Crystal Palace’s manager, Roy Hodgson, has no time for people who criticise Mesut Ozil, comparing Arsenal’s genius to Jane Austen.

“What is unfair criticism?” Hodgson said during his pre-match media duties “Anyone in sport, music, the arts, in cinema has the same. They live with criticism.

“Whether it’s unfair is another matter. I was listening to a book programme the other day where they were going through the names of incredibly famous, gifted authors whose work was being dismissed as being useless, like Jane Austen.

People in period costume pose with on the Bank of England's new ten pound notes, featuring author Jane Austen, during its launch at Winchester Cathedral in Winchester, southern England, on July 18, 2017. Two hundred years after Jane Austen's death, Britain is celebrating one of its best-loved authors, who combined romance with biting social commentary that still speaks to fans around the world. Austen is buried in the cathedral in Winchester, where she died. / AFP PHOTO / POOL AND AFP PHOTO / Chris J Ratcliffe (Photo credit should read CHRIS J RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
People in period costume pose with on the Bank of England’s new ten pound notes, featuring author Jane Austen, during its launch at Winchester Cathedral in Winchester, southern England, on July 18, 2017.
Two hundred years after Jane Austen’s death, Britain is celebrating one of its best-loved authors, who combined romance with biting social commentary that still speaks to fans around the world. Austen is buried in the cathedral in Winchester, where she died. / AFP PHOTO / POOL AND AFP PHOTO / Chris J Ratcliffe

“So, criticism is nothing new and unfortunately it is something in our walk of life have to accept.”

Is Mesut Ozil rubbish? Not according to Roy (or anyone else with a brain). “They said the same about Jane Austen’s first book and look what happened to her.

“Ozil was very good against Leicester. Plans to combat him? You hope your team and organisation will do that.

“Don’t forget he was bought as a top player when Arsene Wenger bought him. He was signed from Real Madrid and I forget how much he paid for him but it was an awful lot of money.

“You expect him to be that good and unfortunately that is how he is playing and does not help us.

“I would like him to come here in bad form.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuMbeDVCBac

Hodgson goes into Sunday’s game looking for his first Premier League victory over the Arsenal for 10 years while Arsenal are looking to extend their winning run to 12.

Palace have only scored three goals in their last eight Premier League matches in contrast to Arsenal who have found the back of the net 22 times in their nine Premier League games so far this season. The game, had Wenger still been in charge, seems set up perfectly for an ‘unexpected’ Palace win. With Emery in charge, however, those fears are less tangible.

Ozil was rested on Thursday night so is likely to be fresh and firing at Selhurst Park while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – who has the best minutes-to-goal ratio in the competition’s history, scoring a Premier League goal, on average, every 104.6 minutes, – is likely to be back on the bench.

LISBON, PORTUGAL - OCTOBER 25: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal FC looks on duirng the warm up prior to the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Sporting CP and Arsenal at Estadio Jose Alvalade on October 25, 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
LISBON, PORTUGAL – OCTOBER 25: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal FC looks on duirng the warm up prior to the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Sporting CP and Arsenal at Estadio Jose Alvalade on October 25, 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Arsenal have already scored six goals via their subs this season, more than anyone else. With Auba usually amongst them, that’s no surprise.

Ozil, meanwhile, has faced the Eagles eight times, winning six but creating just two assists during those games. The smart money is on him improving that record on Sunday.

Previous articleRaul Sanllehi clarifies Arsenal’s January transfer plans
Next articleVinai Venkatesham: Per Mertesacker is now on our executive team
Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.