Joachim Low insists that Mesut Özil has closed the door to an international comeback, and tells the media that ‘everything has been said’ on the issue now.
Low seemed rather touchy on the subject in his press conference, arguing that it’s all said and done at this point, and media should move on now.
“I think everything has been said about this. When a player announces his resignation like that, you don’t pick him for the squad eight or nine weeks later,” said Low. “Players who have resigned will not have a role to play in future. He’s said he doesn’t want to play, he told us his thoughts, I don’t know why we should keep talking about it.”
“He was part of the team for a long time but not anymore, for this team it’s over and he’s not part of our thoughts anymore.”
There was also a sense that the German boss was a little hurt by the way things all ended. He explained that he’s tried to get in contact with the Arsenal man since the decision, but hasn’t had any success so far.
“Mesut and I enjoyed a lot of success together over the years,” he said. “I have tried several times to reach him on the phone, without any luck, and I will continue to try and make contact with him in the future. Mesut has decided to take this path. I must accept it.”
Nonetheless, Low’s clearly not letting what’s happening now overshadow everything that Özil’s given to his country over the years.
“I am still of the opinion that he was one of the best players we had in Germany in the last 20, 30 years. One day, we’ll have a conversation. I would have wished for him to inform me personally, and I was disappointed at first.”
Özil never completely closed the door to a return to the national side in his departure statement. He simply wrote: “I will no longer be playing for Germany…whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect.”
Presumably that means if the situation changed, he’d be open to a comeback. From the sounds of Low’s comments though, that certainly isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.
For Arsenal, this might be a good thing. With Özil’s recent illness and injury troubles, it might be better for him to have some extra time off to recuperate and refocus his club ambitions.
Hopefully there’ll also be much less focus on Özil’s background and ancestry with Arsenal too. The Gunners have players from all over the world, so 90% of the team have migrated from somewhere else.
Let’s hope the 29-year-old takes advantage, kicks on, and has a good year with the club.