Europe European Leagues

Ozil Urged to “Do More” by Fenerbahce President

Things haven’t gone smoothly for Mesut Ozil at Turkish giants Fenerbahce. With expectations that the former Real Madrid and Arsenal playmaker would become the latest marquee player to lead Fenerbahce in another charge for the Super Lig title, Ozil’s time at the Canaries was blighted by lack of fitness and an apparent fractious relationship with manager Vitor Pereira. This led Fenerbahce president Ali Koc to publically urge Ozil to “focus more on football.”

Speaking to Fenerbahce TV, Ali sternly told Ozil to focus his efforts and energy in contributing more for the club on the pitch, instead of concentrating himself on the commercial projects that he has outside of the game.

“Since the start of this season, Mesut Ozil has been compared to Robin van Persie (being a marquee player signed by Fenerbahce in recent years),” said Ali, as quoted from 90Min, “Ozil wants to play more. From now on, he needs to focus on his game and keep his commercial interests out of it. He needs to think about contributing to Fenerbahce.”

Ali’s words suggested that Ozil – who only played in 33% of Fenerbahce’s Super Lig games this season and have failed to score in his 11 games in the 2020/21 season – was a mere periphery figure in Fenerbahce’s campaign this season due to him being not good enough for the team.

Manager Vitor was also not spared from Ali’s words, with the president saying, “Our coach also needs to try to figure out how to get the most out of Ozil. There is not a problem, despite what the media says. Mesut is unhappy because he does not play regularly.”

Indeed, Ozil’s failure to feature in Fenerbahce’s recent games wasn’t down to any injury or fitness problems like he had in earlier games, but purely because Vitor had opted to omit Ozil from his recent squads.

It seems that the implied animosity between Ozil and former Shanghai SIPG manager Vitor stemmed from Ozil’s actions earlier in October. The German playmaker threw his bib away at Vitor’s direction after failing to come on as a substitute in an Istanbul Derby against Kasimpasa, having been frustrated by his manager’s decision not to throw him into the fray. Ozil also did little to endear himself to Vitor after he kicked a number of water bottles and threw his shirt to the floor in disgust after he was substituted in Fenerbahche’s 2-2 Europa League draw with Belgium’s Royal Antwerp.