Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes midfielder Mesut Ozil allowed his penalty miss against Bayern Munich last month to affect him too much as the Gunners prepare for the return leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against the Bundesliga side.
Ozil looked back to somewhere near his best in Saturday’s FA Cup quarterfinal win against Everton. That upturn in form is well-timed, as the Gunners need to overturn a 2-0 deficit on Tuesday at the Allianz Arena if they are to reach the last eight.
Wenger is convinced his club-record signing has now recovered from the emotional disappointment of his weak spot-kick, that was saved by Bayern’s Manuel Neuer at the Emirates, and can spearhead a comeback for the Londoners.
“I think it affected him mentally too much, the penalty he missed against Bayern. It was not only physical, it was mental,” Wenger told national newspapers.
“He had the feeling he let the team down at a very important moment of the game, that affected his performance very much. Psychologically sometimes the wound is like a physical one. You can talk and talk and talk, but it takes time. You just have to leave it to time.
“I think he is over it. He has a good opportunity to show on Tuesday how good he is."
Wenger believes the jubilant celebrations that followed Ozil’s goal against Everton at the weekend was evidence that his teammates appreciated the importance of his strike.
“It was certainly important to him and to the team as well,” added Wenger. “I like the way he finished against Everton, in a calm, convincing way. He made great runs and was absolutely outstanding from the first to the last minute.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is convinced his side can pull off a Champions League revival in Munich. When asked whether they can mount a memorable turnaround, he said: “Yes, 100 percent.
“Last season we went there 3-1 down, everyone wrote us off, but we managed to get a good 2-0 win there. We will be feeling we can take from that and from Saturday’s performance [against Everton].
“In football a lot of things can happen. We are top side, they will know the job is not done and we know the job is not done.”