Mesut Ozil vs the pundits
Recently, Mesut Ozil put out a lengthy statement in regards to criticism ever since he joined the club four years ago. In the statement, he mentioned that ex-players should not criticise, but instead support the team, and since then pundits have bitten back.
Was Ozil right to “out” pundits?
The way I see it, his reason for doing so is completely justified. However, I am not judging him for putting out the statement (what else was he supposed to do?), but I am judging him for telling people not to judge him. Look, football works this way in England. “World class” players are judged. Even Cristiano Ronaldo faced criticism on the back of the 2006 World Cup (I’m sure we all know what happened there). I am not going to say “if he doesn’t like the criticism, he should go back to Spain”, that is just lazy. However, I will say that he has to step up to the plate, and face the music. However, his “stop criticising and start supporting” line irked me a little bit. Pundits are paid to have an opinion, and if pundits cannot have a say, then there is little point in the “career” is there?
What have the pundits said?
Here is how Lee Dixon replied:
I agree, and disagree with this tweet.
Let me begin with why I agree. Pundits are there to give an opinion, and if a player says they should not, then there is little point in punditry.
The reason why I disagree is that it looks like a “cheap shot”. It looks as though he is being a bit “petty”. I could be wrong however.
Although, Alan Smith is stating the obvious here, pundits should also give words of support (I am not telling them to accept mediocrity), and not just slate the team off, as I have seen some pundits do. They know who they are…
Note: I have removed name, and handle of original tweet for confidential reasons.
Ian Wright has called the decision “laughable”, and I have to agree with him here. (For those of you who missed it, the link is here – Click to hear
The reason why I agree with Wright is that I think Ozil called it wrong, and has done himself no favours by calling out pundits.
When the team is not performing well, of course the pundits will say something. What does Ozil want the pundits to do? Just cheer on mediocrity? When the German is playing well, the pundits will say so (at least some do). When he isn’t, pundits will also say something.
He is a professional footballer, paid very well to perform and criticism and praise go hand in hand for all top level sports people. He has to deal with it in my opinion.