Usmanov: Ozil looks 'tired'
Arsenal's club-record signing Mesut Ozil looks "tired" as he struggles to deliver consistency, according to shareholder Alisher Usmanov.
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Ozil produced another below-par display in the 2-0 Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich on Wednesday night at the Emirates Stadium, where his early penalty miss proved crucial.
11. Mesut Özil
Usmanov's Red & White Holdings group own just over 30 percent of the Barclays Premier League club, but are yet to be represented on the board along with majority shareholder Stan Kroenke.
Usbek metals magnate Usmanov, 60, has long championed the type of stellar signing which manager Arsene Wenger was finally able to pull off when bringing Ozil in from Real Madrid for £42.5million on deadline day of the summer transfer window.
"Ozil was not (playing) at his capacity, maybe because he is tired," Usmanov told reporters as he left the director's entrance at the Emirates Stadium, where he holds a private box.
Ozil posted an apology on his Facebook account for the costly error as his chipped effort from the spot in the eighth minute was saved by Manuel Neuer.
The Bundesliga giants went on to score twice in the second half after Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was shown a red card for tripping Arjen Robben.
Usmanov added: "We played against the best team in the world, but unfortunately we did not have the luck, (but) we did good play."
Per Mertesacker, meanwhile, insists his countryman just needs time.
"We have a lot of games here in England and everyone is tired, but it is not just up to Mesut," said Mertesacker, who himself has developed into a consistent performer for Arsenal following an underwhelming start at the north London club after signing from Werder Bremen in August 2011.
"It is up to everybody to encourage and come back, during the game we all need to encourage each other.
"Mesut has played a lot of games and he is a massive player, we need him at his best. Game by game, he will come back stronger.
"It is not normal to come here and perform well in the first season over 50 games.
"Mesut is very important for us and he is a very creative guy. We need his assists and his goals, so the best is to encourage him."
Ozil found himself berated by team-mate Mathieu Flamini during the second half in an attempt to lift the German's work-rate.
Mertesacker feels that is a positive trait of Wenger's squad.
"It is good we encourage each other and we have to do well as a team. Talking to each other is the best thing we can do," he said.
"we need everyone on the pitch with their full mental strengh.
"Mathieu tries to keep everyone alive and that is massive for the team, so I would not assess that as an argument.
"It is good to show everyone we are ready for the fight."
Arsenal can retain some slim hope of an unlikely comeback given their 2-0 win at the Allianz Arena last season, which saw them exit only on away goals.
However, there is no escaping the obvious disappointment of a missed opportunity to have put the European champions on the back foot.
"It was (a missed opportunity) and we saw a chance to really compete at that top level," Mertesacker said.
"With our fans and our spirit we could have scored, but afterwards we dropped a bit and are disappointed.
"But we will go to Munich and have nothing to lose, it is the same as last year."