After a summer of relative silence, members of Germany's World Cup squad are starting to pipe up about Die Mannschaft's failure at the World Cup in Russia, and the ongoing controversy involving the now-retired Mesut Özil.

With the FC Bayern München hierarchy of Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge already voicing their opinion on Özil's claims of racism within the DFB, today it was the turn of goalkeeper and Germany captain Manuel Neuer.

In a press conference at Bayern's training camp at the Tegernsee, Neuer made it clear that racism was never an issue within the squad and the German Football Association (Deutscher Fussball Bund, DFB), but that the fallout had been "stressful".

We have always tried to integrate every player and have always done everything for our teammates, so that everyone goes into the games with a good feeling.

When asked about Özil's retirement, Neuer remained coy.

It's the decision of the player. When another player is saying that he wants to [retire] it's his own decision. You have to search for the reasons on your own then and in that case, he [Özil] has found them.

Rather than plough over ground that has been well and truly churned up, Neuer preferred to look forward.

It is the task of those in charge at the DFB to re-structure the team and give it a new face. They have players who are really proud to play for the national team and will give everything to play for their country, so that we get back on the road to success.

While some will see this as a simple decision to draw a line under the summer's fiasco, others will no doubt be reading between the lines. In talking about players who are proud to play for the Mannschaft, Neuer is playing right into the hands of those who maintain that Özil was unfairly questioned about his loyalty following his controversial photograph with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

German coach Joachim Löw is yet to talk about this summer's events, but is expected to break his silence. Julian Brandt has already spoken out, as has Thomas Müller. Other players will surely follow.

The biggest fear is that this story will get worse before its gets better. After any disaster, there will always be the denials and recriminations.

For a more in-depth look at "Erdogate" and an analysis of Özil's three-part statement, you can click through to my German national team blog, Schwarz und Weiß.