Troubled Mesut Ozil needs special treatment because he is “sensitive”, according to Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese, who was Ozil’s manager at former club Real Madrid, said the Arsenal midfielder “needs trust” in order to bring out the best in him.
Ozil joined Arsenal for a club-record £42.5 million last summer, but after initially impressing with his early performances, his season tailed off and he was on the receiving end of some heavy criticism as Arsenal finished fourth.
He has also come under fire from Germany fans but Mourinho said: “I think it’s hard to criticise him. Ozil is Ozil. If you were expecting Ozil to be super aggressive and to be running miles and miles from side to side and to show great enthusiasm and aggressiveness, this is not Mesut.
“If you are waiting for somebody where every time he touches the ball, the ball smiles. “Every time he makes a pass, the ball goes with the right direction, the right speed, the right intensity, this is Ozil.”
Ozil is on World Cup duty with Germany and was part of the team which thrashed Portugal 4-0 on Monday. But he has come under fire from, among others, former Germany captain Michael Ballack “>during his country’s World Cup warm-ups and was booed off during their home win over Chile in March.
“I learned with him because we were together for quite a long time, that he’s a very sensitive boy,” Mourinho, speaking as Yahoo ambassador, said. “He needs confidence. He needs trust. He needs to feel that people is with him. When he’s on the pitch, every time he touches the ball, the ball goes beautiful.
“And he’ll always finds the right man on the right place. So, sometimes, you don’t see him, sometimes he doesn’t go to screen many, many times. But when he goes he is a special player.”