Hoeness: Ozil's 'well-marketed' image better than his actual ability
Uli Hoeness has taken another swipe at Mesut Ozil by declaring the player's reputation is more a triumph of marketing than an accurate reflection of his footballing ability.
The Bayern Munich president fanned the flames after Ozil blamed "racism and disrespect" for his international retirement in July. Hoeness said the artful Arsenal midfielder's statement was simply a ploy to obscure the fact that "he's been playing crap for years."
Now, after courting controversy for saying Ozil was "hiding" behind his contentious photo with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hoeness has returned for seconds.
"I've been watching the player for a long time and he's a well-marketed product whose image is a lot better than he is, which is the only big blame for me," Hoeness said of the 29-year-old to Sky Sports News in Germany, as reported by The Telegraph's Callum Davis.
"Had (Germany head coach Joachim) Low gone to Arsenal more often in London and looked at him properly, he probably would not have taken him for sporting reasons.
"It is a miracle that he is now captain at Arsenal."
(Photo courtesy: Getty Images)
Hoeness, 66, is not coy in front of a microphone. In addition to his scathing assessments of Ozil's international retirement and on-pitch performances, he has recently been vocal about deliberately dodging meetings with Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski's agent in a bid to avoid selling a player that could have apparently earned the club €150 million this summer.
Louis van Gaal, who managed the Bavarians to Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal success in 2010, said in February that he wouldn't consider returning to the Allianz Arena because Hoeness fostered a culture where certain players - like Franck Ribery - were given preferential treatment.
Bayern Munich begin their latest Bundesliga campaign with a visit from Hoffenheim on Friday. Ozil, meanwhile, will expect to be involved when Arsenal welcome London rivals West Ham United to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
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