End of goal drought signals Ozil’s ‘mental wound’ has healed – Wenger

2014-03-10 08:49

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Record signing Mesut Ozil is now over his key penalty miss against Bayern Munich, having ended a three-month goal drought with a dynamic display in the FA Cup win over Everton, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said.

The German had looked jaded in recent weeks as Arsenal slipped from the top of the English Premier League and he hit a personal low in the 2-0 Champions League home loss to Bayern last month, where he had his ninth minute penalty saved by international team mate Manuel Neuer.

Wenger dropped Ozil to the bench for the 1-0 league loss to Stoke City last weekend where the German had a chance to grab an equaliser late on but he appeared to show a lack of confidence when he took an unnecessary extra touch before shooting wide.

He was then booed by Germany fans on Wednesday in the friendly victory over Chile, but shrugged off the disappointment with an assured display in the 4-1 quarter-final win over Everton at The Emirates on Saturday.

Showing vigour to break forward and commitment in uncharacteristically tracking back, he opened the scoring in the seventh minute before playing a clever pass to substitute Olivier Giroud to wrap up the win in the 85th minute to leave the pain of the penalty miss looking like history.

“It was not only physical, it was mental. He had the feeling he let the team down at a very important moment of the game. That affected his performance very much,” Wenger said in quotes carried by British media today.

“Psychologically, sometimes the wound is like a physical one. You can talk and talk and talk but it takes time. You just have to leave it to time. I think he is over it. He has a good opportunity to show on Tuesday night how good he is.”

Arsenal now fly to Germany for the Champions League last 16-second leg match trying to overturn the 2-0 deficit against a Bayern side in imperious form and who won a record 16th consecutive Bundesliga match on Saturday.

Wenger’s side did win 2-0 at the Allianz Arena at the same stage last season but went out to Bayern on away goals having lost 3-1 at home.

Any hope the English side have of progressing will depend heavily on their playmaker, who made a blistering start to life in North London following his 42.5 million pounds move from Real Madrid as he inspired Arsenal to the top of the English table.

Having scored his sixth goal of the season on Saturday and first since notching against the same opponents in a 1-1 home league draw in early December, Wenger called on Ozil to add more goals to his game.

“I would like him to find the right balance between being a provider and finisher,” Wenger said.

“At the moment, the balance is a bit detrimental to the finishing. His strong side is providing. But he is pacy, much quicker than people think, and with that technical quality and that pace, if he gets into the right areas and with the service we have, he can score goals.

“He wants to score more goals, I am convinced of that.”

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