Despite his vision, precision in the pass and it being his debut season in a more rigorous national division, Mesut Ozil attracted the ire of a plethora of columnists who lambasted the Arsenal star's inconsistency. They perhaps expected more from a player who cost the Gunners £42.4 million.
The playmaker, whose touch on the football is reportedly as delicate as his "sensitive" nature, is currently away from Emirates Stadium duty but still attracts condemnation from the British press as the Daily Mail ripped into the Germany midfielder - "he barely registered an important kick" - their headline stated on an article that has seemingly since been pulled.
Such criticism is hyperbolic in nature. Of course it is. This is, after all, a player who helped retain possession for his nation, was accurate with 88% of his passes, created two goal-scoring opportunities and provided one assist.
|Nation||Opponent||Touch||Pass Acc||Cross Acc||Chance Created||Assist||Dribble||Shot||Shot Acc||Apps||Mins|
True, Ozil failed to complete a cross and despite attempting two shots on goal he did not test goalkeeper Julio Cesar once. However, his ability in front of goal is something even his club manager at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, recognises but his contributions in the middle of the park surely compensate.
Ozil does not deserve to be censured for his performance against Brazil when he had a reasonable game but was simply overshadowed by a few players around him - such as Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller and Andre Schurrle.
Writing in his Bleacher Report column, Stan Collymore reference Ozil in a positive light, claiming that he has shown top form as he was a key part in the nation's 4-0 rout over Portugal.
"I saw Germany demolish Portugal, 4-0, in their opening game, and it was those guys—Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller—who did the damage. I saw Germany beat England in Bloemfontein four years ago with a lot of these players. They had four or five caps then and have 50 now. They look like world-class individuals, and they look a world-class team. I’d love Germany to win it now."
True, Kroos and Muller have kicked on since Portugal while Ozil appears to yet catch up.
Perhaps the only way the player's critics will be satisfied is if he registers a virtuoso performance in the final on Sunday - something he is no doubt capable of.