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Wenger defends Ozil after being made Germany scapegoat

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has jumped to the defence of midfielder Mesut Ozil after the German has taken a battering following his countries World Cup exit.

Germany were eliminated from the World Cup at the group stage for the first time in 80 years, something which shocked the world of football.

But no player in the squad has faced criticism quite like Mesut Ozil, who was dropped for the only game Germany won against Sweden.

Ozil’s dad has even suggested he should retire rather than continue to take all the blame for their shock early exit.

However, Wenger believes Ozil’s poor performances were the result of the criticism he faced before the tournament began.

Speaking to beIN Sports, Wenger said: “I know Ozil well, he’s an exceptional football player.

“Him and Gundogan suffered with what happened before the World Cup because they have been vindicated in Germany.

“Ozil is a guy who needs support, he doesn’t need controversy.

“When I watched him play, I could feel there were situations in the game where he could have moved forward, progressed and played more vertical. He played security.

“I was thinking come on, that is not the real Ozil I know, the guy who can kill.

“He played alright, but he didn’t play with complete freedom and played with the handbrake on this World Cup.

“Gundogan didn’t even play at all and he’s a great player.”

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