‘Special’ Ozil needs to be loved, says Mourinho

The Arsenal attacker was criticised for waning performances last season, but his former Real Madrid boss believes he is a world-class player when filled with confidence
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has defended Arsenal’s record signing Mesut Ozil and says the Germany international is a “sensitive boy” who needs to feel loved.

The 25-year-old was the subject of criticism in the second half of his maiden campaign in England, with injuries and tiredness affecting his performances and contributing to accusations of a lack of work rate.

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But Mourinho, who coached the playmaker at Real Madrid, insists it is not in Ozil’s nature to tear around the field, but praised his ability on the ball and called for Arsenal fans to get behind the German.

“I think it's hard to criticize him, because Ozil is Ozil,” said Mourinho told Yahoo Sport.

“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."

He added: “I learned with him because we were together for quite a long time, that he's a very sensitive boy.

“He needs confidence. He needs trust. He needs to feel that people are 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.”