German view: Why Mesut Özil was really booed off against Chile

Andre Schurrle & Mesut Ozil

Arsenal star jeered as he was substituted despite game-winning assist. Robert Schuller looks at the reasons why.

The mood in Germany towards their national team is changing and there are various reasons.

The team

Yesterday Mesut Özil received the anger of the fans but it could have also been Kroos, Schweinsteiger or Lahm. The fans were unsatisfied because of the uninspired performance of the national team and simply picked the one who comes along with the highest expectations.

It’s the body language that upsets the fans about Özil. They know what he’s capable of because he has already shown it various times. They even forgive him if his passes are not so accurate as usually, but they definitely don’t want to see an Özil who just stops running after he loses the ball.

It is very common in German stadiums to hear the fans shout “we want to see you fight”, so an Özil who isn’t as brilliant as he used to be along with a rather indifferent body language is it what upsets the fans. Still that’s not the only reason why the fans were so unpleased yesterday.

The coach

Jogi Low told the German press that Germany shouldn’t be considered as favourite for winning the World Cup and that there are too many important injured players right now. The booing against Özil was also a statement that the German fans are not happy with the work of the National Coach.

His eight years of being in charge of the team reminds one of parents who are paying their university studies for their child. They see that it makes progresses and every time knows more about the subjects, but at the end of the day they want to see the diploma. Football is not just entertainment, and at the end it’s the results that count. You don’t have to like it, but that’s simply how our capitalist society works. The German fans have a fear that this most talented generation in the history of German football will not win an international title soon. There is no other player in the national team who represents that new multicultural national team with its technical high skilled players more than Mesut Özil.

Booing at him signifies the growing impatience of German fans with this new national team and rising desire for the likes of former players like Matthäus or Sammer who were technically limited but demonstrated real leadership skills on the pitch.

The host city of the match

Another fact that can’t be denied is that the match yesterday took place in Stuttgart. Here the fans had seen eight defeats of their Bundesliga team VFB Stuttgart in the last couple of weeks and the club is in real danger of being relegated to the second division. The fans there came to watch the national team with some hope to finally see good football in their stadium again and therefore had even higher expectations. Probably fans in another stadium wouldn’t have been so critical with the national team but the fans in Stuttgart were really frustrated that once again they had to watch a poor performance from the team they support.

Only once there was loud applause when the presence of the injured Sami Khedira, who was one of the key players when Stuttgart won the Bundesliga title in 2007, was announced. He stands for both better times for VFB Stuttgart and the national team as he was also one of the best German players at the World Cup in 2010.

In conclusion Özil was not Germany’s worst player on the pitch yesterday, but he now received the discontent of the fans who had elected him as the most popular German national player in the last two years.

He is simply the symbol of the whole project in which the people don’t believe that strongly any more as they used to.

image: © Steindy

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