I want Arsenal players to perform well for their countries.
It is always England first, but once my nationalism is gone when they are knocked out, I go to supporting the Arsenal players.
Winning a World Cup or continental championship can make a player return different. More confident. A feeling of superiority. Knowing they are a winner.
Mesut Ozil’s Germany have been knocked out of the group stages of the World Cup. And how I have laughed.
Alongside Scotland, Ireland and Argentina, they will always be the enemy – we English have a lot of enemies don’t we? I also forgot about Australia; but they are more like an annoying little brother.
I expect Ozil to get the brunt of criticism for Germany’s early exit.
In Germany, he is treated the same way Raheem Sterling is in England. Criticised for everything. No matter if it is justifiable.
We saw the with Lothar Matthaus’ comments after the first game what some people think of him in the media in Germany. His comments most certainly had a nasty undertone. A hidden agenda.
Despite being one of the better players on the field in their first game – the 2-0 defeat to Mexico; Ozil found himself scapegoat. Dropped.
Whilst Germany won the second game against Sweden, they missed Ozil’s creativity. It was only through a stoppage time free kick that they avoided being knocked out in the second game.
Ozil returned for the third game against South Korea and was again Germany’s talisman.
And yet he will be criticised.
Criticised for a languid style, criticised for not being super passionate, and ultimately, criticised for being different.
Meanwhile the likes of Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich and Manuel Neuer continually escape criticism.
It is not Ozil’s fault that the likes of Muller, Timo Werner and and Mario Gomez have had awful World Cup’s. Unable to hit a barn door.
Ozil can only do so much. Like with Mats Hummels headed chance, he can create a clear goal scoring opportunity but it is not his fault of it is a donkey in the end of it.
It was similar at Arsenal.
How often would Ozil float a brilliant ball over the top, or play a perfect through ball, only for Danny Welbeck or Olivier Giroud to mess up the finish?
Germany actually reminded me a lot of Arsenal in this tournament.
Full backs that bomb forward and do not care about defending. A midfield which offers no protection. And strikers who do not look like scoring.
I wonder what we would now be thinking if Joachim Lowe was set to replace Arsene Wenger at the club.
Ozil needs striker to finish off his good work. Dennis Bergkamp would have struggled behind these German strikers.
The different this coming season for Arsenal is we have invested in the strikers.
Alexandre Lacazette looked a much better player in the second half of last season, and as for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, it starts to get exciting.
The amount of chances Ozil creates is incredible. Continually in the top 2 or 3 in the Premier League. Next season we will have a truly World Class striker finishing off those chances.
Ozil and Aubameyang are going to be a lethal pairing. Two incredible talents and masters at what they do. They will feed off each other. Make each other even better.
Disappointment for Ozil and Germany is good news for Arsenal.
It means Ozil will be back to pre-season training earlier, and will be fit and firing to start the first game of the season.
Mesut Ozil and Henrik Mkhitaryan sitting behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette.
This season we have the men to create the chances and to finish them off.