Germany manager Joachim Low has rejected widespread criticism of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil and asked fans to be patient with his potent playmaker, insisting he needs support, trust and to be instilled with confidence and freedom to make the most of his talent at the highest level.
Ozil's most recent display in Germany's 2-2 draw with Cameroon on Sunday was received with disdain a vast section of supporters, who rounded on both Arsenal's £42.4m man and Mario Gotze for failing to show enough cut and thrust in attacking areas.
The 25-year-old has come under fire like never before this season, most notably following a huge dip in form at the Emirates which culminated in a poor performance against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, but Low is adamant he knows how to get the best out of a key figure at the World Cup.
At a national team press conference this afternoon Low addressed the issue of Ozil criticism, telling Bild Sport: "I'm surprised at the reaction against Ozil really.
"If you give him self-confidence, he can use his superior skills."
Low has in many ways shone the spotlight still further Ozil and his band of experienced playmakers by only naming one recognised striker in his 23-man squad, the veteran campaigner Miroslav Klose.
Gunners fans have special reason to play close attention thanks to Germany's fortunes in Brazil thanks to Arsenal trio Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Ozil being key pillars of the squad.
It's now up to Ozil and Low to help make sure a golden generation of Germany stars match their talents to international success and shed the tag of nearly men, with the first talk to qualify from a group also containing Ghana, Portugal and the United States.