Football: Wenger urges misfiring Ozil to become more ruthless as Bayern loom in Champions League

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil (centre) passing the ball against Chelsea during the EPL match on Feb 4, 2017.
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil (centre) passing the ball against Chelsea during the EPL match on Feb 4, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS, AFP) - Mesut Ozil is in the midst of a confidence crisis, according to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who also urged the misfiring German midfielder to be more ruthless in front of goal.

Ozil has been under the spotlight following anonymous performances in recent defeats to Watford and Chelsea and did little to deflect the criticism after missing a host of chances in Arsenal's 2-0 English Premier League win over Hull on Saturday.

"It's time for him (Ozil) to score again. Maybe he will find confidence back as well, because he misses chances. He has chances and he misses the chances that don't look not feasible for him," the Frenchman told the British media.

The 28-year-old Ozil, who has often divided opinion among supporters since his club-record move from Real Madrid in 2013, has been on the periphery of games in recent weeks and has not scored in his last eight matches.

"I felt he did not feel confident (against Hull)," Wenger added. "It's always a problem because you think he can deliver something special, but it's true that technically he missed things that he is not used to."

Arsenal travel to face German champions Bayern Munich in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League clash on Wednesday.

The Bundesliga giants can turn their focus to Europe having effectively ended the domestic title race, with a fifth-straight crown now theirs to lose.

With a third of the German league season still to play, they hold a commanding seven-point lead as all their main rivals lost at the weekend.

Their nearest challenger, Leipzig, kept Bayern off top spot for three weeks late last year after a flying start to their first Bundesliga season. But when the sides met in Munich last December, Bayern floored the second-placed Red Bull-backed side with all goals coming in a commanding first-half display in a 3-0 win.

In the chasing pack Frankfurt, Dortmund and Hoffenheim are at least 15 points adrift of Munich.

Bayern are on a record 15-match winning streak at home in the Champions League and have won five of their last 10 games against the Gunners.

After three straight semi-final exits, the Bavarian giants are desperate to win the European title for a sixth time. But elimination by Arsenal - meaning their first last-16 exit since 2011 - would be a black mark against coach Carlo Ancelotti.