Ozil hits back at Neuer boo-boys

The Real Madrid midfielder insists even the great keepers make mistakes, while Bayern Munich legend Oliver Kahn has suggested the shot-stopper should take fewer risks

Mesut Ozil has come to the defence of Manuel Neuer after the Germany goalkeeper was criticised over his mistake against Kazakhstan.

The Euro 2012 semi-finalists had fired into a 3-0 first-half lead in their World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night, butthe Bayern Munich shot-stopper accidentally dribbled Per Mertesacker’s back-pass into an opposition player, allowing Henrich Schmidtgal to score.

Joachim Low’s men easily saw out out the home clash to triumph 4-1 but that did not stop some fans booing Neuer, an action that Ozil believes was unfair.

“I think Manuel has not earned this [criticism],” the Real Madrid midfielder told Kicker. “Where I go, around the world, it is recognised that Germany have a strong goalkeeper.

“Manuel has shown his class often and helped us many times before. But even he must also make mistakes.

“Manuel deserves to be given more more support in moments like these.”

Germany goalkeeping legend Oliver Kahn, meanwhile, has suggested that Neuer should attempt to take fewer risks in future to avoid any similar slip-ups.

He told Abendzeitung: “Goalkeepers decide games, but not the fact that they excel in footballing terms, but with game-winning reflexes and saves. So, as a goalkeeper, you enable your team wins and titles.

“When Manuel was still with Schalke, I often thought his goalkeeping style was insane. [But at Bayern] he has been relativised and has performed very well.

“Whenever I was in doubt, I decided to play absolutely safe. A targeted long ball can speed the game up quickly.

“All great goalkeepers like [Iker] Casillas, [Gianluigi] Buffon, [Edwin] van der Sar and [Peter] Schmeichel always found the optimal mix between risk and safety. As a goalkeeper, you have to ask: ‘should this element of risk affect my game?'”

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