'Ozil isn't the leader he wants to be' - Germany flop savaged again by Basler

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Jewel Samad
Having previously accused the Arsenal playmaker of having the 'body language of a dead frog', further criticism has accompanied a World Cup exit

Mesut Ozil has been targeted for criticism once again in the wake of Germany’s disastrous World Cup exit, with Mario Basler claiming the Arsenal playmaker “is not the leader he wants to be”.

Having been unceremoniously dropped for a 2-1 victory over Sweden, the 29-year-old returned to Joachim Low’s starting XI for a crunch clash with South Korea.

Victory in that contest would have seen the reigning champions through to the last 16, but two stoppage-time goals saw them dumped out in remarkable fashion.

An inquest into what went wrong has now begun, with too many so-called stars having failed to perform on Russian soil – with Ozil being singled out as one of those to have badly underperformed.

Former Germany international Basler told at the World Cup Business Viewing in Cologne Rheinloft: “The players were not at 100 per cent and nobody was able to lead the team.”

He added on Ozil: “He is not the leader he wants to be.”

Basler had previously accused Ozil of having the “body language of a dead frog” after an underwhelming performance in a 1-0 defeat to Mexico.

He was not the only one to flop on a global stage this summer, though, with many asked to “think hard about whether they really want to wear the national jersey again.”

Ozil was, however, to be confronted by disappointed fans on Wednesday after a frustrating evening all round for Die Mannschaft.

Low must now decide which players are retained within the ranks heading forward, with a manager tied to a contract through to 2022 absolved of blame by Basler.

He added: “If the players do not bring their form, then you are powerless as a coach.”

Former Bayer Leverkusen manager and director Reiner Calmund echoed those thoughts, with the German squad urged to “be self-critical and show humility”.

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While there will be further uncomfortable questions asked of the playing and coaching staff over the coming weeks, Calmund insists it would be wrong to overhaul the national side.

He added: “We cannot put everything in ruins.”

There is, however, much work to be done from this point, with the German media and former players having led the calls for change on the back of a humbling group stage exit in Russia.

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