• Football

Ozil can become Arsenal icon - Wenger

ESPN staff
February 21, 2014
Should Ozil be dropped?

Arsene Wenger has admitted Mesut Ozil has not recovered from the disappointment of missing a penalty in the Champions League clash with Bayern Munich, but is confident he can bounce back and become an Arsenal legend.

Record signing Ozil took to Facebook on Thursday to apologise to Arsenal supporters after his weak early penalty was saved by Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer, but Wenger has urged his £42.5 million man to use the example set by club legend Dennis Bergkamp in his bid to put the miss behind him quickly.

Bergkamp missed a crucial penalty in the epic 1999 FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United, yet the unveiling of a statue outside the Emirates Stadium ahead of Saturday's game against Sunderland confirms his iconic status was not tarnished by that one moment of despair.

"Is he over it now? Certainly not," Wenger said. "Just 48 hours is a bit short to get over that, but it is part of this job to deal with disappointment and show that you can respond to it. He apologised after the game.

"I don't think that people are not shocked by the fact he missed a penalty because Bayern missed one as well. He takes his penalties in an unusual way, so people are maybe a little bit less comprehensive. You have to accept it or not.

"Look, I believe that at the moment, we have to let him recover from that. I had examples before with people like Dennis Bergkamp who missed an important penalty in 1999 and refused to take any penalty again.

"Incidentally, he gets a statue tomorrow, so it doesn't take a statue away from you. Some other people don't mind and do it again. A penalty is part of how you feel, how much you want it.

"I wish that one day Ozil gets one outside the stadium one day as well and I will still be good enough to come and watch it [unveiling]. Ozil is a classy player and on a longer period, class tells always."

Wenger has confirmed that the returning Mikel Arteta will take Arsenal's penalties in Saturday's Premier League game against Sunderland, as he has urged his players to bounce back from the disappointment of their 2-0 defeat against Bayern.

"The result we have not digested, but I believe in this kind of game you want a quality of performance and the right result at the end," Wenger added. "The players can be proud because they put the quality of performance in.

"We are frustrated because we didn't get the result that we wanted. Overall we have to transfer the positives of this game into the end of our season and get on with it. We can try to reverse it in the second leg at Bayern.

"We have an opportunity to come back, get the negative vibes out of the game and get into the Premier League again. The challenges we have ahead are massive and exciting. It is important we don't feel down because of the result against Bayern later. What we have in front is so exciting, it will lift the players again."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close