Mesut Ozil’s agent has hit out at criticism levelled at the player, claiming that he is being made a scapegoat.
“Criticism is normal if a player plays badly,” Dr Erkut Sogut, Ozil’s lawyer and representative told BBC Sport.
“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,” added Sogut
“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.
“I don’t agree that Mesut has not had an impact on big matches.
“What about the win at home to Chelsea this season and Manchester United the year before? What about the games for Germany against Italy and France at Euro 2016?
“People are always saying Mesut is not fighting or tackling, that he has poor body language, but that is how he is.
“Believe me, he is desperate to succeed. If it doesn’t work, he shows his anger and expressions. Was his body language an issue when Arsenal were playing well?
“He is not someone who runs around aimlessly and tackles just so everyone thinks he is fighting. If it doesn’t make sense to run somewhere he will keep that power for the next run.”
Ozil’s agent has a point.
When you actually look at Ozil’s stats over the course of the season, he is still outperforming many players who are being hailed at some of Arsenal’s rivals.
He’s certainly looked off-colour for the last month or so, ever since he picked up a viral infection. But he never had any room to work with. The media have been on his back since the day and hour he arrived at the club.
They’ve willed him to fail at times and pounced on anything they thought they could turn into a narrative.
If he does leave the club, or fail to sign a new deal, it won’t be because of Arsenal fans, that’s for sure.