Robert Pires questions harsh criticism of Arsenal star
The Arsenal legend believes too much is made of Mesut Ozil's disappointing performances
Robert Pires has defended Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil after criticism of the German star.
The World Cup winner has endured a tough third season in the Premier League after a disappointing return of seven goals and six assists.
Ozil finished with a staggering 18 assists in the 2015-16 campaign, while the former Schalke man scored six times to help Arsenal finish in second place.
The 28-year-old has been holding negotiations with Arsenal throughout the Premier League campaign about a contract extension at the north London club.
Ozil has been criticised for his lacklustre performances in some of Arsenal’s most disappointing results in the Champions League and the Premier League this term.
However, Pires, who was part of the last Arsenal side to win the Premier League title in 2003-04, believes criticism of Ozil has been unduly harsh.
“I think the treatment of Mesut is wrong. Of course footballers will get criticism, but I think the criticism towards him has been over the top. Mesut Ozil is an incredibly important footballer for Arsenal, Arsene Wenger and the team,” Pires told bwin.
“One thing I want to pick up on is fans calling Mesut Ozil is lazy. Seriously, it’s crazy – this is a massive misconception. He wants to work hard, he wants to do the dirty work for the team because he’s a winner. I don’t agree with fans who make these claims.
“Everyone knows that Mesut Ozil is a world class player but sometimes you play well and sometimes you don’t and I think too much is made of when he doesn’t play well. It’s impossible to play on the same level for 10 months, trust me.”
Ozil moved to Arsenal in a club-record deal from La Liga giants Real Madrid back in the 2013 summer transfer window.
The Gunners are looking to win their third FA Cup crown in four seasons this season ahead of their clash against Chelsea at Wembley.