Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil has suggested that England’s early exit from the World Cup may be down to the players simply not giving 100%.
Despite a squad full of big-name Premier League stars, Roy Hodgson’s side took just one point from their three group games, and Ozil has compared their failure to surprise package Costa Rica’s achievements.
‘I’m not making any comments about the English team but, as you can understand, if a team does not give 100% and is not fully concentrated for the full 90 minutes, then you go home,’ he said.
‘The Costa Rica players are not stars or acting like stars, but they give 100% on the pitch. That is why their team is so successful.
‘Again, our goal is to give 100% every game and if we do that it will be very difficult to beat us.’
Having signed for Arsenal from Real Madrid in September last year for a fee believed to be around £42.5 million, Ozil is coming off an up-and-down first season with the Gunners, in which he scored seven goals in 40 games across all competitions, while receiving mixed reviews for his performances.
With the club sealing their first major trophy in nine years with victory over Hull City in the FA Cup final, it remains to be seen what teammates Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere will make of the playmaker’s comments, having both been a part of the Three Lions' ill-fated campaign.
Boasting 57 caps and 17 goals, Ozil is playing in his second World Cup with Germany, having helped the side reach the semi-finals of both South Africa 2010 and the 2012 European Championships.
The 25-year-old’s international record since making his debut in 2009 is certainly one which any current England player would long for, as his side go into their Group G finale against the USA today needing only a draw to finish in top spot.
While their emphatic 4-0 opening win over Portugal earned the side rave reviews, the 2-2 draw with Ghana which followed exposed some clear weaknesses in manager Joachim Low’s team, and Die Mannschaft will be relying on Ozil and the rest of the lineup to up their game as the knockout stages near.