Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil should lose his place in the Germany team at this summer’s World Cup finals to Bayern Munich star Toni Kroos, according to legendary former midfielder Lothar Matthaus.
The ex-Germany international, who made 150 appearances for his national team, feels that Ozil’s recent performances make him a gamble for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
And 1990 World Cup-winning captain Matthaus says that he if was in Joachim Low’s position, he would be tempted to play Manchester United target Kroos instead of Arsenal’s out-of-form club-record signing.
"If Ozil is at his best, he can help, but the recent performances have raised doubts,” he told German magazine Kicker, according to Le 10 Sport. “If I compare him to those in Bayern’s midfield, I think I’d rather have someone like Toni Kroos in the side than Ozil."
And to make matters worse for Ozil, who joined the Gunners in a £42.4m move from Real Madrid last September, another Germany legend has also questioned his mentality.
"The leading role doesn’t suit Ozil, and you don’t do him any favours expecting him to lead a team,” former playmaker Günter Netzer added. “He doesn’t have the personality to want to be dominant.”
Ozil has struggled in recent weeks, producing his two worst performances in two of the Gunners’ most important matches of the season: the 5-1 Premier League defeat to Liverpool at Anfield and the 2-0 home defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, in which he missed an early penalty.
However, the under-fire Ozil has been called up for Wednesday night’s international friendly between Germany and Chile.