Mesut Ozil’s agent says the German feels like he’s being made the scapegoat for Arsenal’s recent poor form, and Wednesday night’s Champions League defeat in Munich.
The 28 year old has been struggling for form in recent weeks after an impressive first half of the campaign, leading to intense focus on his place in the team.
Dr Erkut Sogut told BBC Sport that criticism is fine, but the club’s record signing feels like he’s been made the chief culprit.
“Criticism is normal if a player plays badly,” he said
“But Mesut feels people are not focusing on his performance; they are using him as a scapegoat for the team after bad results.”
“Bayern had 74% possession. How can someone in the No.10 position create chances if you don’t have the ball?
“In these games people usually target a player who cost a lot of money and earns a lot of money – that is Mesut. But he can’t be always be the scapegoat. That’s not fair.
“Football is a team sport and Arsenal are not performing well as a team. Eleven players were on the pitch but Mesut was singled out for criticism.
Was he the reason that Arsenal conceded five goals?
“It started before the match, throughout the week leading up to the game. People started discussing: ‘Should he play? Should he be dropped?’.
“It was as if everyone knew Arsenal would not make it through and we needed a scapegoat. This is not right. You win as a team and you lose as a team.”
It’s hard to argue with a lot of that, it is a team effort, and Ozil made more tackles (5) than ‘defensive’ midfielder Francis Coquelin, but people also expect a bit more from a player who cost £42.5m.
It does feel as if the criticism has gone OTT from certain quarters though. A few weeks he was an invaluable part of a team that was playing quite well, now he’s being written off for being part of one that clearly isn’t.
As to his future, Sogut continued, “Mesut is committed to the club. There is no doubt that he will perform at 100%, with total professionalism and commitment as long as he plays for Arsenal. Nothing will change that.
“He is sorry to the fans, and he’s sorry that he and his team-mates couldn’t give the fans a better result in Munich.”