Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Wenger pleads for Ozil

19 September 2014, 14:06

LONDON - Record signing Mesut Ozil must not become a 'scapegoat' for Arsenal's unconvincing early season performances and defeat in their opening Champions League group game, manager Arsene Wenger said on Friday.

"Why should he be a scapegoat?" the Frenchman asked reporters ahead of the Gunners' Premier League trip to Aston Villa on Saturday.

"For what? We've lost one game since April 1. Let's be realistic."

The World Cup-winning playmaker has come under criticism for lukewarm performances since he returned from Brazil with Germany's triumphant team.

The former Real Madrid player joined Arsenal last year for 42 million pounds ($68.78 million) but even in that first season came under fire for his frequent 'vanishing acts' during key games.

He was largely anonymous again on Tuesday when Arsenal lost 2-0 to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, with compatriot and former national captain Michael Ballack among the critics.

Also read: Ozil donates World Cup bonus

"What's happened with him? I don't know," the midfielder told Sky Sports television. "There must be something behind (the scenes) because his head is mostly down, the body language is not improving even with the world champion (medal) in his pocket.

"I don't really know what's happened over the last year since he moved from Madrid to Arsenal."

Wenger said the individual criticism was "a bit unfair" because the team as a whole put in a below par performance.

The Frenchman pointed to the recent World Cup success as a possible factor.

"It's post World Cup, he came back on the 11th of August. It takes a few months for them to get back to their best. That can happen," he said. "It's more mental than physical in my opinion."

The manager urged fans to get behind the player and support him back to his best.

"I understand that you want your best players always to make the difference in every single game and we all go through periods when we are a bit less good," he explained.

"You help. A club is a union between players, supporters and directors. You have to be united and sometimes go through periods together where it goes a bit less well."

Arsenal are unbeaten this season in the Premier League after four games, but have only won one and are seventh in the standings with six points. Villa are second on 10.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...