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Joachim Low admits Mesut Ozil was one of many Germany players who underperformed at the World Cup. Germany have crashed out at the group stage after they were beaten 2-0 by South Korea on Wednesday. Ozil was dropped for Germany’s second group game against Sweden following the surprise 1-0 defeat to Mexico but was recalled for the crucial match against South Korea. But the Arsenal midfielder, who has been heavily criticised during the tournament, was unable to inspire Germany to the win they required. ‘Today, because of a number of bans and injuries, we had to make changes,’ said Low.
‘In 2014 and 2017 that was also the case, it happens. A team only begins to gel later at the tournament, so it makes sense to bring some [players] in and let it go easy on them. ‘It wasn’t only Ozil, a number of other players didn’t perform as they normally would. ‘I take responsibility for that and stand up for that, but I thought it was a good team.
‘I didn’t think Thomas Muller had been that convincing in the first two matches and I wanted to make a point there. ‘Towards the finish when we realised we needed a goal we took a defender out late on and that meant we became less structured, but we couldn’t wait, we had to risk. ‘We needed to throw things forward and it opened things up in defence.’