Gary Neville defends Arsenal’s club-record signing Mesut Ozil

Gary Neville believes Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger should have given Mesut Özil a rest in January

Arsenal playmaker Mesut Özil Photo: Adidas

Gary Neville believes Arsene Wenger should have given Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil a rest during the festive period.

The Germany international suffered a hamstring injury as the Gunners crashed out of the Champions League following a 3-1 aggregate last-16 loss to holders Bayern Munich.

Ozil has scored four goals and made eight assists in 22 Premier League appearances after initially hitting the ground running following his £42.5m switch from Real Madrid last summer.

On Xmas break – no excuse really for an experienced manager. He could have given him one first two weeks in Jan – Ronaldo used to get one!

Gary Neville

But Neville defended the 25-year-old’s recent dip in form and suggested that the Gunners star is suffering from fatigue due to the lack of a winter break in the Premier League.

“Ozil getting a hard time,” Neville posted on Twitter. “He’s obviously dipped this last couple of months and first season in a new league (Xmas football) can take some getting used to even with the price tag.

“Some players can carry lack of form better than others. His body language suggests he struggles and at the moment looks like he’s finding it difficult mentally.

“However, Arsenal are better for having him and he will return strong! And finally he will improve more when he has a striker that runs beyond and provides movement for his strengths.

“Some rightly pointing out others who have been up and down in the first season but then improved second and third.

“Every good No10 needs two to three players that make runs behind and sacrifice themselves! Modern game problem – Too many want to be a No10!

“On Xmas break – no excuse really for an experienced manager. He could have given him one first two weeks in Jan – Ronaldo used to get one!”

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