After throwing around plenty of criticism over the past year, Germany legend Lothar Matthäus is finally giving Mesut Özil the credit he deserves.
The record cap holder in German footballer was on ITV for their coverage of England’s game against the world champions at the weekend and had some kind words for Arsenal’s playmaker.
“I think Mesut is a fantastic player,” the former international declared. “We miss him here and he is showing in England again his quality. I think he is the same player (as he was at Real Madrid). On a good day, he can make a difference in the game.”
That’s all well and good, very few people would argue. Except, maybe, Matthäus himself just a few months ago.
In October, he had this to say:
“There is no place for Mesut Özil. His achievements are mixed. Sometimes, he is world class. Other times, he disappears completely.”
And in January, after Özil’s incredible form had carried Arsenal to the top of the Premier League, this:
“[He’s] too inconsistent. I expect even more from him. Now and then, he hides and you can’t see him just like in the 4-0 defeat at Southampton.”
Make your mind up, Lothar! You either love Mesut or you don’t.
We have heard plenty of people call the 27-year-old inconsistent or lazy but even his harshest critics have come around thanks to his performances this season. To change opinion like the wind is not good punditry but admitting you were wrong certainly is.
Let’s hope Matthäus is admitting he was wrong rather than just trying to please everyone and go along with the majority.