Wenger: Ozil’s style doesn’t mean he wants it less

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Arsene Wenger has defended Mesut Ozil after the German was once again the subject of intense criticism in the wake of the 2-0 defeat in the North London derby.

Like every Arsenal player on the pitch, the 28 year old was short of his best, but not everybody comes with a £42m price-tag, and there was some focus on him throughout the week.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s game against Man Utd, the Arsenal manager defended his record signing, saying, “I believe to just criticise Mesut Ozil’s performance does not reflect exactly what happened.

“Recently he has put a lot of effort in. He was a bit, like the rest of the team, not physically at his best.

“His style is more fluid, less ­aggressive, but it doesn’t mean you want it less than others.

“His style is his style and what you measure with Mesut Ozil is the ­efficiency. His basic ­quality is retention and the creation of goal chances.

“Overall the big players get more criticised than the others, they have to carry the responsibility of the team.”

Earlier in the week, Ozil himself rejected criticism which said he didn’t work hard enough.

“There will always be criticism and there will always be praise,” he said. “But what matters is what the manager tells me.

“I have said that numerous times. But what I can’t understand is when people say: ‘Look, he does not push anymore’ or ‘He does not run enough’.

“If you look at my numbers you can see I run a lot and I show a good attitude.”

Of course the best way to answer the critics would be to put in a display which helps us defeat his old manager on Sunday, when Man Utd come to the Emirates.

Check out this week’s Arsecast, for more on United, mental health in football and lots more

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