'Mesut Ozil could be like Dennis Bergkamp and never take a penalty again,' says Arsene Wenger
Manager says the midfielder has not recovered from his miss against Bayern
Friday 21 February 2014
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he would not be surprised if Mesut Ozil never takes another penalty again - and compared Ozil's current predicament to Gunners' great Dennis Bergkamp, who refused to take a spot-kick for the remainder of his career after missing against Manchester United in an FA Cup semi-final replay in 1999.
Ozil can take comfort, however, in the fact Bergkamp went on to have a glorious career in North London, and a statue of him will be unveiled before Saturday's Premier League match against Sunderland.
The German missed his second successive spot-kick for Arsenal in their 2-0 Champions League last-16 first leg defeat at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night after his tame effort, taken in an "unusual way", was stopped by international colleague Manuel Neuer.
Wenger admitted after the match that Ozil was badly affected by his miss, and the following day Ozil issued an apology on his Facebook page, saying he did not feel any better the next morning.
When asked if the 25-year-old had recovered from his experience, Wenger said on Friday.
"Certainly not. 48 hours is a bit short. It's part of the job to deal with disappointment and prove you can get on with it. He apologised after the game. I don't think people are shocked he missed, it's just he takes his penalties in an unusual way."
Bergkamp was so affected by his penalty miss against United in April 1999 at Villa Park that he never took one again. His kick was saved by Peter Schmeichel, and then Ryan Giggs memorably went on to score to take United through to the final, which they won 2-0 against Newcastle United.
"I believe that at the moment I have to let him recover from that. I have seen this before with Bergkamp, missing in 1999 [in the FA Cup semi-final replay against Manchester United] and refusing after to take any penalties. [But] He gets a statue today."
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