Article

Ozil captaining Arsenal a miracle - Hoeness

20 August 2018 19:25

Mesut Ozil captaining Arsenal is a "miracle", according to Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness.

With Laurent Koscielny out through injury, Ozil was named in a group of co-captains by new Arsenal head coach Unai Emery, though he was substituted in Saturday's Premier League loss at Chelsea.

The midfielder quit international football in the wake of Germany's shock World Cup exit at the group stage, suggesting he faced discrimination over his Turkish heritage.

Ozil, along with Germany team-mate Ilkay Gundogan, was strongly criticised before the World Cup after being photographed with Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Hoeness claimed last month Ozil had not won a single "duel" on the pitch since before the 2014 World Cup, leading to the player's agent issuing a response to what he described as "foolish" comments from the Bayern president.

But Hoeness has again attacked Ozil in an interview with Sky Sport Germany, saying the 29-year-old should have apologised for meeting Erdogan prior to the World Cup.

"We would have been spared the whole theatre," Hoeness said.

"Ozil should have been forced to make a statement. But leaving that without explanation was probably the biggest mistake ever.

"I've been watching the player for a long time and he's a well-marketed product whose image is a lot better than he is, which is the only big blame for me.

"Had Low gone to Arsenal more often in London and looked at him properly, he probably would not have taken him for sporting reasons.

"It is a miracle that he is now captain at Arsenal."

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