In the modern era, there are about ten times as many distractions for footballers in comparison to a few decades ago – and we aren’t trying to complain, that’s just the way it is. Of course, we understand that there are similar trials and tribulations, but we’re referring specifically to the media scrutiny that these players undergo on a day to day basis throughout the year.
Some will almost certainly argue that it’s part of the job and nothing more, but is that really a healthy way to view things? We’re going to take Arsenal’s own Mesut Ozil as a perfect example of this, following his retirement from international football with Germany. Whilst we understand the subject matter is a delicate one, we are going to reference the fact that a handful of his former teammates came out and decided to dismiss his claims.
Funnily enough, it didn’t seem like they had much in the ways of evidence, and it kind of felt like the German FA wanted them to make a statement that would go alongside their claims. Still, that’s neither here nor there, because we want to talk about the impact these kinds of issues have on players.
While Mesut Ozil hasn’t exactly been at the top of his game over the course of the last twelve months, one of the big hopes was that walking away from international football would help to improve his domestic performances. As you saw against Manchester City that didn’t really come to fruition, and while we’re still early in the season, it’s never too early to speculate.
We want this situation with Germany to be 100% resolved, and then, we want to see what Ozil can really do with a clear mind. Of course, that could have absolutely nothing to do with it and he could just be experiencing a drop in form, but you’ve got to think that this new system under Unai Emery would suit him and play to his strengths.
He just needs to be given consistent time in the first team in order to prove himself, and that’ll be best served when he doesn’t have these distractions to deal with. Ozil was once one of the best players in the Premier League, and it’d be a shame if he wasn’t able to get back to that level before it’s all said and done.
Can Mesut Ozil bounce back?