Sports - Mesut Ozil insists Arsenal can learn from their Champions League humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich this season and come back stronger...
Arsenal was thrashed 5-1 home and away to exit 10-2 on aggregate last month, crashing out at the round-of-16 stage for the seventh year running.
That result, along with a string of underwhelming domestic displays which have left the club seventh in the Premier League, has seen pressure mount on manager Arsene Wenger.
Wenger’s contract expires in the summer and it is still unclear whether he will sign a new deal at the Emirates Stadium, while Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have just over a year remaining on their existing deals and have been linked with moves away.
However, while admitting that Arsenal’s humbling at the hands of German champions Bayern was a career low point, Ozil also sees it as a chance for his side to improve.
“The devastating loss at Bayern Munich this season is undoubtedly one of the darkest hours of my footballing career,” Ozil wrote in his book “Gunning for Glory,” which is being serialised in the Mail on Sunday. “It’s in the top five of the most humiliating defeats I’ve suffered.
“We were positively prepared for the game. Arsene Wenger had revealed to us his game plan. He was very clear about his ideas — and they were good ones.
“Our intention was to go all out for Bayern’s central defender Mats Hummels; to prevent him from opening up the game which he does so brilliantly. We wanted to force him to play the ball to Javi Martinez, who’s also a fine central defender but who isn’t great at opening up the game. In this way, we hoped we’d be able to stop Bayern from building up the play at an early stage and disrupt their rhythm.
“Of course I could go on about why our game plan didn’t work. I could look for excuses. But I’m not going to. What went on between us in the dressing room after the match is nobody’s business, nor is what Wenger considered our failures to be in his post match analysis. The fact is, we all failed. We were all bad! We played a game that held a mirror up to our faces.
“It was a performance we can’t just brush aside. No, we have to learn our lessons from it. We all have to ask searching questions of ourselves and accept responsibility for the defeat. All the players, all the trainers, even the management. Because this fiasco also represents a great
the ground opportunity!
“In my footballing life, I’ve often fallen flat on my face and been knocked to
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But I’ve always got up again and won victories and titles following the defeat … this defeat by Bayern will produce something good at the end, too.”