Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has thrown his weight behind record signing Mesut Ozil and has backed the German to recover from his costly penalty miss. The Frenchman admitted the former Real Madrid star was still coming to terms with the miss and might need more time to fully recover but ultimately, he would.
“Is he over it now? Certainly not,” Wenger said. “Just forty-eight hours is a bit short to get over that, but it is part of this job to deal with disappointment and show that you can respond to it. He apologised after the game.
“I don’t think that people are not shocked by the fact he missed a penalty because Bayern missed one as well. He takes his penalties in an unusual way, so people are maybe a little bit less comprehensive. You have to accept it or not.
“Look, I believe that at the moment, we have to let him recover from that. I had examples before with people like Dennis Bergkamp who missed an important penalty in 1999 and refused to take any penalty again.
“Incidentally, he gets a statue so it doesn’t take a statue away from you. Some other people don’t mind and do it again. A penalty is part of how you feel, how much you want it.
“I wish that one day Ozil gets one outside the stadium one day as well and I will still be good enough to come and watch it [unveiling]. Ozil is a classy player and on a longer period, class tells always.”
Wenger is spot on. Anyone can miss a penalty. Dennis Bergkamp is a good example of someone that missed but will forever be a legend at the club. The fact that his statue now stands at the Emirates is a testament to it. During the 1999 FA Cup semi-final clash against Manchester United, Bergkamp missed a late penalty that would have knocked the Red Devils out and the Old Trafford outfit went on to win a historic treble while Arsenal finished empty handed. If you ask me, that was certainly more painful than Ozil’s miss against Bayern.
Bergkamp didn’t allow that destroy him as he rallied back to put his golden feet on the sands of Arsenal history but after that miss, he never took another penalty for Arsenal.
Ozil is undoubtedly a class player and I believe he will return stronger from that miss but Arsenal fans have to help him recover his confidence and composure. Anyone questioning the way he took his penalty should also question Balotelli because both men have a lazy looking run to the ball but the Italian rarely missed. People have been quick to blame Ozil but have refrained from giving Neuer the deserved credit. The German shotstopper didn’t get down too soon and that put him in a good stead to save the spot-kick.
I am looking forward to having Ozil back on the field doing what he knows how to do best and that is creating goals.