Mesut Ozil has revealed Arsene Wenger’s tactics heading into Arsenal games against Bayern Munich.
- Ozil provides exerts of his new autobiography Gunning for Greatness: My Life in the Daily Mail
- Player describes losing to Bayern as one of the ‘darkest hours’ of his career
- Wenger tactics were good, says Ozil
- Playmaker says everyone was to blame for humiliating defeat
Ozil has described losing 10-2 on aggregate to Bayern Munich as one of his top five most humiliating experiences.
However, the midfielder insists that Wenger’s pre-match preparation was good and the manager had been open about his tactics, in which he aimed to stop Bayern from playing.
Obviously, they didn’t work…
“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,” Ozil insists in his new autobiography, Gunning for Greatness: My Life, which is being released on 20 April.
“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.
“Wenger also warned us about Douglas Costa and his speed over the first five to 10 metres, as well as Arjen Robben.”
Unlike his stories about Jose Mourinho, Ozil was tight-lipped about what down in the dressing room after that defeat. Perhaps it’s because he still plays for Arsenal, maybe it’s because Wenger operates differently, or maybe there’s another reason.
“Of course I could go on about why our game plan didn’t work,” he said. “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.”