the match. A small section of supporters also unveiled a homophobic banner directed at Ozil, according to the Daily Mail. The small banner, which was unfurled before kick-off, featured the words 'Gay Gunners' and an animation of Ozil in front of the club's signature cannon.
Paper Round's view: Ozil may be under-performing at the moment (and that's probably an understatement, considering the expectations he carries on his shoulders), but there is no excuse for his own fans to boo him, like they did while he was on international duty last week. Bayern fans are of course more entitled to do so, being a rival club, but still there is no place in football for the kind of slogans and images seen on the banner in the stands in Munich. The German club can expect to be sanctioned by UEFA for that, and rightly so. Meanwhile, Ozil must think the whole world is against him, but he has to understand that a little bit of effort on the pitch will go a long way to appeasing those intent on slaughtering him.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Mesut Ozil