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It seems strange to suggest that a player who started every game for the World Cup winners could have flopped, but in the dynamic German attack, Mesut Ozil frequently stood out like a sore thumb.
His form had been poor going into the tournament. Having started the Premier League season at Arsenal by immediately demonstrating that his £40 million fee wasn’t inflated, Ozil’s performances petered out, to the point where many felt he should be dropped.
Although he scored what proved to be the winner in the dying seconds against Algeria, Ozil’s other contributions were negligible at best.
His record of 315 completed passes looks impressive on paper. However, his pass completion rate of 79% is lower than that of teammates Philipp Lahm, Toni Kroos, Per Mertesacker, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jerome Boateng, all of whom completed more passes as well.
There were numerous calls to drop Ozil throughout the tournament, with Die Mannschaft legend Paul Breitner among them. Even though Joachim Low was eventually vindicated in his selection, it’s hard to imagine Germany would have truly suffered had Ozil been absent.