London, April 16 (IANS) After a 2-10 humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League pre-quarterfinals, Arsenal attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil has said it was one of the darkest hours of his football career.
“The devastating loss against Bayern Munich this season is undoubtedly one of the darkest hours of my footballing career,” Ozil wrote in his book “Gunning for Glory,” which is being serialised in the Daily Mail on Sunday.
“It’s in the top five of the most humiliating defeats I’ve suffered.”
Arsenal were thrashed 1-5 at home and away to exit 2-10 on aggregate last month, It was a round-of-16 tie from which they were dumped for the seventh year running.
“We were positively prepared for the game. Arsene Wenger had revealed to us his game plan. He was very clear about his ideas — and they were good ones,” the Germany star quoted as saying by Daily Mail in the book.
“Our intention was to go all out for Bayern’s central defender Mats Hummels; to prevent him from opening up the game which he does so brilliantly. We wanted to force him to play the ball to Javi Martinez, who’s also a fine central defender but who isn’t great at opening up the game. In this way we hoped we’d be able to stop Bayern from building up the play at an early stage and disrupt their rhythm.”
Arsenal have been poor throughout the season with catcalls of head coach Arsene Wenger’s resignation has ringed since long.
“Of course I could go on about why our game plan didn’t work. I could look for excuses. But I’m not going to. What went on between us in the dressing room after the match is nobody’s business, nor is what Wenger considered our failures to be in his post match analysis. The fact is, we all failed. We were all bad! We played a game that held a mirror up to our face,” the 2014 World Cup winner.
“It was a performance we can’t just brush aside. No, we have to learn our lessons from it. We all have to ask searching questions of ourselves and accept responsibility for the defeat. All the players, all the trainers, even the management. Because this fiasco also represents a great opportunity!”
Ozil hoped the defeat would lead to something good in the future for the club and himself.
“In my footballing life, I’ve often fallen flat on my face and been knocked to the ground. But I’ve always got up again and won victories and titles following the defeat … this defeat by Bayern will produce something good at the end, too,” he hoped.