Arsene Wenger reveals real reason for Mesut Ozil World Cup disaster

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The 29-year-old was heavily criticised for his ineffective displays in Russian Federation as the defending champions failed to make it out of their group.

Ozil played in the defeats to Mexico and South Korea, but was left on the bench against Sweden, a game in which Germany recorded their only win in Russia - Toni Kroos' late goal giving them a 2-1 victory.

And Wenger thinks Ozil's performances were the result of the pressure and criticism he faced before the tournament.

And Wenger, who coached the playmaker at the Arsenal over five season admits Ozil was suffering from a shortage of confidence based on the off-the-field issues blown up in the media prior to Russian Federation 2018.

'He played security. I was thinking come on, that is not the real Ozil I know, the guy who can kill, ' Wenger added.

Ozil will rejoin Arsenal for training on July 23, after which he will fly to south-east Asia with the club for their pre-season tour.

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The Arsenal player angered many German fans after he met with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently, and it is understood that the fallout has been so bad that he may never be selected to represent Germany again.

Speaking on belIN Sports, he said: "I know Ozil well, he's an exceptional football player".

"He played alright, but he didn't play with complete freedom and played with the handbrake on this World Cup". Him and Gundogan suffered with what happened before the World Cup because they have been vindicated in Germany.

Ozil has won Germany's Player of the Year in five of the past seven seasons but the midfielder's father has suggested he should retire from worldwide football after the reception he received in Russian Federation. "His own fans booed him before the World Cup at the worldwide in Austria and he can not understand why".

'He doesn't always have to defend himself.

Which team are you supporting in the 2018 World Cup? He's booed and put up as a scapegoat - I completely understand that he is offended.

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