Mesut Özil Will Respond To Critics According To Arsene Wenger
Posted by Jordan Clarke | Published on December 23, 2016
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has jumped to the defence of superstar Mesut Özil after his underwhelming performance against Manchester City, insisting the German will bounce back.
Özil received abuse via social media about his work rate whilst 2-1 down at the Etihad in a clip that saw the midfielder walking as the Manchester City players retained the ball, but Wenger insists he works ‘much harder than people think’.
Speaking at his press conference, Wenger said:
“We have to accept criticism and live with it. People can analyse things and give their opinion. Criticism is normal. But Özil is an important player, a big player, and big players always respond on the pitch.”
“I don’t give him any leeway. Özil has to do his work like everyone else and usually he does it well.”
“His main strength is when we have the ball and he suffers more than others when we don’t have the ball. But if you want the ball, you have to win it back.”
‘I think he is a guy who works much harder than people think,’ Wenger said. ‘His body language speaks against him. Mesut does his part of the job very well. We always aim to win the ball high up the pitch.’
Mesut Özil’s first chance to prove his doubters wrong will be on Boxing Day, as Arsenal take on Tony Pulis’s West Brom, who have been enjoying a positive season thus far. Arsenal will desperately need the three points in order to prevent falling either further from the title race and to extend their lead on North-London rivals Tottenham and also Manchester United, who have began a good spell of form during the festive period.
Featured Image Credit: (Shaun Botterill/Getty Images Europe)