After underperforming in Germany’s 1-0 defeat to Mexico on June 17, Mesut Ozil was dropped by Joachim Loew for Saturday’s second World Cup group game against Sweden. The Eagles came from behind to beat Sweden with 10 men to go from the brink of elimination to pole position to qualify for the knockouts.
Ozil, who came in for a lot of criticism for his showing against Mexico, was an unused substitute at the Sochi Olympic Stadium and may not return to the starting lineup for their important final group game, as Germany have fared better without him in the last 12 months.
The 29-year-old made his international debut under Loew in 2009 and has gone on to make 91 appearances, scoring and creating 63 goals. Ozil has been a fantastic servant for Germany in the last nine years, but he’s proven to a be a bad omen of late. Germany came into the 2018 World Cup off the back of poor form and Ozil may have been partly to blame when comparing their record with and without him.
In the last 12 months, Germany have played in nine games in all competitions, winning three, drawing three and losing two. With Ozil in the starting lineup, Germany haven’t won a single match (three draws, two defeats) but they have picked up three wins from four without him. The playmaker has gone seven months without making an assist for his country too.
Now Loew has sacrificed a player he would never leave out of the squad previously, Ozil’s future with the national team could be in doubt – especially if his Arsenal form doesn’t improve.
Many attribute Ozil’s dip in form last season to him signing a new long-term deal with Arsenal in February, but his performances spiralled months before that. The midfielder made just four assists in the Premier League in the last five months of the season and failed to score entirely. Ozil’s last league goal for Arsenal came all the way back in December 22 against Liverpool.
There have been suggestions that the 29-year-old could lose his place in the side under new manager Unai Emery. He revealed in his first interview as Arsenal boss that he favours a high-pressing approach which is the antithesis of Ozil’s playing style.
2018 hasn’t been kind to the midfielder. He’s lost his place in the Germany side and finds his Arsenal future uncertain just months after signing a new deal.